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    Immigration crime about to see its payday

    Immigration crime about to see its payday

    Question of Day — Are 2nd Amendment rights not equal to squatters’ rights?

    From CBS News, some news and a rewrite of history as to “immigration reform”:

    A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles of sweeping legislation to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws.

    The deal, which was to be announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

    Although thorny details remain to be negotiated and success is far from certain, the development heralds the start of what could be the most significant effort in years toward overhauling the nation’s inefficient patchwork of immigration laws….

    The eight senators expected to endorse the new principles Monday are Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona….

    Several of these lawmakers have worked for years on the issue. McCain collaborated with the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on comprehensive immigration legislation pushed by then-President George W. Bush in 2007, only to see it collapse in the Senate when it couldn’t get enough GOP support.

    That last paragraph is a rewrite of history.  Immigration reform was killed because of poison pills put in the legislation by Democrats (including Barack Obama) supported by some Republicans (including Jim DeMint).  Just another example of how the media, out of ignorance or worse, skews history to blame Republicans.

    How big a payday this is for immigration crime depends on what the pathway to citizenship ends up being.

    Regardless, it’s a payday because people who violated our laws to get here get to stay without consequence and get a pathway to citizenship.  That pathway takes immigration reform from some sort of humanitarian and practical solution to rewarding illegality.

    It makes suckers of all the people who followed the rules and are on the other side of the borders and oceans because they didn’t want to become criminals.

    Once again we send the message that immigration crime pays.  Apparently that is good politics.

    Question of the Day — Will violators of gun laws not connected to commission of some other crime be given amnesty like immigration law violators?  Or are 2nd Amendment rights not equal to squatters’ rights?

    Update:  By the way, the comparison to squatters’ rights is not something I thought up, it’s a theory advanced by former Cornell (and now U. Chicago) law professor Eduardo Peñalver, who has written a book on the contribution of squatters to the development of property law, and who views application of such theories as a positive development as related to immigration law:

    The better analogy is with the twin doctrines of adverse possession and prescription. These doctrines, which are virtually universal in systems of private property, recognize that possession or use of property that goes on for a long enough period of time should eventually be recognized as legal, even if they were illegal when they began. In most states, even an act of intentional squatting will ripen into full-blown property ownership after roughly seven to ten years.


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    Mark30339 | January 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

    My this venomous post is quite out of character for Prof. Jacobson. It is a serious error for a law professor to call those who overstay their visa period criminals. Why not call zoning and building code violators criminals, or better yet, put a “criminal” label on every one of us who have benefited from the landscapers, drywallers, painters, launderers, dishwashers, maids and domestic helpers who are illegals.

    As I recall my history, Bush 43 saw the electoral folly of deporting millions of latinos and proposed a 5 year guest worker status — but conservatives were too offended to cooperate. Legal latino voters are a large faction and are the fasted growing faction; every one of them knows an immigrant suddenly deported leaving a spouse and children unsupported. It was Bush that was getting this voting segment to split almost evenly between left and right. Conservatives have fixed that demographic for at least a generation. So go ahead and wring your hands while spewing contempt for the immigrant poor, it keeps reinforcing conservatism’s appeal to swing voters.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Mark30339. | January 28, 2013 at 11:37 am

      A troll, concerned for our future. How sincere. How nice.

      Crawford in reply to Mark30339. | January 28, 2013 at 11:55 am

      “It is a serious error for a law professor to call those who overstay their visa period criminals.”

      “Criminal” is what you call someone who makes their living off law-breaking. Fits them to a ‘T’.

        Mark30339 in reply to Crawford. | January 29, 2013 at 6:50 pm

        Prof Jacobson knows that that being an undocumented alien is not a crime, and it is not handled by criminal courts (just like building code violations are not crimes). Labeling illegals “criminals” foments more displays of contempt for the immigrant poor and reinforces our unattractiveness to swing voters.

      Owego in reply to Mark30339. | January 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      “Why not call zoning and building code violators criminals (1), or better yet, put a “criminal” label on every one of us who have benefited from the landscapers, drywallers, painters, launderers, dishwashers, maids and domestic helpers who are illegals.(2)”

      1. We do becaue they violate building codes in place to protect themselves and others, and
      2. we do, and if you have, you are. The one thing pols do repeatedly in their “fight” is write laws making it illegal to hire illegals. Of course, it is mostly a pardonable oversight when one of them does it, proclaims ignorance, and “apologizes.”

      Otherwise, the “fight” consists mostly of toothless, unfunded, lip service to the very laws they pass. Lip service is what they do. Amnesty is the only thing any of them have the stomach for because it requires no enforcement, there are no consequences for anyone, and they’ve made more people happy than unhappy. This isn’t about illegals, it’s about the politicians, which accounts for its universal popularity among them. Their biggest problem is deciding who gets his name on the bill.

      jdkchem in reply to Mark30339. | January 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      I seem to have misplaced my tiny violin.

      gs in reply to Mark30339. | January 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      1. Some cursory googling left me pretty sure that Mark is not a troll. Of course, O Real Conservatives™, cue sinister music you know what defending Mark makes me…

      2. OT: Afaic the commented blogosphere is on the way to being unreadable. The notion that good speech is the antidote to bad speech sounds fine in principle; in practice, good speech takes time and care to construct whereas bad speech is much easier to spew out. Gresham’s Law.

