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The Case Against Deporting Immigrants Convicted of Crimes

Immigrants who commit crimes should be punished. But no more than others who commit the same offense.

Donald Trump recently described at least some immigrants as "animals" who must be deported. There has been much controversy over whether Trump meant to condemn undocumented immigrants generally, or just those who are members of the MS-13 gang. But few if any commentators question the basic idea that it is entirely justifiable to deport immigrants who are gang members, or commit other crimes. That view is common ground to almost everyone in mainstream politics, not just Trumpist immigration hawks. But, however popular it may be, that conclusion is wrong. Immigrants who commit offenses worthy of retribution should be punished. But they should not be subjected to any more punishment than native-born Americans who commit the same crimes. That means they should not be deported, unless deportation is also imposed on natives.

I. How Deportation is Like Racial Discrimination.

What can possibly justify such a radical and unpopular conclusion? The answer, I think, is that it is wrong to punish people for morally arbitrary characteristics that are beyond their control. They include such things as race, gender, ethnicity, and - in this case - where you happen to be born, and to which parents. Consider the following hypothetical debate, set in the Jim Crow-era South:

Integrationist: We must abolish Jim Crow segregation. It is wrong to restrict people's freedom based on their ancestry or skin color. No one can control those characteristics, and they tell us nothing about a person's moral worth.

Segregationist: We must maintain segregation in order to protect whites from black criminals. Don't get me wrong; some blacks are truly wonderful. But a lot of them are thieves, murderers, or rapists. All too many of them are just not the best people. Unless we maintain segregation, there will be an epidemic of black crime against whites. [Ed. note: segregationists did in fact make arguments like this as one of their defenses of Jim Crow]

Moderate: I agree that black crime could be a problem under integration. But surely we don't have to segregate all blacks to deal with it. Let's allow blacks to integrate. But if any of them commit a crime, then we reimpose Jim Crow restrictions on those people, after they pay their fines or complete their prison sentences. We don't need to segregate blacks who have done nothing wrong. But black criminals have proven they aren't fit to integrate with white society. And the threat of reimposing Jim Crow can help deter blacks from committing crimes in the first place.

The "Moderate's" position is a great improvement over conventional segregationism. Under his approach, the only blacks saddled with Jim Crow are those who have been convicted of a crime. The vast majority of blacks are now free to integrate (though woe betide them if they are wrongly convicted or inadvertently commit some small offense).

Nonetheless, most modern Americans would surely reject Moderate's proposal. Why? Because it imposes a severe additional punishment on black criminals solely because of their race. For the sin of having chosen parents of the wrong color, they are punished far more severely than whites who have been convicted of the same crimes. Even if a person has committed an offense that merits retribution, it is wrong to inflict additional punishment on them simply because they have the wrong parents.

Yet giving people extra punishment for choosing the wrong parents is exactly what we do when we deport immigrant offenders, but not natives who have been convicted of the same crimes. In the overwhelming majority of cases, what distinguishes an immigrant from a citizen is some combination of who their parents were and where they were born. If you were not born on US soil or to US citizen parents or have a close relative in the US, the odds against you being able to become a US citizen are overwhelming. You will likely have to wait decades or even centuries before getting admitted as a legal immigrant. Who your parents are and where you were born are morally arbitrary characteristics in much the same way as race and ethnicity are: We have no control over them, and they say nothing about our inherent moral worth.

Deportation of immigrants convicted of crimes might not be a major moral problem if it was limited to those who commit very serious offenses, such as rape or murder. But undocumented immigrants are often prioritized for deportation even for very minor offenses, such as traffic violations. Even legal immigrants with green cards can be deported for some very minor crimes, including possession of small amounts of almost any illegal drug (save for marijuana).

In many situations, offenses that earn a native a small fine, a suspended sentence, or just a minor slap on the wrist, will get an immigrant (even a legal one) deported to a lifetime of poverty and oppression. As libertarian sociologist Fabio Rojas (one of the few open advocates of ending deportation of immigrants convicted of crimes) puts it: "[d]eportation is an extremely harsh punishment that is not appropriate for most crimes. If you steal a car, you may deserve a few months in prison. You don't deserve to be sent to a country where you don't know people, where you have to start over from scratch, and, in some cases, where you might be killed." I think a car thief may deserve more than a few months in prison. But that still is not the equivalent of deportation.

For many people, the difference between immigrant criminals and native ones is the the government has the right to exclude immigrants for pretty much any reason it wants, much like private property owners and members of clubs can exclude outsiders even if they don't have a good reason for doing so. I criticized the house and club analogies in some detail here. If either of these theories correct, it readily justifies deporting immigrants convicted of crimes - but also pretty much any other immigrants the government wants to bar for any reason, or even no reason at all. In addition, the house and club analogies, also have deeply illiberal implications for native-born citizens, too. In this post, I set these issues aside, in order to focus on the idea that criminal immigrants deserve to be deported even if other immigrants (or most others) do not.

