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By “Mark Andrew Dwyer”


June 10, 2006



Imagine an "undocumented tenant" moved into your house while you and your family were vacationing. The guy slept in your bed, wore your clothes, used your gas and electricity, and helped himself to your fridge. When you came back, he refused to leave, claiming the protection that Fourth Amendment extends to "the people to be secure in their [...] houses", so you had to call police and insist that your uninvited "guest" be removed from your place forcefully. A police officer who arrived shortly after your call was not willing to get involved, though. He referred to the situation (a “tenant” not willing to leave) as a "domestic dispute". However, he promised to file charges against your "tenant" in order to obtain a court injunction. Which he did. So, there was a trial, a "due process" if you will, after which your trespasser was found guilty and punished with ... eviction.


"Punished?" you may ask? If someone stole a car, is returning it to the rightful owner a "punishment" of the thief? Or if a bunch of thugs were apprehended during an attempt to rob a bank, is removing them from the bank building a "penalty"? It would be utterly absurd to answer "yes" to any of the above questions. The thief and the robbers need to be sent to jail, if found guilty, and no one in his right mind would claim that they were already "punished" when they lost the proceeds of their criminal act or were stopped from committing it. Yet this is exactly how some otherwise well-meaning people perceive the relationship between the illegal entry (the crime) and the deportation (the alleged punishment).


In his article recently published in The American Chronicle (see [1]), Tony Dolz wrote: "The penalty for violating our borders is deportation; anything else is amnesty." I hate to criticize somebody who apparently is on the same side of the immigration issue as I am, but calling deportation of an illegal entrant a "penalty" is nonsense. In addition of being illogical, it may give each and every one border violator "the right to a speedy and public trial" (quotation from 6th Amendment), which many ACLU attorneys are already claiming on behalf of the invaders.


If someone illegally crosses the American border, he faces a fine and jail/prison time (a fine of $50 to $250 and/or up to six months in jail or prison for first offenders, that becomes up to 20 years in prison for repeat offenders with a serious criminal conviction), just like thieves, robbers, and other criminals do. I addition to that, the proceeds of his crime will be taken away from him. The thieves will have to return the stolen property to the owners; the robbers will have to give the stolen money back to the bank. And likewise, the illegal aliens will have to depart the U.S. and go to where they were before they jumped the border. That is only fair and logical. It’s called restitution.


No one in his right mind would claim that by paying a penalty or serving a jail time (some use phase “paying the debt to the society” in this context), a thief acquired a right to the property he stole, or a bank robber earned the money that he robbed during the stick up. Yet the majority of U.S. Senators insist that border violators, after paying a nominal fine, should be exempt from the prohibition of profiting from a criminal activity and be allowed to keep the stolen piece of America that they took in possession when they violated her border. And to add an insult to the injury, they claim that the package they put together to that end ("Comprehensive Immigration Reform” Act, also known as CIRA or S. 2611 bill) is not an amnesty.


If the thieves or the bank robbers were to be granted amnesty, they would be freed from prosecution and imprisonment for the crimes they committed, after, perhaps, paying a nominal fine. That would not give them any legal right to the property they stole, never mind a title to that property. Similarly, if illegal aliens were to be granted amnesty, they should be given immunity from prosecution for their violating of the border and, perhaps, forgiven that violation, but by no means should they be allowed to stay in the U.S. And offering them a "path to citizenship" would be equally absurd as offering a thief a title to the car he stole as a part of the "amnesty".


In order for us to avoid getting trapped in nonsensical pitfalls as any of the above, we must insist on using words in their proper meaning. Deportation of an illegal alien is not a penalty. It’s restitution. Immunity from prosecution (perhaps, in exchange for a nominal fine) is amnesty. Rewarding illegal border crossers with a permit to stay in the U.S., even without the "path to citizenship" bonus, is pure idiocy that goes far beyond any amnesty (in the correct sense of this word) would. I wish Tony Dolz and other pro-border enforcement commentators were more careful with how they use these words. Our winning the immigration dispute with our elected officials may depend upon it.



Readers’ comments: Excellent column by you on robbers/theives and illegals! Great point in "restitution" vs deportation as punishment! You hit the nail on the head. Now if we all could only convince our "friends" on the anti-Invasion side of things to use Daneen Peterson's 23 million to 30 million figure, we MIGHT just get Americans off their collective duffs and force the government to "secure and deport", ie 1) secure the Borders (Southern and Northern), which really means shutting them down to all illegal entry and 2) deport all illegals and overstayers AFTER we've frozen their assets (including property here)--restitution. Just "what amount" of restitution we'd require is a whole other issue. Again, I worry about enforcement. All the laws on the books don't mean squat if they aren't enforced. We'll need many lawyers and more Federal judges to carry this off, and that worries me. The EOIC is already part of the problem with "catch and release"; most of them are liberal lawyers and judges (a redundancy, I know!).


But you got the juices flowing at just the right time, Mark, so I am hoping more or us will read your column. A future column by you should discuss "what form of restitution" that might be and how we would enforce it. I'm more than happy to "weight in"!





[1] Bush says deportation 'ain't gonna work'

The American Chronicle - Beverly Hills

By Tony Dolz



Past commentary (May 27, 2006) ANATOMY OF TREASON

Past commentary (March 29, 2006): Liberation and Socialism, Or the Marching Morons?


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