Town Rethinks Law Against Illegal Immigrants

Deport Illegal Immigrants.jpg

Here is a New York Times article that explains what happened in a New Jersey town after it passed a law penalizing those who contracted with illegal aliens.

New York Times: September 26, 2007
Towns Rethink Laws Against Illegal Immigrants
By KEN BELSON and JILL P. CAPUZZO

RIVERSIDE, N.J., Sept. 25 — A little more than a year ago, the Township Committee in this faded factory town became the first municipality in New Jersey to enact legislation penalizing anyone who employed or rented to an illegal immigrant.

Within months, hundreds, if not thousands, of recent immigrants from Brazil and other Latin American countries had fled. The noise, crowding and traffic that had accompanied their arrival over the past decade abated.

The law had worked. Perhaps, some said, too well.

With the departure of so many people, the local economy suffered. Hair salons, restaurants and corner shops that catered to the immigrants saw business plummet; several closed. Once-boarded-up storefronts downtown were boarded up again.

Meanwhile, the town was hit with two lawsuits challenging the law. Legal bills began to pile up, straining the town’s already tight budget. Suddenly, many people — including some who originally favored the law — started having second thoughts.

So last week, the town rescinded the ordinance, joining a small but growing list of municipalities nationwide that have begun rethinking such laws as their legal and economic consequences have become clearer.

“I don’t think people knew there would be such an economic burden,” said Mayor George Conard, who voted for the original ordinance. “A lot of people did not look three years out.”

In the past two years, more than 30 towns nationwide have enacted laws intended to address problems attributed to illegal immigration, from overcrowded housing and schools to overextended police forces. Most of those laws, like Riverside’s, called for fines and even jail sentences for people who knowingly rented apartments to illegal immigrants or who gave them jobs.

In some places, business owners have objected to crackdowns that have driven away immigrant customers. And in many, ordinances have come under legal assault by immigration groups and the American Civil Liberties Union.

In June, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against a housing ordinance in Farmers Branch, Tex., that would have imposed fines against landlords who rented to illegal immigrants. In July, the city of Valley Park, Mo., repealed a similar ordinance, after an earlier version was struck down by a state judge and a revision brought new challenges. A week later, a federal judge struck down ordinances in Hazleton, Pa., the first town to enact laws barring illegal immigrants from working or renting homes there.

Muzaffar A. Chishti, director of the New York office of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit group, said Riverside’s decision to repeal its law — which was never enforced — was clearly influenced by the Hazleton ruling, and he predicted that other towns would follow suit.

“People in many towns are now weighing the social, economic and legal costs of pursuing these ordinances,” he said.

Indeed, Riverside, a town of 8,000 nestled across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, has already spent $82,000 defending its ordinance, and it risked having to pay the plaintiffs’ legal fees if it lost in court. The legal battle forced the town to delay road paving projects, the purchase of a dump truck and repairs to town hall, officials said. But while Riverside’s about-face may repair its budget, it may take years to mend the emotional scars that formed when the ordinance “put us on the national map in a bad way,” Mr. Conard said.

Rival advocacy groups in the immigration debate turned this otherwise sleepy town into a litmus test for their causes. As the television cameras rolled, Riverside was branded, in turns, a racist enclave and a town fighting for American values.

Some residents who backed the ban last year were reluctant to discuss their stance now, though they uniformly blamed outsiders for misrepresenting their motives. By and large, they said the ordinance was a success because it drove out illegal immigrants, even if it hurt the town’s economy.

“It changed the face of Riverside a little bit,” said Charles Hilton, the former mayor who pushed for the ordinance. (He was voted out of office last fall but said it was not because he had supported the law.)

“The business district is fairly vacant now, but it’s not the legitimate businesses that are gone,” he said. “It’s all the ones that were supporting the illegal immigrants, or, as I like to call them, the criminal aliens.”

Many businesses that remain are having a hard time. Angelina Guedes, a Brazilian-born beautician, opened A Touch From Brazil, a hair and nail salon, on Scott Street two years ago to cater to the immigrant population. At one point, she had 10 workers.

Business quickly dried up after the law against illegal immigrants. Last week, on what would usually be a busy Thursday afternoon, Ms. Guedes ate a salad and gave a friend a manicure, while the five black stylist chairs sat empty.

“Now I only have myself,” said Ms. Guedes, 41, speaking a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. “They all left. I also want to leave but it’s not possible because no one wants to buy my business.”

Numerous storefronts on Scott Street are boarded up or are empty, with For Sale by Owner signs in the windows. Business is down by half at Luis Ordonez’s River Dance Music Store, which sells Western Union wire transfers, cellphones and perfume. Next door, his restaurant, the Scott Street Family Cafe, which has a multiethnic menu in English, Spanish and Portuguese, was empty at lunchtime.

“I came here looking for an opportunity to open a business and I found it, and the people also needed the service,” said Mr. Ordonez, who is from Ecuador. “It was crowded and everybody was trying to do their best to support their families.”

Some have adapted better than others. Bruce Behmke opened the R & B Laundromat in 2003 after he saw immigrants hauling trash bags full of clothing to a laundry a mile away. Sales took off at his small shop, where want ads in Portuguese are pinned to a corkboard and copies of the Brazilian Voice sit near the door.

When sales plummeted last year, Mr. Behmke started a wash-and-fold delivery service for young professionals.

“It became a ghost town here,” he said.

Immigration is not new to Riverside. Once a summer resort for Philadelphians, the town became a magnet a century ago for European immigrants drawn to its factories, including the Philadelphia Watch Case Company, whose empty hulk still looms over town. Until the 1930s, the minutes of the school board meetings were recorded in German and English.

“There’s always got to be some scapegoats,” said Regina Collinsgru, who runs The Positive Press, a local newspaper, and whose husband was among a wave of Portuguese immigrants who came here in the 1960s. “The Germans were first, there were problems when the Italians came, then the Polish came. That’s the nature of a lot of small towns.”