Another standard justification for deporting immigrants convicted of crimes is to prevent them from committing future crimes on American soil. Many criminals are are likely to become recidivists after completing their sentences. If we deport them, any future crimes they commit will occur somewhere else. But this very same reasoning can justify deporting native-born criminals no less than immigrant ones. Many of them are also likely to reoffend. And if we deport them, they might do it somewhere else rather than in the US. Getting rid of potential recidivists cannot justify deporting immigrant offenders, but not native ones who have committed the same sorts of crimes and have a comparable risk of recidivism. And it cannot justify deporting either in cases where we have other, more humane options, for reducing recidivism. Similar logic applies to claims that deportation is preferable because it is cheaper than imprisonment (if it is done instead of a prison sentence, rather than in addition to it). We can potentially save money by deporting native-born criminals too.

It is not my view that discriminatory deportation of criminal immigrants is indefensible under any conceivable circumstances. As with other important rights, such as freedom of speech or property rights, in my view the right to be free of unjust discrimination is a strong presumption, but not absolute. That is also my view of immigration and freedom of movement generally. If violating an important right is the only way to prevent some much greater evil, then the violation may well be justified in that extreme situation. But before we accept such a policy, there must be strong evidence that the great evil really is going to happen, and that committing a serious injustice really is the only way to prevent it.

II. Why it Doesn't Matter that Deportation Technically is not a Form of Criminal Punishment.

Some might object to my whole line of argument by pointing out that deportation is not a form of punishment. Under present law, that is technically true. However, if a person if deported because they have committed some crime, that is still a massive additional sanction imposed on them by the government, whether it technically qualifies as criminal punishment or not. The technical legal distinction does not translate into a meaningful moral difference. If it did, we could use the same logic to justify "Moderate's" proposal of reimposing Jim Crow on African-Americans who commit crimes. Just define resegregation as a civil remedy rather than a punishment, and you are all set!

The similarity between deportation for crimes and conventional criminal punishment has been recognized by no less an authority than the United States Supreme Court, in the recent case of Sessions v. Dimaya. In her plurality opinion, Justice Elena Kagan notes that "deportation is a particularly severe penalty, which may be of greater concern to a convicted alien than any potential jail sentence" (citations omitted). In a concurring opinion, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch (a Trump appointee) took issue with some of Kagan's analysis, but still noted that deportation is comparable to other "severe" penalties, such as "compensatory fines, forfeiture provisions that allow homes to be taken, remedies that strip persons of their professional licenses and livelihoods, and the power to commit persons against their will indefinitely."

III. What About Equal-Opportunity Deportation?

Much of my critique of deportation is obviated if we adopt an "equal opportunity" deportation policy under which the penalty is imposed on certain classes of criminals regardless of whether they are immigrants or not. Perhaps some people have committed acts so terrible that we are justified in excluding them from the US forever. Something like this idea arguably underpinned the late 18th and early 19th century British policy of "transportation," under which some types of criminals were permanently exiled to Australia.

Today, the US and other liberal democracies reject the use of deportation as a form of punishment for crime. It is considered too cruel for even the worst criminals (so long as those criminals are not immigrants, that is). I am not entirely sure this is correct. If a crime is horrible enough that it is permissible to sentence the perpetrator to death, life imprisonment without parole, or an extremely long prison sentence (also without parole), I am not sure that deportation can never be justified in such cases. It is far from clear that is necessarily worse than a multi-decade prison sentence, much less death. In that respect, Neil Gorsuch may be right when he argues that deportation is not a uniquely severe sanction, but one comparable to at least some other severe penalties. The use of deportation as punishment might also be more defensible if the exile imposed is "only" temporary rather than permanent. A year of exile may not be obviously worse than a year in prison.

Here, I will not try to resolve the issue of whether deportation can ever be a just form of punishment. But if it ever is, it must indeed be equal opportunity. The punishment should fit the crime - not the criminal's choice of parents.

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  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "But they should not be subjected to any more punishment than native-born Americans who commit the same crimes."

    OK. Everybody who commits a crime gets sent to their country of origin.

    The problem with many of the current pro-immigration arguments is that you have to reject the idea that a country has the right to control who comes over its borders. There may good arguments that a country has no such right, but the case has hardly been made.

  • RobinGoodfellow||

    Excellent idea! I love the consistency.

  • Michael Hihn||

    you have to reject the idea that a country has the right to control who comes over its borders

    Nope. It's about equal rights, as he wrote.

    There may good arguments that a country has no such right, but the case has hardly been made.

    The argument is not made, because that's not even the issue here.