      Walter Russell Mead addressed the problem by cancelling comments. Mead, however, is not an activist. How to run an activist site which accommodates legitimate dissent but screens out crazies & trolls is an open problem.

      3. I disagree with Mark for at least two reasons. First, our host’s post does not strike me as especially venomous. Second, IMO the biggest problem is not people who overstay visas; the biggest problem is people who illegally cross the border.

      4. I have to respect people who take those kinds of risks in search of a better life. My inclination to goodwill is outweighed by the country’s obligation to people who are already here as lawful citizens.

      5. One of my pet peeves is: there is not nearly enough anger at the American malefactors, in and out of government, who expedite the entry of the illegals. I suspect that agribusiness corporatists—and they’re not the only ones—are playing rank and file conservatives for suckers.

        Mark30339 in reply to gs. | January 29, 2013 at 6:37 pm

        I don’t mind thoughtful disagreement, and I appreciate the google search regarding troll postures. Also, I didn’t say anything about supporting open borders, I’m not opposed to installing walls, moats, fences and cameras to control border access. The blatant contempt conservatives display for illegals who are already here, many for decades, has been an electoral disaster. Conservatives would be more attractive if they curried the favor of legal latino voters by showing more tolerance toward the undocumented immigrant poor, and reserved their contempt for the completely unworkable green card quota system (you know, the one that didn’t exist when Prof Jacobson’s “Vite” grandma got in along with most of our grandparents and great grandparents). But in this matter, emotion trumps logic for conservatives; go figure.

    HarrietHT | January 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Robert Stacy McCain has a great article on the immigration issue over at amspec,, “When Will the Republican Panic End,” with some great comments to follow by readers. I recommend it.

    Subotai Bahadur | January 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Everybody seems to be deliberately ignoring two key points. The outline released by the Incumbency Party in our House of Lords has this:

    Four Basic Legislative Pillars:

    1. Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;

    2. Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families;

    3. Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers; and,

    4. Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.

    I refer to #1: that is contingent upon securing our borders

    We have played this game before, and have been …. well, here I cannot use the appropriate phrase, so insert your own. Let us say that the best way to judge the veracity of the contingency is to look at how secure our borders are after the same freaking people on both sides of the mythical aisle made the same promises the last couple of times.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. This is at least the third time for the same lies.

    Just to narrow it down, let me give the most obvious way that they will cheat. We have not had a constitutional budget for 5 years, and the Institutional Republicans not only have not been able force the production of one; they have refused to even try. One to three times a year at least, the Institutionals collapse crying and give the Democrats everything they want. We have had 3 such collapses since Congress came back after the election, and know of at least two more coming [the Continuing Resolution and the Sequestration].

    So how can we expect to get the legal changes and funding for the “secure borders” through the Senate when they refuse to bring it up after the overarching “reform” is passed? It is not going to happen, and the Republicans are not even going to fight for it.

    The second key point is this from the Democrats to their own:

    The fate of immigration reform, then, largely rests on what this commission looks like, who is on it, and what metric it uses to decide when the border is secure. At first glance, doesn’t this basically constitute giving people like Arizona Governor Jan Brewer veto power over when the citizenship process begins? Many immigration advocates argue the border is already secure, but Republicans continue to insist it isn’t, raising the question of whether this commission will ever acknowledge that border security has been achieved. And if this “commission” doesn’t ever decide the border is secure, couldn’t that result in 11 million people being stranded in second-class legal limbo?

    That’s a legitimate worry, according to Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, a group advocating for immigration reform. But he tells me that on a conference call yesterday, Democratic Senators reassured immigration advocates that this commission won’t be constructed in a way that will hold up the process for too long.

    As Sharry put it, Democrats realize that they can’t “allow the commission to have a real veto” over setting in motion the path to citizenship. He noted that Dems see the commission as “something that gives the Republicans a talking point” to claim they are prioritizing tough enforcement, giving themselves cover to back a process that “won’t stop people from getting citizenship.” However, Sharry added: “The details of this are going to matter hugely, and we’ll have to fight like hell on the individual provisions.”

    The Institutional Republicans know the whole thing is a sham, and they are going along with it.

    The only proper course of action would be for Republicans to fight this tooth and nail, and bring up the “securing the border” as a stand alone process. After that is done, then we can talk. The Republicans, of course, will run screaming in horror from the idea of actually doing something for the country if it means a cross word from the Democrats.

    In the one-party State we have become, obeying the law is a mug’s game.

    Subotai Bahadur

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | January 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      As I understand it, the GOP congressional leadership wants to cave on these lesser issues to get them off the table so they can move forward to cave on the real issues affecting our troubled economy: debt, deficits, spending, tax reform, etc.

      1. The only proper course of action would be for Republicans to fight this tooth and nail, and bring up the “securing the border” as a stand alone process. After that is done, then we can talk.


      Enforcement first. Build the wall. Repair the legal immigration process.

      By yours truly in 2006.

      2. My long-term nagging suspicion is that (one reason why) legal immigration does not get reformed (is) because government knows full well it is too incompetent to do a professional job of regulating immigration. Cases in point: FEMA, TSA.

      It’s quite possible that you’d have to fire everybody in that bureaucracy and start from scratch (perhaps building around a cadre of ex-military), and that’s politically out of the question.

    SeanInLI | January 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Great. Now al Qaeda, Hezbollah, et al can send over sleeper crews now, be granted amnesty, and sit and wait for the phone call.

    I wouldn’t have expected anything different from the fine folks up in Washington, DC.

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