Immigrants from Latin America began arriving around 2000. The majority were Brazilians attracted not only by construction jobs in the booming housing market but also by the presence of Portuguese-speaking businesses in town. Between 2000 and 2006, local business owners and officials estimate, more than 3,000 immigrants arrived. There are no authoritative figures about the number of immigrants who were — or were not — in the country legally.

Like those waves of earlier immigrants, the Brazilians and Latinos triggered conflicting reactions. Some shopkeepers loved the extra dollars spent on Scott and Pavilion Streets, the modest thoroughfares that anchor downtown. Yet some residents steered clear of stores where Portuguese and Spanish were plainly the language of choice. A few contractors benefited from the new pool of cheap labor. Others begrudged being undercut by rivals who hired undocumented workers.

On the town’s leafy side streets, some residents admired the pluck of newcomers who often worked six days a week, and a few even took up Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art. Yet many neighbors loathed the white vans with out-of-state plates and ladders on top parked in spots they had long considered their own. The Brazilian flags that flew at several houses rankled more than a few longtime residents.

It is unclear whether the Brazilian and Latino immigrants who left will now return to Riverside. With the housing market slowing, there may be little reason to come back. But if they do, some residents say they may spark new tensions.

Mr. Hilton, the former mayor, said some of the illegal immigrants have already begun filtering back into town. “It’s not the Wild West like it was,” he said, “but it may return to that.”

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31 Comments

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31 responses to “Town Rethinks Law Against Illegal Immigrants

  1. This society is so unerringly pathetic it makes me want to wretch.

    The ordinances are not illegal, and any judge who posits they are, is playing politics, not law.

    They aren’t citizens, and have no rights, and are entitled to none. Game over.

    But as always, follow the money, and the facts become obvious. This isn’t about law, it’s about money first, and appeasement next.

    Americans = Invertebrates.

  2. ReWrite

    You are correct that this change of heart is driven by economics (not religion), however the immigrants do have very strong legal argument.

    Article I, 1. of the NJ constitution reads:
    “All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”

    and Article 1. 5. reads: “No person shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil or military right, nor be discriminated against in the exercise of any civil or military right, nor be segregated in the militia or in the public schools, because of religious principles, race, color, ancestry or national origin.”

    These rights are not limited to citizens and and i am guessing there are more laws in NJ beyond the constitution that prevent discrimination in housing and employment (and education).

  3. Dead wrong.

    Yes, they are limited to legal citizens, that’s the entire premise of “sovereign nation”. The authority of THE Constitution is over and above any state constitution.

    This social appeasement mentality that we “owe” the whole world because their citizens are more pathetic than ours, and openly accept corrupted/violent/drug controlled governments that operate on extortion and bribery does not put the onus of responsibility on American citizens to accept these abject, pathetic cretins who only bring more drugs, more crime, more welfare, more economic stress upon the rest of us.

    The economic lie behind all of this is simple: stop outsourcing American jobs to other countries, stop allowing the 400 wealthiest to sodomise this economy ~ and the excuses are immediately shown to be fallacies and hyperbole.

    The worst part of this scenario is still the fact that while an ever growing contingent of religion haters bandy about, attempting to trample on those of faith, their own metaphysics are equally corruptive and repulsive. Which is exactly what the belief of “entitlement” is predicated upon. Human life is entirely devoid of any value, if the action of that life is not ameliorating of the individual. I’m weary of lying, self-serving metaphysical hypocrites and their propaganda.

    No one is “entitled” to anything. They can either earn it legally, or take a slug to the frontal plate. FMJ are a guaranteed cure for human stupidity.

  4. ReWrite

    The NJ constitution, as applied to the above scenario, is in no way unconstitutional. In fact most of the amendments to the constitution apply to “persons” not citizens.

    I don’t know who is arguing that the US gov’t owes the world anything. I would be happy if the US gov’t just stopped fucking w/ people altogether. If the US got out of Iraq, stopped supplying weapons to other countries, stopped fucking w/ politics of other countries, stopped imposing the West’s version of “free trade” (which is everything but free), the world would be a much happier place.

    “Religion haters.” the biggest religion haters in the world are the religious. Non-religious people just want to be left alone by the religious. Just like when mormon missionaries come knocking on your door, that is how most non-religious people feel about the religious. Keep your pvt life pvt, and let people (who are not like-minded) make their own decisions, particularly about their body, mind and family.

    As for immigrants bringing in drugs and crime. I think Eric has posted several articles on this blog which challenge that isolationist hysteria. And when our relatives came to this country, those “citizens” that were hear, made the same exact hysterical remarks, if not worse. And the article above alluded to that fact. This NJ town (like everyone else in the US, w/ the exception of Indian reservations) is a town full of immigrants.

    And outsourcing jobs, which i am neither for nor against (as it is more complex than the democrats would lead us to believe), may actually have the opposite effect… it could actually reduce immigrants coming into this country as jobs open up in their homeland. immigrants come to america, not to commit crimes, but for economic opportunity. Most people don’t risk their lives, which most central americans do, to get to the US to commit crimes… they come here hoping for a better life.

    If US wants to stop people coming into the country, the gov’t needs to rethink their foreign policy, particularly w/ regards to trade. Building walls and deportation will not prevent immigration. As long as their is inequality there will be immigrants. Have you been to San Diego and then driven to Tijuana? Which city would you rather live in? it is a no brainer.

  5. The NJ constitution, as applied to the above scenario, is in no way unconstitutional. In fact most of the amendments to the constitution apply to “persons” not citizens.

    You aren’t allowed to be in NJ or any other state unless you have first passed through FEDERAL INS.

    Your point is invalid. Again, sovereign nation.