    Where does our government get the power to discriminate, to ignore equal rights? Individual liberty can be so inconvenient. But there are principles.

  • Careless||

    Nope. It's about equal rights, as he wrote.

    He more than adequately disposed of that possible objection in the previous sentence

  • Michael Hihn||

    Not on this planet

  • GKHoffman||

    Not sure which planet you're on. Try Earth.

  • Michael Hihn||

    "This" planet would be where the website is, by the definition of ... this.

    Anything else?

  • Bruce Hall||

    Say, Michael, I was relieved to read your comment because I was passing your house and decided to avail myself of your food and amenities which I know you won't mind because, after all, you have no problem with people inviting themselves by the millions into our country, so you shouldn't have a problem with just little old me inviting myself into your home.

    But anyway, I do have a bit of a temper and if I happen to lose it while you are home and harm you, I will understand why I have to go to prison, but will then look forward to returning to your home for more of that good food and, hopefully, an even better television set. Surely, you wouldn't want me to go back to my own home which is not nearly as nice as yours.

  • OneLoneLibertarian||

    If you think that bullshit is relevant ....

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    I am surprised the number of people who seem to actually believe that claiming their target "reject[s] the idea that a country has the right to control who comes over its borders" is an effective repost to any argument regarding discrimination against (classes of) immigrants (or would-be immigrants). I expect such drivel from many commenters here, but I expected better from the Pianist. I often disagree with him, but he is smarter than to believe that the "a nation has a right to control its borders" is a position anyone disputes or a position that addresses any pro-immigration argument (other than the much-maligned, but never held, view that completely open borders are required by libertarian theory or leftist moral sentiments).

    What is it about "other" people coming to America that makes otherwise intelligent people so stupid? Are there no good arguments against the various pro-immigration positions, so people like Pianist have no real option other than to repeatedly karate chop a straw man.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Having a right does not even imply acting on it.

  • BillyG||

    What is it about "other" people coming to America that makes otherwise intelligent people so stupid?

    I could ask you the same. Were does this idea come from that people have a right to enter a foreign country? What country on this planet allows foreigners to enter it carte blanche? I can name none. Entering a foreign country is a privilege, not a right. Not just for the US, any country.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    BillyG,

    But, see, there you go again. I did not say and Illya did not say and I am unaware of anyone in this thread saying foreigners "have a right to enter a foreign country" or that foreigners should be permitted "carte blanche" to enter the U.S. You prove my point about people raising strawman arguments by raising that very strawman argument.

    That immigrants, illegal or otherwise, should be treated as humans and with dignity and respect is not equivalent to arguing for open borders. Again, thanks for proving my point about the irrationality of the anti-immigrant crowd.

  • TommyD2000||

    You are raising a straw man as well. Forbearance in prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants is predicated on their remaining in good legal standing. You are want immigrants "illegal or otherwise" to be treated with dignity and yet we must not conflate that with open borders. But the whole point of the article is not to deport criminals...even if that crime is entering the country illegally. Your argument is circular, yet you malign others intentions.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Tommy,

    If you are unable to see the difference between treating immigrants with dignity and providing open borders, there really isn't much point in discussing anything with you.

    You haven't shown at all that my argument (which is not that undocumented immigrants cannot be deported) is circular. My argument is that Illya did not, in the article, advocate open borders or the illegitimacy of immigration law generally. There is nothing circular about that argument. (I don't agree with Illya's substantive position, but it isn't what so many are claiming.)

  • GabrielSyme||

    So if someone entered the country illegally on what grounds *would* you deport them? Because if merely being on US soil is enough to make you deportation-proof, then that is effectively open borders, notwithstanding any regulations you might still have of (easily circumvented) legal entry into the county.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Gabriel,

    I didn't say I wouldn't deport (certain classes of) criminals. I didn't say being on US soil is enough to make you deportation-proof. Try responding to something I said and maybe I will have an answer for you.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    I'm not sure how you make sense of Prof. Somin's argument while acknowledging that citizens and non-citizens don't have the same right to remain in the country. For example, Prof. Somin's Integrationist argues, "It is wrong to restrict people's freedom based on their ancestry or skin color."

    For the analogy to work, you have to accept that it is wrong to restrict people's freedom to remain in the country based on their citizenship. And most people don't accept this.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Pianist,

    Illya has a logical point that immigrants are being given extra punishment for identical crimes based on their country of origin (a classification that generally runs afoul of anti-discrimination principles). You could construe it, unfairly I think, as arguing that citizenship is irrelevant to decisions to allow people to remain in the country. The more sensible alternative is that the right to stay in the country and the punishment for a crime are two different things.

