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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Monday, June 13, 2005
Law Enforcement Organizations Actually Enforcing Immigration Laws
by Cordeiro
I know, its stunning really. Law Enforcement Officers, you know, the guys legally authorized to carry large caliber weapons and charged with enforcing the laws of the land, are enforcing immigration laws.

The Washington Post is shocked - mainly because the enforcement of immigration laws is being used as a tool to combat terrorism.

While Washington Post writer Mary Beth Sheridan would like you to believe that agents from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch, together with agents of the FBI are running around the country rounding up innocent people of Arab and Muslim descent and/or persuasion, if you read her article closely, you'll find something truly astounding.

These people have broken and otherwise infringed several immigration laws.

Of course Ms. Sheridan reports these violations as "minor violations" such as

* Lying on immigration documents
* Lying on naturalization applications
* Overstaying visas (specifically student visas - the same kind the Sept. 11th hijackers used)
* Violating restrictions of Visa provisions

Ms Sheridan is even more adamant in pointing out that the people accused, and found guilty of, violations of immigration laws were - steel yourself for this next horrifying revelation - deported.

This is a country of laws. The words in the fine print on the bottom of visa applications and other documents (the words that explain penalties for providing false or misleading information) actually mean what they say. The enforcement of these laws should not come as a shock to anyone - especially those found guilty of lying on said documents.

Some misguided individuals believe its wrong to use a set of laws aimed at one type of crime to fight another type of crime - namely terrorism.

To illustrate the folly of this point of view, I give you two examples, one historical and the other fictional.

The historical example comes from the government's efforts to take Al Capone off the streets of Chicago and thus rid said streets of a murderous crime boss. Capone's involvement in illegal activities ranged from murder for hire to any number of crimes both small and large. Every body knew he was guilty. Never the less, his involvement in organized crime was difficult to prove as it required associates of Capone to testify. So, how did the government take Capone from the streets and send him to Alcatraz?

They nailed him on income tax evasion.

Was the tax code written to enforce anti-organized crime laws? No. Never the less it was very effective in doing just that.

And finally, a fictional example.

Sylvester Stallone starred in the 1986 movie Cobra. In it he plays a gritty cop intent on curing the disease of crime with his own style of justice. In one scene, after dispatching seven or eight knuckle heads in a supermarket, a reporter asked Cobra the following question:

Reporter: Did you use unnecessary deadly force?
Cobra: I used everything I had.
Ms. Sheridan would do well to remember that Law Enforcement Officers are sworn to protect, serve, and most of all Enforce The Law.

I have previously stated on this blog the following:
Terrorists should not feel safe or secure in this country. They should fear that everyone they deal with is out to get them. They should be paranoid that every single phone call, email, or instant message they send is being read, and that every knock at their door is a Federal Agent prepared to send them to Allah.
Personally, I don't care if said Federal Agent is breaking down the door to enforce immigration laws or anti-terrorist legislation. The end result is the same.

Here endeth the lesson.
1 Comment(s):
I think that there is even a better example of using one law to target criminals that are committing other crimes: traffic stops. I have spoken with several local law enforcement officers back in Tennessee over my short life. Once I asked one of them “why bother writing traffic tickets…aren’t there any “real criminals” you should be looking for”. His answer was surprising. He said that the “traffic stop” was the best way to catch “real criminals”. He told me a couple of stories about how a routine traffic stops turned into big drug busts.

One last thought… A criminal is a criminal. I just got a ticket for having expired tags. I am not mad. I knew I was violating the law, and I will pay the fine. I hope that the officer writing my ticket checked to make sure the car was not stolen. Criminals should never be able to complain about law enforcement officers enforcing the law.
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