    I don’t know who is arguing that the US gov’t owes the world anything. I would be happy if the US gov’t just stopped fucking w/ people altogether. If the US got out of Iraq, stopped supplying weapons to other countries, stopped fucking w/ politics of other countries, stopped imposing the West’s version of “free trade” (which is everything but free), the world would be a much happier place.

    Who said government? Don’t skew the commentary to suit your own argument. There is most of the world, excluding Europe who wants nothing to do with us, Aussies/Japanese who are quite content to just visit and then they’ve had enough. I’ve worked with immigrants from across the globe, and uniformly in modern era, they are of the opinion that because of either our politics, economics or militantism, they have a right to take from us. Eastern Indians have notoriously foul attitudes about America and Americans. I won’t go into the catalog of “Forever and anon”, but they haven’t the grounds for their position.

    “Religion haters.” the biggest religion haters in the world are the religious. Non-religious people just want to be left alone by the religious. Just like when mormon missionaries come knocking on your door, that is how most non-religious people feel about the religious. Keep your pvt life pvt, and let people (who are not like-minded) make their own decisions, particularly about their body, mind and family.

    Folderol. Most “non-religious” are first off just metaphsycists, every bit just as religious, only lacking a defining text in most instances and they still suck. Secondly, between them and the atheists, you have a near majority that are actively seeking to uproot, not all religions mind you, primarily Christianity and its sects.

    Can’t say anything about the Muslims, and their ramming religion and culture down everyone’s throat.

    All religions solicit, it is simply the means of solicitation that differ. I had JW at my door Saturday, informed them I was atheist. I got the “oh” and they said have a nice day, I reciprocated. Less offensive than any junk mail, or telephone solicitors.

    The real issue is people “angry with God”, but that’s a different discussion.

    As for immigrants bringing in drugs and crime. I think Eric has posted several articles on this blog which challenge that isolationist hysteria. And when our relatives came to this country, those “citizens” that were hear, made the same exact hysterical remarks, if not worse. And the article above alluded to that fact. This NJ town (like everyone else in the US, w/ the exception of Indian reservations) is a town full of immigrants.

    We can go round and round until time’s end if you want to.

    Two years and a half years ago when we moved into this area, there were no illegals, and we only saw police on patrol, on average, once a day/every other day.

    8 months ago, a number of the apartment complexes up the street were sold, then bought and Sec.8. We now have two of the four loaded with Wetbacks. The police are here every day for the past 16 weeks consecutive, AND, now we have unmarkeds from three different municipalities; Kettering, Oakwood and Dayton. Two nights ago, they raided, full S.W.A.T., M16A1, Gas masks, and about six canine units …

    Nuff said; lies, damn lies and statistics. “I’ll take Factual grounding of Phenomenal Reality for a $1000, Alec.”

    And outsourcing jobs, which i am neither for nor against (as it is more complex than the democrats would lead us to believe), may actually have the opposite effect… it could actually reduce immigrants coming into this country as jobs open up in their homeland. immigrants come to america, not to commit crimes, but for economic opportunity. Most people don’t risk their lives, which most central americans do, to get to the US to commit crimes… they come here hoping for a better life.

    WOW .. you don’t actually believe that tripe do you? Between the governmental corruption, (certainly inclusive of China, India and ANYWHERE South or Central America), even if they get a job, their standard of living is not going to change dramatically. You think capitalism is bad, try socialism with corruption … not to mention their countries have no real monies to put towards infrastructure because their government morons drain the entire country for their personal gain. China is a perfect example.

    Not to mention, they don’t just come here for “a better life” … they come here to make a home station for funding the rest of their family to get, taking even more out of our economy.

    If US wants to stop people coming into the country, the gov’t needs to rethink their foreign policy, particularly w/ regards to trade. Building walls and deportation will not prevent immigration. As long as their is inequality there will be immigrants. Have you been to San Diego and then driven to Tijuana? Which city would you rather live in? it is a no brainer.

    I’ll agree our trade practices overseas need to be heavily reworked. Right after we close the borders, and start executing anyone here illegally.

    Bullet trumps stupid, every time.

    I don’t live in Tijuana, which means I don’t care, and no amount of appeasement speeches or socialist legislation will ever change my position. That’s the point, their living conditions are their problem, not ours. They don’t like squalor and filth. Hmmm, seems to me there’s an activity for rectifying that issue … oh yes, bloody revolution. Send them a Hallmark for me, make sure it says, “Get your stones out of mommy’s purse, and clean up your own country.”

  6. eric

    Let’s just get one thing clear in terms of rights and who rights apply to.

    Let’s divide up the group into four parts:

    1. U.S. Citizens
    2. Permanent Residents who are not citizens
    3. Temporary Residents (people in the U.S. with work or other visas)
    3. Tourist and Business Visitors (who stay less than say 90s days); and
    4. All other non citizens who are inside the U.S. without proper documentation.

    U.S. citizens have the right to vote, none of the others do. Not even the permanent residents who pay taxes have the right to vote (taxation without representation).

    My first understanding of your argument, James, was that only U.S. citizens could enjoy any rights under the U.S. laws. Then it appears that you mean only those who can prove that they are inside the U.S. are afforded the protections of U.S. law. In this case, you would then agree that any human being in category 4 could be placed in a U.S. prison without the right to an attorney, to a court hearing, or to prove his innocence. This would include the U.S. kidnapping foreigners and bringing them to U.S. prisons (ie, Guantanamo).

    Denying anyone in the 4 categories due process is an absurd proposition on a number of levels. For one it is contrary to U.S. law and the Constitution (even though there are some gray areas with respect to your illegals — they are tried in civil courts, not criminal ones). Also, it would smack in the face of international comity and reciprocity. U.S. citizens would never travel. I wouldn’t be able to live in Spain or travel to Italy or anywhere else if any false accusation against me could potentially put me in jail without any recourse or protection whatsoever.