    I think it is a fair argument that at least some crimes should be relevant to the grant of the right to stay in the country. But misconstruing Illya's argument as "there is no right to exclude non-citizens" (paraphrase, not direct quote) misses, intentionally it would seem, Illya's point.

    And it repeats, again, the strawman argument that opponents of particular, discriminatory immigration policies are necessarily in favor of full citizenship rights for the entire world population. The argument is specious.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Illya has a logical point that immigrants are being given extra punishment for identical crimes based on their country of origin (a classification that generally runs afoul of anti-discrimination principles)."

    Sure, we recognize that people have a right to be treated equally without regard to their country of origin. But sometimes the limits we impose on non-citizens who enter the country result in people being treated differently based on non-US origin. Treating such limits as simple national origin discrimination ignores the ability of the US to control who can come over its borders.

    "You could construe it, unfairly I think, as arguing that citizenship is irrelevant to decisions to allow people to remain in the country."

    Unfairly? That's the meat of his argument: "[immigrants] should not be deported, unless deportation is also imposed on natives."

    "The more sensible alternative is that the right to stay in the country and the punishment for a crime are two different things."

    I'm not sure what this means. They are different things, but they are linked. The right to stay in the country and the passage of time are two different things. The right to stay in the country and enrollment in school are two different things. But if you have a 90-day tourist visa, or a student visa, then the passage of time or school enrollment affect your right to stay in the country.

    Similarly, if you are convicted of crimes, that affects your right to stay in the country as well.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    "Treating such limits as simple national origin discrimination ignores the ability of the US to control who can come over its borders."

    You are, again, misconstruing Illya's point (a point I don't find convincing for other reasons). Most simply, the people at issue are already "over its borders."

    "That's the meat of his argument...."

    No. Again, he is arguing that criminal law should be sealed off from immigration law. That point I don't find convincing, but it is a different point than "citizenship is irrelevant to decision to allow people to remain in the country."

    "They are different things, but they are linked."

    That is the point in dispute (that Illya disputes). He finds the link to be discriminatory in a pernicious sense. So you see the point, but you choose instead to engage in the idea that Illya is arguing that the U.S. shouldn't (or shouldn't be allowed to) "control who comes over its borders." The latter is an entirely silly position that Illya does not hold. It is a strawman the likes of which I expect from Brett or Lee Moore or those, unlike Lee and Brett, who are entirely unhinged from logic and reason. I don't expect you to beat that strawman so mercilessly.

    I wouldn't object if you argue that hermetically sealing criminal law from immigration law is also silly, but not as silly as any "control over who comes over [US] borders" is necessarily illegitimate, discriminatory, etc. And, yet, that's the strawman you choose to attack.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "So you see the point, but you choose instead to engage in the idea that Illya is arguing that the U.S. shouldn't (or shouldn't be allowed to) "control who comes over its borders."

    No, I'm not saying that Illya's is arguing that the US shouldn't control its borders, I'm saying that accepting the argument requires rejecting the idea that citizens and non-citizens have different rights to remain in the country.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Pianist,

    On the merits, I think Illya has a point that deportation is, effectively, a very serious punishment. Granting that, I think immigrants should only be deported if the crime warrants such punishment, rather than deporting anyone without an absolute right to remain in the country (i.e. citizens) who commits any violation of federal/state law. The latter, of course, is a position held by very few. However, my point (but not Illya's) is that there is a lot of gray area between "deport jaywalkers who aren't citizens" and Illya's "you can't deport serial killers unless you treat citizens and non-citizens alike".

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "On the merits, I think Illya has a point that deportation is, effectively, a very serious punishment."

    Well, it sucks, but that doesn't make it punishment. We don't just deport people for crimes, anybody who has violated or overstayed their visa might be deported. And to the extent that we don't deport certain people as a matter of discretion, well, discretion means that people don't get treated equally.

    " However, my point (but not Illya's) is that there is a lot of gray area between "deport jaywalkers who aren't citizens" and Illya's "you can't deport serial killers unless you treat citizens and non-citizens alike"."

    Sure, and I haven't said that we should deport all jaywalkers who aren't citizens, or even that we should deport serial killers who are citizens. I generally favor permissive immigration. The only thing I've argued is that Illya's point, that "you can't deport serial killers unless you treat citizens and non-citizens alike" doesn't hold up unless you believe that the US has to treat citizens and non-citizens alike wrt deportation.

  • FlameCCT||

    Simple question for both you and Ilya; why do you support criminal foreign nationals especially gang members over US citizens & law abiding foreign nationals? Especially when they have no legal right to remain in the country per US law? If a foreign national cannot abide by US law(s), especially when they commit felonies then they should not remain in the USA. A US citizen cannot be sent home as they are already in their country of origin; foreign nationals however can be deported to their country of origin.

  • RobinGoodfellow||

    Bullshit. An immigrant who is not yet a citizen is here on a provisional basis. If you demonstrate an inability to abide by our laws you should be sent packing—after you have served your prison time.

    Perhaps we could make an allowance for misdemeanors, but serious crimes should be a disqualifier.

  • Lee Moore||

    1. Prof Somin glosses over the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants have no legal right to be here anyway. There's no punishment there, any more than removing people from a park that closes at sunset. You're not allowed to be here. Off you go.
    2. Legal immigrants are different from illegal ones. But they're also different from citizens born in the USA. Legal immigrants are here because of a deal they made. One of the terms of the deal is that the deal is voidable if you break the law. Native born Americans have made no such deal.
    3. "…have to wait decade or even centuries before getting admitted as a legal immigrant"
    OK now's your chance to identify someone who's been waiting a century to be admitted as a legal immigrant.
    4. The extra super stupid thing about the fake controversy about calling people animals is that it is obvious that the usage is metaphorical and means that the people identified are as savage as (savage) animals, or as amoral as animals. But if you get all prim and prissy and insist that the usage isn't intended to be metaphorical and that it's wicked because it's meant literally - then..go check your biology book.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    A solution -- the likely result, over time -- would be to diminish restrictions on immigration.

    The bigots will fight, but they lose these fights (emancipation, the female franchise, desegregation, gay-bashing, anti-miscegenation, race-targeting voter suppression) to their betters in America.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    This depends on which fights we lose. If we end up winning the fight for free markets, private property rights, limited government, etc. There would be no good reasons to keep immigrants out. If they want to come here, work, build businesses, etc, that's great.

    But suppose your side wins some major fights, such that we have a large guaranteed minimum income, a guaranteed government job, large-scale government intervention in the labor market to raise wages by constricting the labor supply, large-scale government intervention to guarantee affordable housing, etc. Then reduced restrictions on immigration will be a lot tougher to justify.

  • Michael Hihn||

    But suppose your side wins some major fights, such that we have a large guaranteed minimum income, a guaranteed government job, large-scale government intervention in the labor market to raise wages by constricting the labor supply, large-scale government intervention to guarantee affordable housing, etc.

    So ... you know absolutely nothing about libertarians.
    And apparently believe there are only two sides -- which has been false for over 40 years.

    Left - Right = Zero

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    I know loads about libertarians. And everything I know about libertarians, I learned from reading Kirkland's comments.

  • OneLoneLibertarian||

    Then how did you make the massive blunder of assuming he's a progressive?

  • TW||

    Or TwelveInchPianist has just been posting at the Volokh Conspiracy long enough enough to know that the poster they were responding to isn't a libertarian.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    And that there are indeed two sides: the goobers and the enlightened. And I'm a big ole' goober.

  • OneLoneLibertarian||

    Is that how you cover up your ignorance of libertarians (and TW's apparently)
    We've been fiscally conservative and socially liberal since 1969. That's neither right nor left, so misrepresenting your argument does not erase your ignorance, and instead adds dishonesty to your profile.

    Goober sounds too mild.

  • bernard11||

    The extra super stupid thing about the fake controversy about calling people animals is that it is obvious that the usage is metaphorical and means that the people identified are as savage as (savage) animals, or as amoral as animals.

    I don't think that's right. Neither Ilya nor anyone else I know about is claiming Trump thinks the illegal immigrants are actually non-human. Untermenschen, maybe, but not actually animals. Still, the metaphor is dehumanizing.

    I think the criticism of Trump is based on the every reasonable belief that he was referring to all illegal immigrants as "animals." The MS-13 claim is grasping at a straw.

    If you think Trump listens carefully to others and speaks with great precision then you may disagree.

  • floridalegal||

    Read the actual statement from Trump, not the truncated edit. The context was about gangs and the crimes of gangs like MS 13. It is either deliberate editing or a difficulty with basic reading comprehension to assert that the quote about animals was referring to all immigrants. I am not a Trump psychophant. He is inartful and not politically conventional. He was the lesser of two evils that were given to us at the ballot box. That being said, it is deliberate ignorance to take what was actually said and construe it to what some people want to believe he said and the deplorable's think.

  • bernard11||

    I disagree.

    The context was not about gangs and MS-13, even though that was mentioned in passing.

    You can find the entire exchange here.

    it is deliberate ignorance to take what was actually said and construe it to what some people want to believe he said and the deplorable's think.

    No. It is a legitimate and highly defensible interpretation of what he said.

    He was the lesser of two evils

    Why? Because emails?? Come off it.

  • Eidde||

    Emails? That's like the captain of the Titanic saying "that ice block is really tiny, look at the cute little thing bobbing up and down on the water."

  • Michael Hihn||

    Emails?