    Or even imagine a U.S. citizen who happens to be speaking a foreign language on the street and is not carrying her passport or driver’s license. Should the government be able to throw her in jail without a trial, a lawyer, a phone call, left incommunicado for eternity, or deported? If everyone, absolutely everyone, located on U.S. soil is not afforded basic constitutional rights, then there is no way to prove that someone is or is not a “legally” in the country. Heck, the police could strip you of your ID, say your a foreigner, and throw you into the Atlantic.

    We’d have to fingerprint every US citizen and force them to carry around special ID cards so that they could be stopped at anytime by the police and prove their identity. Sounds like a Mother Russia.

    Just because you don’t like illegal immigrants doesn’t mean that it is wise to deny them or for any other country in the world to deny foreigners their day in court. Of course, the easy solution to your whole problem is to make immigration legal and then you wouldn’t have any illegal immigrants to worry about.

  7. In this case, you would then agree that any human being in category 4 could be placed in a U.S. prison without the right to an attorney, to a court hearing, or to prove his innocence. This would include the U.S. kidnapping foreigners and bringing them to U.S. prisons (ie, Guantanamo).

    No sir, I would not agree. The agents in the scenario in question, being citizens with rights, have also accepted that those rights come with responsibilities, i.e., adhering to the laws that qualify those rights. Kidnapping, is a federal offense, and again, bullet trumps stupid.

    Denying anyone in the 4 categories due process is an absurd proposition on a number of levels. For one it is contrary to U.S. law and the Constitution (even though there are some gray areas with respect to your illegals — they are tried in civil courts, not criminal ones). Also, it would smack in the face of international comity and reciprocity. U.S. citizens would never travel. I wouldn’t be able to live in Spain or travel to Italy or anywhere else if any false accusation against me could potentially put me in jail without any recourse or protection whatsoever.

    Again, “sovereign nation”. Period. The authority of the Constitution covers those who have proven their place within the boundaries of this sovereign nation. The only other case in point, is that Constitutional authority carries outside the borders, only with respect to individual citizen conduct elsewhere, and even then, outside this country, cannot adequately be stated to presume “rights” applied in a foreign land. The world doesn’t live under our jurisdiction, or that of the Constitution.

    Denying anyone in the 4 categories due process is an absurd proposition on a number of levels. For one it is contrary to U.S. law and the Constitution (even though there are some gray areas with respect to your illegals — they are tried in civil courts, not criminal ones). Also, it would smack in the face of international comity and reciprocity. U.S. citizens would never travel. I wouldn’t be able to live in Spain or travel to Italy or anywhere else if any false accusation against me could potentially put me in jail without any recourse or protection whatsoever.

    I’m glad you brought this up. Try your luck in a Mexican or South American prison, if you even make it to one without being killed first. An American in their country has little to no recourse of any kind. Fact. Clinton even found that out the hard way, as did Bush, Sr. But let me guess, you’ll pull the “higher standard”, tacitly metaphysical argument?

    Or even imagine a U.S. citizen who happens to be speaking a foreign language on the street and is not carrying her passport or driver’s license. Should the government be able to throw her in jail without a trial, a lawyer, a phone call, left incommunicado for eternity, or deported? If everyone, absolutely everyone, located on U.S. soil is not afforded basic constitutional rights, then there is no way to prove that someone is or is not a “legally” in the country. Heck, the police could strip you of your ID, say your a foreigner, and throw you into the Atlantic.

    Non sequitur, ludicrous beyond necessity of rebuttal.

    Just because you don’t like illegal immigrants doesn’t mean that it is wise to deny them or for any other country in the world to deny foreigners their day in court. Of course, the easy solution to your whole problem is to make immigration legal and then you wouldn’t have any illegal immigrants to worry about.

    Not talking about the value judgments, stick to the arguments.

    Sovereign nation. Here, if I need financial help, I couldn’t get it. Why? “You’re whitey, you couldn’t possibly need help”. I pay my taxes, and if I want to open a business, will I get a 10 – 25 year tax abatement? No. Why? “You’re whitey, you couldn’t possibly need help”.

    I’ve watched Lexis for years trash anywhere from 100 – 500 people at a fell swing of the sickle. Then turn the jobs over to India. You know what happens? Some VP gets a big fat bonus for “helping the profit margin”. Everything done by the subcontractors in India, working for 1/3 of a U.S. worker, comes back here, and guess what? IT HAS TO BE COMPLETELY REDONE. You can argue that all you like, but I’ve been part of it for 4 years. They suck, they have no standards, they’ll work from 9 – 9, but they get nothing done, and what they do get done, is 95% substandard.

    Seeing as you and your brother are so enamored of statistics, try this one on for size: Americans work harder, longer hours with less vacation time than ANY OTHER CIVILISED NATION/ECONOMY ON THE PLANET. Period. Even the much vaunted and certainly qualified Japanese can’t beat us.

    I realise that it mostly doesn’t hold true any longer, but when the standard was set by America, there was a reason: We had the biggest stones, the most drive, and the highest standards. That’s why no one could compete. Now that we’ve given that all up, to create superpowered aristocrats and oligarchs, and make certain that none of the unique and special butterflies are offended, sure, they can “compete” with our economy in some sense of word.

    As I stated to Rewrite, I’ve seen first hand what illegals are about. No amount of statistics will change phenomenal reality; they don’t care about Americans, America, and their purpose here is self-serving, debasing, and then at the height of it all, they are so arrogant as to shove it all in our face like we have no choice but to accept not only them, but their “superior culture”, and say nothing about it/do nothing. Scoff and baulk all you want, I’ve heard it first person, too many times. Yes, it’s only the “arrogant American” … no one else pulls that card as consistently, do they?