    Um, that was ridicule. Obviously.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Sorry, you're just wrong, and in a way that requires staggering unpremeditated ignorance, or some combination of bad faith and derangement. He was talking about MS 13. Period.

  • Joe_JP||

    People have explained why it was reasonable to think that way and merely asserting otherwise is not really going to convince anyone. Even those who agree with you but are reasonable about it should want more. Even if he did only mean them, in context and given his general sentiments, it is far from "bad faith and derangement."

  • Joe_JP||

    See, e.g., the Washington Post article "Trump's long history of referring to nonwhite groups he sees as dangerous as 'animals'," including its citation of a member of the Cato Institute spelling out why people are reasonably saying such things.

  • Michael Hihn||

    He was talking about MS 13. Period.

    His link PROVES you wrong.

  • Lee Moore||

    Yeah, it's a rorschach test, much like the "all Mexicans are rapists" kerfuffle during the election.

    Trump, in the offending passage, mentions people coming into the country, and then goes on to say they're animals. Must be talking about all immigrants. Proof he's a Neevil Raaacist !

    Trump, at the end of a discussion with local sheriffs about bad guys in their jails, and how they can't alert ICE to them, and the murder of Kate Steinle, and MS – 13, mentions people coming into the country and then goes on to say they're animals. He's obviously talking with reference to the whole of the preceding discussion, about bad guys.

    The latter seem so obvious to me (even as a textualist, I accept the importance of context) it's almost equally obvious to me that folk who interpret the remarks in the Neevil Raaacist sense are "interpreting" in bad faith. As no doubt plenty of them are. But bernard's not a bad faith kinda guy. So he really does see the remarks as evidence of Neevil Raaacism, rather than as obvious common sense.

    Confirming that Jordan Peterson is a wise and shrewd fellow when he points out that our brains tee us up to see what we're expecting to see, and to ignore (without even noticing) what our goals deem irrelevant.

  • Lee Moore||

    bernard : Why? Because emails?? Come off it.

    Which is another great rorschcach test. bernard see emails and thinks "some trivial admin boo boo of no significance whatsoever."

    I just see another reminder of why she's ghastly :

    (a) yet another confirmation of Clinton's "the law doesn't apply to me" persona, just what we're looking for in a president
    (b) an obvious attempt to evade the FOIA, to keep the shady graft engine known as the Clinton Foundation protected, reckless to the endangerment of classified information
    (c) which is in turn confirmation of the record of 40 years of Clinton graft and fraud (cos I haven't forgotten the cattle futures or Marc Rich)
    (d) a claim by a former first lady (of the non cheerleader stay off the field of play type), senator and secretary of state that she doesn't understand what classified markings mean – confirmation that she thinks we're stupid
    (e) and that she thinks that she's immune from the criminal law
    (f) as the FBI's corrupt investigation has confirmed

    These are all cracking reasons to dispense with her services. In short I see an entirely self centred crook, perfectly indifferent to the nation's success and safety, when set against her own ambition. And one liable to pursue stupid and damaging policies to boot. Why wouldn't a boorish, reasonably smart, blowhard be better ? Why wouldn't Homer Simpson be better ?

  • bernard11||

    yet another confirmation of Clinton's "the law doesn't apply to me" persona, just what we're looking for in a president

    Are you suggesting that's not Trump's attitude?

    ) an obvious attempt to evade the FOIA, to keep the shady graft engine known as the Clinton Foundation protected, reckless to the endangerment of classified information

    Trump is no model of transparency, and is guilty of endangering national security in his cellphone use.

    which is in turn confirmation of the record of 40 years of Clinton graft and fraud (cos I haven't forgotten the cattle futures or Marc Rich)

    Graft? You object to graft? Then why do you tolerate all Kushner's activities with foreign governments, not to mention a $500 million loan to Trump from China, followed a few days later by his effort to help a major Chinese firm. What would you be saying if Clinton had won, and pulled some of this stuff?

    a claim by a former first lady (of the non cheerleader stay off the field of play type), senator and secretary of state that she doesn't understand what classified markings mean – confirmation that she thinks we're stupid

    I think this is a distortion. It's a bit more complicated than that.

    and that she thinks that she's immune from the criminal law

    You already said that.

    as the FBI's corrupt investigation has confirmed

    Well, Trump thinks it was corrupt. Comey, no friend of Hilary, doesn't. Do you have better information than he does?

  • Lee Moore||

    Are you suggesting [the law doesn't apply to me is] not Trump's attitude?

    I don't think that's his attitude at all. I think his attitude is "I haven't done anything wrong." Which is quite different.

    Trump is no model of transparency, and is guilty of endangering national security in his cellphone use.

    I should have thought that waiving executive privilege for the Mueller investigation was a couple of orders of magnitude more transparent than anything offered by Hils, who has been destroying evidence since 6th grade. No doubt Trump's openness is not the result of a transparent and open personality, but his conviction that he's done nothing wrong. And no doubt his long business career has accumulated a number of skeletons that he's not keen to expose to the light. But he naively assumed that the Mueller investigation into Trump-Russia collusion would be an investigation into Trump – Russia collusion, rather than anything Bob fancied investigating. Consequently he thought he had nothing to hide.

  • Lee Moore||

    What would you be saying if Clinton had won, and pulled some of this stuff?

    Even if true (which I'm not going to bother engaging with) it's irrelevant.. The discussion started with : "He was the lesser of two evils that were given to us at the ballot box." Nothing he has done since the election is remotely relevant to the question. Hills and her husband have been swamp members in good standing for decades, They have been in a position to graftify, and otherwise abuse government power for a very long time. And prior to the election there was a long record of their enthusiasm for doing so. Trump never got near the opportunity to pervert the administration of justice or to endanger national security till January 2017.

    I think this is a distortion. It's a bit more complicated than that.

    I am unable to comment as your link doesn't work.

    You already said that.

    I did, but I need to take a run up to my final point which was that her conviction that she (and her acolytes) are above the law has proved, sadly, to be correct. Whereas if Trump ever formed that impression he has been rudely disabused of it.

  • Lee Moore||

    Well, Trump thinks it was corrupt. Comey, no friend of Hilary, doesn't. Do you have better information than he does?

    Comey was, and remains, a very good friend of Hillary. He publicly cleared her of an offense she was obviously guilty of, deliberately running political interference for the Obama administration in doing so, shredded DoJ policy(see Rosenstein's memo), laughably claiming that he had been forced to shoulder the burden of making a public announcement by Loretta's tarmac assignation with Bill, when the record shows that he'd been drafting his statement for weeks before that.

    No doubt you think his statement a week or so before the election was anti-Clinton. It wasn't, it was damage limitation. Even his equally laughable excuse that he didn't want to sully Clinton's presidency lest it came out afterwards that the FBI had suppressed evidence is a demonstration of his pro-Clinton political calculation. But the real reason was that he knew perfectly well that, the FBI having sat on the evidence for a month without even looking at it, those of his troops that were unamused by this would leak not only the story that more Clinton emails had turned up on Weiner's laptop, but that the FBI had deliberately suppressed this fact for a month. Comey's statement was much better for Hils than the alternative. Which is why he made it.

  • Lee Moore||

    The joke, of course, is that having been handed the ball by Loretta, if he'd actually been an honest cop, he'd have said Hillary is guilty as hell, she'd have been dumped as the nominee, somebody else (it doesn't matter who) would have been nominated, and they'd have beaten Trump comfortably.

    I believe that something like 20% of the voters said they loathed both Trump and Clinton, and they went for Trump (ie against Clinton) by 2-1. So having a non loathsome nominee would have been would have made it more like 51%-43%, rathar than 48%-46%. A Dem landslide.

    So even Comey's politicking is incompetent.

    PS 2020 tip for the Dems. Try to pick a non loathsome nominee. You will do better.

  • Lee Moore||

    Last - and certainly least – insecure cell phone use.

    If Trump were a really smart fellow, determined to sort out Iran and North Korea, he would certainly be using an insecure cell phone to discuss these issues with his advisers and allies. Having polished his persona as an indisciplined oaf, he could be fairly confident that these conversations would be passed on to Iran (by Russia) and North Korea (by China.) This would be an excellent way of getting Iran (and Russia) and North Korea (and China) to believe what he wanted them to believe about what the US was likely to do.

    Obviously what the US was actually going to do might be rather different, and wouldn't be discussed on an insecure cell phone.

    I do not insist that this is the policy of the real Trump ☺

  • bernard11||

    Confirming that Jordan Peterson is a wise and shrewd fellow when he points out that our brains tee us up to see what we're expecting to see, and to ignore (without even noticing) what our goals deem irrelevant.

    Jordan Peterson is very far from the first person to make that observation. My impression is that it applies to you as well. I'd add that we also believe what we want to believe.

    Here is another shot at the link.

    Oh. The $500 million story is real. And Trump has more than a few skeletons to hide, I suspect.

  • Lee Moore||

    The (c) stuff is pure weasel. If Mr Pompeo were to to do the same, he'd get eleven pinocchios. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the (c) marking is the standard way to mark the confdential bits of a document that contains confidential and non confidential paragraphs. Whether the document has classified headers or not. She would have seen it thousands of times before. The rule is that the content determines the classification. She claimed there was nothing classified. That turned out to be wrong a couple of thouand times over. So she then flipped to nothing was marked classified. That turned out to be wrong too. So the last line of defence is that it wasn't marked classified as clearly as was desirable to help a poor lil old lady spot it. It coulda been marking paragraph (c) in a document with no (a)s and (b)s.