    Ceteras paribus, bullet trumps, and if the rivoluzione’ comes in my lifetime, I’ll be out in the streets on day one.

    Pfft, “rights”. Nothing is more repulsive than the social appeasement crowd and their buddies the loathsome metaphysicists. The only rights you have, are the ones you can defend by violent conquest. All else, is fallacious metaphysical construct to hide an effete nature.

    “America, where breast implants aren’t just for women any longer!”

  8. eric

    What is the difference between “kidnapping” and the police detaining anyone within the U.S. and not affording them any of due process rights? If one is illegal, then certainly the other one is also. Any detention outside of the scope of due process is kidnapping.
    I understand your Sovereignty argument. Yes, the U.S. has the right to do what it likes with its borders and decide who comes in and who leaves the country. Other than that, your Constitutional arguments really hold little to no weight under the “real” constitutional law. Like I said, I get your point, but it is not what the laws says. The burden is always on the state to prove that someone has committed a crime. Ironically, as previously mentioned, the government avoids treating “illegals” as criminals (they use civil “administrative” tribunals), that way they can avoid giving them all of the due process rights that a normal criminal defendant would have.

    Also remember that having due process rights does not mean that someone gets an “out of jail free” pass. The Bill of Rights applies to that person guilty or not. Otherwise, the authorities can do anything they want to that person, and your “kidnapping is illegal” argument doesn’t hold up — the police would have the authority under the law to kidnap.

    You’re right, the law is not metaphysical. Metaphysics deals with the nature of reality — be it purely material, mental, or a combination of both. The law is purely physical and fabricated. That means that it is as good as the “rule of law”. If there is no rule of law, then the law is arbitrary and irrelevant. In those cases, sovereignty means the will of the sovereign. If absolutely no rights whatsoever apply to non-citizens, then the sovereign is always above the law.

    Sovereignty, at the end of the day, means nothing more than a nation’s right to govern within its borders. And within the U.S. and its states, the sovereign Federal and state constitutions give due process rights to people, not citizens.

  9. What is the difference between “kidnapping” and the police detaining anyone within the U.S. and not affording them any of due process rights? If one is illegal, then certainly the other one is also.

    This sounds like a Patriot Act argument, not an illegal alien argument.

    If the former, you know already that we are in agreement that the Patriot Act is flatly and irrefutably unConstitutional.

    If the latter, they are a criminal before ever receiving rights, so no argument holds up in that case; illegal alien and a criminal. In that case, execution serves the exigency of lex parsimonae.

    Which is it?

    I understand your Sovereignty argument. Yes, the U.S. has the right to do what it likes with its borders and decide who comes in and who leaves the country. Other than that, your Constitutional arguments really hold little to no weight under the “real” constitutional law. Like I said, I get your point, but it is not what the laws says. The burden is always on the state to prove that someone has committed a crime. Ironically, as previously mentioned, the government avoids treating “illegals” as criminals (they use civil “administrative” tribunals), that way they can avoid giving them all of the due process rights that a normal criminal defendant would have.

    Try this on for fit: laws are human created, and just like humans, they can be patently erroneous. That something is written into law, does not give it a default position of correctness.

    Let’s try this again:

    Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.

    James Madison

    Illegitimate government means illegitimate laws created under that power/authority. Vested in error.

    Also remember that having due process rights does not mean that someone gets an “out of jail free” pass. We’re saying that the Bill of Rights applies to that person. Otherwise, the authorities can do anything they want to that person, and your “kidnapping is illegal” argument doesn’t hold up — the police would have the authority under the law to kidnap.

    Laws are social morality, your argument doesn’t come clean in the wash.

    I got two words for ya!!!

    Orenthal James ~ if the morons in this country aren’t “comfortable”, if their moral guilt is not appeased, the law means nothing.

    You’re right, the law is not metaphysical. Metaphysics deals with the nature of reality — be it purely material, mental, or a combination of both. The law is purely physical and fabricated. That means that it is as good as the “rule of law”. If there is no rule of law, then the law is arbitrary and irrelevant. In those cases, sovereignty means the will of the sovereign. If absolutely no rights whatsoever apply to non-citizens, then the sovereign is always above the law.

    “Subjective” nature of reality predicated upon fallacies of individual cognitive perception. Physics is reality. Metaphysics prompts the question, (induction), and is therefore an error. It assumes what is not in evidence.

    Metaphysics > social contract > social morality > laws. Not an arguable point, it doesn’t come from my authority. Check with Locke, Hobbes, Paine, Rawls and Rousseau if you disagree. They elucidated and enumerated, and generally disagree with your position.

    Law is arbitrary. It is based on the current eras “social issues”, the prevailing whims of the moral majority. In an era such as we are in now, we have the dirty diaper social swing ~ everyone is cranky that their unique and special butterfly song is not heard by enough individuals and want someone to burp them, change them, and give them a hug and tell them everything is “alright”.

    American society:

    Suing McDonald’s because you are swinging from your own petard, and dump hot coffee in your lap. She won awards for “damages”.

    Convicted felon suing the state because he is forced to eat chunky peanut butter, and was refused when asking for creamy. He lost, but the case was heard nonetheless.

    Men accused of raping a drug addict stripper with known mental problems are given no redress of grievance for having their lives duplicitously destroyed predicated purely on race and social stigmatisation.

    Criminal breaks into an Ohio house around 2:30 a.m. in the morning. Owner of the house greets him with a loaded shotgun, criminal falls down steps, suffering leg injury. Sues home owner and wins award.

    Three men are involved in a murder. The one, a 17 year old at the time, whose only fault in the scenario was ringing the door bell at the house where the murders occurred, is the only one serving time, (25 – life). Of the other two, who committed the actual murders, one was never captured, the other released after 18 months on a technicality.

    Yes, “rule of law”.

    I am not going to favor allowing social morality/rule of law to guide an instance such as this current “Immigration issue”. Sovereignty can only be above the law if the idiocy of “The People” allows the government to make it so. At this point, “The People” obviously do not care, as there is no sovereignty that America can claim, in any fashion.

    Bullet trumps stupid, every time.

  10. eric

    I know you are going to find this argument over done, but it is the very basis of the whole point here.

    Criminals have no rights? How do you know an illegal alien is an illegal alien? There must be a process that affords them rights in order to prove them illegal. It’s pretty basic and pretty simple. Otherwise, there is no way that you could ever prove that you are in fact not an illegal alien if you the police say you are.

    “Try this on for fit: laws are human created, and just like humans, they can be patently erroneous. That something is written into law, does not give it a default position of correctness.”

    Yep, it only makes them sovereign. Laws are human and James Madison is human, so like all humans, why should I hold any thing that he or anyone else that may be quoted as patently erroneous. You can’t have it both ways.

    Laws change and reflect society changes. And? That is why due process (a question of procedural not substantive justice) is important. Due process does not change with time. The substantive laws that say what is and what is not guilty do.

    I am not arguing anything here about immigration laws, should we let everyone in or kick everyone out. I am just saying that the procedural for determining guilt has to be the same for everyone.

  11. I am not arguing anything here about immigration laws, should we let everyone in or kick everyone out. I am just saying that the procedural for determining guilt has to be the same for everyone.

    Criminals have no rights? How do you know an illegal alien is an illegal alien? There must be a process that affords them rights in order to prove them illegal. It’s pretty basic and pretty simple. Otherwise, there is no way that you could ever prove that you are in fact not an illegal alien if you the police say you are.

    This attitude is exactly what has put us in this position today. Again with the ludicrous argument.

    If you are not a citizen, you should not be entitled to any process whatsoever. Determining a citizen is rather simple in this country, as state and/or federal ID’s are required in this country, have been for a long time. That is why I find your argument less than valuable.

    For my own position, yes, once a person is duly convicted of a felony, they should no longer have even the expectation of rights. In a society that has “laws” and “rule of law”, not playing nice with the other kids in the sandbox means, “I don’t care to be covered under the social umbrella”. The choice to become a criminal is also an open choice to lose all rights, if found guilty, (your “due process” claim).

    In the case of illegals, they are not covered under the social umbrella, and therefore, like a convicted felon, are not entitled to any rights from the kids in this sandbox. Due process is one of those rights, and they are not entitled.

    Making everything “equal and fair for everyone” is base metaphysics, and as stated, prompts the question, and is therefore an error.

    We’ll never agree.

    Yep, it only makes them sovereign. Laws are human and James Madison is human, so like all humans, why should I hold any thing that he or anyone else that may be quoted as patently erroneous. You can’t have it both ways.

    Laws in this country are backed by “God”.

    Madison on his worst day was superior to our combined intellects on their best day. If one is going to err, prudence favors those who err on the side of caution: Madison trumps Eric and James, without effort.

    Laws change and reflect society changes. And? That is why due process (a question of procedural not substantive justice) is important. Due process does not change with time. The substantive laws that say what is and what is not guilty do.

    Of humanity we may generally say they are fickle, hypocritical and greedy of gain.

    Niccolo Machiavelli

    Yes, we should allow social pendulums to decide, history has never shown humans to be in poor judgment.

    If “due process” does cover those for whom citizenship isn’t established or factually present, the error is greater than I first claimed. There’s no point in even defining borders. Let the world come and take as they please.

  12. eric

    Yes, we should stop this debate as we definitely aren’t speaking the same language here.

    I still don’t see how someone can be illegal until they are found illegal. You are living in an ideal world where all police officers do the right thing always, juries are infallible, no one ever forgets their IDs at home, and everything human is utterly absurd for being human with the sole exception of selected quotes.

    For the time being, I will go with Madison’s quote about the necessity of a historical context and therefore force myself to disqualify both Madi and Machi as out of context. 😉

  13. I still don’t see how someone can be illegal until they are found illegal. You are living in an ideal world where all police officers do the right thing always, juries are infallible, no one ever forgets their IDs at home, and everything human is utterly absurd for being human with the sole exception of selected quotes.

    Informal fallacy. You are willfully engaging an argumentative position that fails under reasoning. You are also engaging Straw Man, as there was no move by me to posit any “ideal reality”.

    We don’t live in a police state, as of yet. An individual is still afforded the ability to give proof of citizenship.

    I had not anywhere in the context of this discussion addressed absurdity, only the error of metaphysical supposition.

    For the time being, I will go with Madison’s quote about the necessity of a historical context and therefore force myself to disqualify both Madi and Machi as out of context.

    Your choice, I have yet to remove them from their context, both are addressed as historical from my perspective.

  14. eric

    Just playing around Couz!

    Sorry, I had misunderstood your previous statement that

    “In the case of illegals, they are not covered under the social umbrella, and therefore, like a convicted felon, are not entitled to any rights from the kids in this sandbox. Due process is one of those rights, and they are not entitled.”

    to not mean that people had the right to prove their citizenship, even though I would assume that the government bears that burden.

    Anyways, I am off. Have nice weekend!

  15. ReWrite

    The whole argument is silly and circular.

    If laws are created by man and therefore are useless or inherently defective, so too should be the notion borders that are also created man.

    And undocumented immigrants are not criminals (unless they have committed a separate crime). This is not an opinion this is the law (and it is a stupid law). The federal gov’t did that on purpose (for the benefit of isolationsist) to reduce/deny undocumented immigrants rights. However, the punishment has been criminalized and this change (of criminalizing the punishment) came about in 1996 b/c of Timothy McVeigh and the OK City bombing (which of course had nothing to do w/ immigrants).

    And the blame for the state or number of immigrants in this country has little to do w/ bleeding heart liberals, but is a question of economics. US corporations (both big and small) want cheap labor to make profits; trade agreements (such as NAFTA and CAFTA) have put farmers and others out of work in and forced them to come to the US “to put food on their family” (as Bush says).

  16. eric

    The question, Re-Write, is

    How much are Americans willing to pay for their computer, car, hamburger, elecricity, refrigerator without (i) illegal immigrants and (ii) goods being produced abroad.

  17. If laws are created by man and therefore are useless or inherently defective, so too should be the notion borders that are also created man.

    Fallacious. Everything in the Universe defines borders. Most by force/power exchange. Borders have nothing to do with law, it has to do with genetically derived territorialism towards resource protection.

    It just isn’t useful/economically sound in modern times to have a plethora of men standing at the edge of a territory, whose only responsibility is to piss on trees and brush for definition of “mine, not yours”.

    And undocumented immigrants are not criminals (unless they have committed a separate crime). This is not an opinion this is the law (and it is a stupid law). The federal gov’t did that on purpose (for the benefit of isolationsist) to reduce/deny undocumented immigrants rights. However, the punishment has been criminalized and this change (of criminalizing the punishment) came about in 1996 b/c of Timothy McVeigh and the OK City bombing (which of course had nothing to do w/ immigrants).

    Is it a criminal act for me to leave this country without passing through border customs? Yes it is, and I am a citizen, with fully paid taxes, and rights.

    If this is correct, then the inverse must also be correct ~ entering the country without proper authority is punishable as a criminal offense.

    The law is in error of itself. How absurd!!!

    And the blame for the state or number of immigrants in this country has little to do w/ bleeding heart liberals, but is a question of economics. US corporations (both big and small) want cheap labor to make profits; trade agreements (such as NAFTA and CAFTA) have put farmers and others out of work in and forced them to come to the US “to put food on their family” (as Bush says).

    On this there will be no contention. If there can be any “truth” in this argument, that is fundamentally the only valid one.

  18. ReWrite

    common ground is good. If we identify the source of the problem, economics, then we can address that issue and reach a rational solution.

    I am not clear on your borders stance, remember my reading comp is low. Are you saying that there should be borders, they are a good thing?

    Just to be clear on my point. I think it is fun to argue that borders are silly, wasteful, inherently xenophobic, divisive, create conflict, etc. etc. And i find it interesting to think of world w/out borders. And frankly the world, today, is increasing borderless as corporations (who are the ones that run this shit) are bordless entities.

  19. ReWrite

    and Eric, i am assuming your question is rhetorical. And if you listen to what the presidential candidates are saying they are avoiding addressing this issue and they just address the symptons. The democrats talk about protectionist bullshit (like outsourcing) & the republicans talk about isolationist policies (such as bigger walls on the mexican border). Neither of those are even attempts at solutions.

  20. I am not clear on your borders stance, remember my reading comp is low. Are you saying that there should be borders, they are a good thing?

    ::sigh:: Where is my Uncle when his mind is required for the discourse? Does no one in my family read about genetics?

    I am saying territorialism is inevitable, and unstoppable. You have individual borders, (the extent of what you perceive to be the boundaries of your person, physically and psychologically), you have not only that, but also boundaries regarding where your body resides for sustenance, sleep and privacy, your domicile, abode, living space. You have boundaries in the larger sense of municipality, city, state, etc. More than once you have issued boundary statements regarding both the city and the state you live in, New York.

    In another context, recognition of social boundaries are everywhere. In recognition of error, both you and I are very bad with over enumeration of social boundaries as we define concentric circles of sociality.

    Everything defines borders, voluntarily or involuntarily.

    On whether they are good or bad … ??? That’s either personal value assessment or cost benefit analysis … I don’t know would be the short answer.

    Corporations are a bastardisation of life itself, an illegitimate form of unbound non-entity entitled to individual and group rights simultaneously, and drawing from either pool indiscriminately to protect itself. (Short answer, I’m with you, corporations suck dirty sweat socks.)

  21. ReWrite

    I agree that there are all sorts of borders in life. i am not so sure that borders, defined as a dividing line between countries, peoples or even one’s dwelling place, are inevitable or innate (or in our genetic make-up). I have not researched this thoroughly, but there are lots of nomad people that are still nomading around today. Just as Stephen Colbert says that he “doesn’t see color (race)”, i think these guys (or at least some of them) would say that they don’t see borders or have a need to call a place home.

    I think borders (and its evil sibling- pvt property) are feature of modernity or maybe even post-modernity.

  22. You have a female companion, do you not?

  23. ReWrite

    I don’t follow you?

  24. Answer the question, it’s simple, yes or no. Do you have a female companion, a consistent “other” of the opposite sex within the definitional confines of a relationship?

    (Yes, you are being setup ::giggity::)

  25. ReWrite

    I’ll go w/ yes.

  26. Let’s play the scenario game, shall we?

    You and your female companion are out having a spot of bits at the pub or eatery.

    You notice another male making eye contact with your female. You leave momentarily to relieve yourself, and upon returning find him at your table, in a noticeably aggressive position, conversing with said female. As you sit down, he leaves the table without engaging you.

    When you leave, he becomes a bit more aggressive and approaches her with you standing there, but ignores you altogether. He’s attempting to persuade her to come with him, and you hear his statement.

    What is your response? (Think both emotively and linguistically for your answer)

  27. ReWrite

    Oh, Eric is going to love this question.

    anyway, I would hope to be secure enough in myself to allow my lady-friend to do as she pleases.

    I have no right or domain over anyone. I certainly may be hurt by lose of someone in my life, whether it is the end of the relationship (which is often more of an ego-thing than anything else) or via death. either way the pain is real, but i have no control over anyone… although i am sure many of us wish we did and many of us do try to assert control over others.

    anyway. You have baited and hooked me…

  28. You have baited and hooked me.

    Not really, more at trying to make use of an example that has enough realism to be easily understood.

    I have no right or domain over anyone.

    That’s a standard modern era rationalisation, but as males, the genetics demand dominion.

    I certainly may be hurt by lose of someone in my life, whether it is the end of the relationship (which is often more of an ego-thing than anything else) or via death.

    Yes, pain. But as a “civilised” human male, you are attempting to intellectualise the pain in rejection of your naturally primal territorialism, (i.e. the female is your procreative resource, and the emotive response is representative of the boundary created by such.)

    Either way the pain is real, but i have no control over anyone… although i am sure many of us wish we did and many of us do try to assert control over others.

    I would never assert that pain isn’t real, it’s no different from any other perception of phenomenal reality created by biochemical response.

    What we “wish” to control or not control is less relevant than the activities of natural response to feeling our territory threatened, (spouse, children, family).

    Being less “socially adjusted” than you, I’ve monitored my reactions on a number occasions and after checking the facts, realised the outcome was standard reaction ~ dominating personality means more strictly recognised/defended territorial boundaries.

    Where the spouse is concerned, looks aren’t so much of an issue, unless they are prolonged, but any even mildly overt display of interest by another male, the blood pressure changes, the adrenaline and testosterone dump into the blood … quite exhilarating actually.

    Plus, in my instance, having procreated with this female, I get unfairly assaulted by oxytocin, along with the rest of the peptide flow, so the intensity of the parameters are changed.

    Short of it, borders are innate and natural, and unavoidable in the greatest majority of instances. In order to destroy territorialism, the effeminacy of the male already prevalent in this society would have to deepen further.

    Of course, if history has any value, effeminisation of males was a major precursor to the fall of many empires. Careful what you wish for, if the colloquialism holds any value.

  29. ReWrite

    Before i respond to your post- i just finished watching Bill Moyers Journal and i think you (and everyone)would really enjoy the first 20 minutes (if not the whole show) which consists of an interview with John Bogle.
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html
    You can watch the show online (although today’s episode is not yet up there, but it may be available on iTunes podcast). It is worth the 20 minutes, he incorporates history into his analysis of the state of US, in much the same way as you do. And as i have tried to say before, Moyer’s guests are much more objective (this is guy is far from being a lefty) than you would imagine.

    As far as your post… I don’t disagree that human want to control shit, whether it is humans, pvt property or imaginary borders. Whether that is innate to all humans i am not so sure. Again, nomads aren’t as obsessed w/ control over shit (must be the word of the day) as Western/post-modern cultures (who are overly obsessed w/ pvt property). Whether humans innately desire to control another human kind of begs the question of whether humans are innately monogamous. And monogamy is quite rare in animal kingdom.

    Not to change the topic, but sometimes i think people only procreate out of ego/vanity… out of a desire to carry their good name (or family-name) on in the world. If this is not the case, people desiring to have children should be required (or strongly encouraged) to adopt their first child. Give me another 5-10 years and i am sure you will be calling me a hypocrite.

  30. As far as your post… I don’t disagree that human want to control shit, whether it is humans, pvt property or imaginary borders. Whether that is innate to all humans i am not so sure. Again, nomads aren’t as obsessed w/ control over shit (must be the word of the day) as Western/post-modern cultures (who are overly obsessed w/ pvt property). Whether humans innately desire to control another human kind of begs the question of whether humans are innately monogamous. And monogamy is quite rare in animal kingdom.

    You are looking at it from a social perspective, mine is genetic, which precedes sociality.

    Monogamy is more advantageous for some species, less for others. I’m not certain on counts as far as the greater myriad is concerned, and you are speaking of higher order, mammals, or all the “animal kingdom” ambiguously. If all, they have some other mating rituals that I am certain you would be far less enamored of than monogamy.

    Not to change the topic, but sometimes i think people only procreate out of ego/vanity… out of a desire to carry their good name (or family-name) on in the world. If this is not the case, people desiring to have children should be required (or strongly encouraged) to adopt their first child. Give me another 5-10 years and i am sure you will be calling me a hypocrite.

    Ego is too far along the chain to posit as direct impetus for procreation, requires too many subjectives, or “what ifs”.

    For the hominid sex is two fold, pleasure and domination. The reason is entirely genetic, and not limited to our species, cetaceans, at least anecdotally, have been observed having sex “out of mating season” showing a likelihood, they just enjoy the hump. In order to ensure higher selectivity and by proxy greater survival advantage, sex had to become pleasurable. Long discussion on the disadvantages of sexual reproduction.

    I prefer eugenics and licensing to forced adoption. Although either will meet with high resistance.

    I see no reason to call you a hypocrite. I’m certain you are like any “normal” adult, and being sexually active, the probabilities are fairly high that at some point reproduction will occur. Do yourself a favor, cut yourself some slack. Politics and bed play are poor mates, and having a child should be anything other political.

    Either it is a matter of mathematical happenstance, desire, or if you feel very strongly, have yourself or the female sterilised to prevent any “oops, must have slipped a squiggle!”

    I think maybe the cousin needs an extended vacation away from political drama. First hand information, raging against the world is not only futile, but exhaustive, and very poor energy management. You have better things to do with yourself. Embrace absurdity.

  31. ReWrite

    Okay before we take this further, we should wait for Eric to wake up and read post #26.

    I think Eric has given a lot of thought to those types of issues. Whereas, i only think about them after i have lost the girl and that isn’t usually subjective thinking.

    I predict it will lead to some discussion about what is “love” (I know sounds painful). And if you really love someone ____… or no one is worth freaking out about.

    I think the trickier scenario would have been if someone hurt your children (or in my case- my dog).

    anyway time for bed.

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