    I looked up the $500 million story. Its a loan by the Chinese government to an Indonesian state company to finance a development at which there will be Trump branded hotels, negotiations for which began long ago. There's nothing in the story that suggests any of the money will be going to Trump or a Trump company or will be financing any of the hotels. And the "bribe" is taking place while Trump is pursuing a trade war with China. The Donald needs to go and sit down with Hillary and get some tips on how to structure a proper bribe. The current effort is woeful.

  • bernard11||

    No doubt you think his statement a week or so before the election was anti-Clinton.

    Well, it very likely threw the election to Trump. And he might have waited until someone looked at the emails to see if there was anything there - there wasn't - before opening his mouth.

  • Lee Moore||

    1. As I said leaks by other folk at the FBI would have done more damage. He was engaged in damage limittion.

    2. He might have waited another month, you mean ?

  • bernard11||

    PS 2020 tip for the Dems. Try to pick a non loathsome nominee. You will do better.

    Well, the Republicans won with one of the most loathesome, contemptible individuals in the history of American politics.

    And Hilary of course outpolled him by a good bit. (Spare me the rationales for why that doesn't mean anything. They are nonsense. Especially the one about how California doesn't count.)

  • Lee Moore||

    My advice on candidate selection is entirely non partisan.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Lee Moore says: "I don't think that's his attitude at all. I think his attitude is 'I haven't done anything wrong.'"

    Pull the other one.

    I mean, sure, in that he believes that he is entitled to do basically anything he wants (both before and after attaining the Presidency...."grab 'em by the pussy", Trump University, stiffing subcontractors, etc.). His is a position indistinguishable from the attitude you attribute to the Clintons. He pretty clearly believes a different set of rules applies to him. If he does it, then, in his mind, it isn't wrong. (Recall, he claims never to have asked forgiveness in his life, he famously doesn't apologize, etc.).

  • Lee Moore||

    I am astonished to discover that I wasn't clear enough, and my comment has been taken out of context, despite me droning on at considerable length to try to make the context clear.

    I think Trump desn't think he's done anything wrong in relation to the purported subject of Mueller's investigation. FYI the clue was :

    "No doubt Trump's openness is not the result of a transparent and open personality, but his conviction that he's done nothing wrong. And no doubt his long business career has accumulated a number of skeletons that he's not keen to expose to the light. But he naively assumed that the Mueller investigation into Trump-Russia collusion would be an investigation into Trump – Russia collusion, rather than anything Bob fancied investigating. Consequently he thought he had nothing to hide."

  • bernard11||

    So let's see.

    Just three email chains included some sort of classification marking: At least one paragraph preceded by the marking "(C)," indicating that those paragraphs were "confidential," the lowest level of classification. But none of the three had a header, footer or cover page further signaling that the emails contained confidential information

    So that's the crime you are all excited about. Let's say she was lying, and in fact knew the material was confidential and was just negligent about it.

    You're ready to send her to prison for that.

    On the other hand, Trump uses insecure phones, which are surely being monitored by foreign intelligence. That looks a lot worse than the email business to start with, and his claim is it's "more convenient."

    Not only are you unwilling to even criticize that, you describe it as some sort of devilishly clever plot by Trump to plant false information.

    Clinton is big crook, according to you, because of donations to the Clinton Foundation. A project in which trump has a substantial financial interest gets a$500 million loan from China and you shrug and dismiss it as a minor matter - all in the normal course of business.

    And then there is Kushner. routine, unremarkable, right?

    And careers? Trump's is no shining light.

    Come on Lee, have you really drunk that much of the Trump Kool-Aid?

  • Lee Moore||

    No, three( c) markers is not the crime "I'm all excited about." It's the woeful pathetic excuse that I'm complaining about. It comes way down the chain from – being a long time crook and fraudster, setting up the Clinton Foundation as a giant engine of graft, establishing a private email server to avoid FOIA lest the CF bribes discussed via email be discovered, reckless as to classified material passing over the server, thousands of actually classified emails actually so passing, deleting 30,000 emails of evidence, finding you've still left some classified stuff, and ….finally a few actually marked as such, and producing a tale a 4 year old would go pink at. So the (c )s are the equivalent of the littering ticket you got for throwing away the dishcloth with the bloodstains, which you used to wipe the back seat of your car with after you did away with grandma. The bloody dishcloth is just minor incidental evidence of the larger thing. Doesn't it even bother you that having set up and used a private server recklessly, she deleted half the emails on it (while under subpoena) and the FBI ignored that ?

    As to the rest, OK, you roped me into discussing post election stuff once. Once is enough on this thread.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Lee,

    Tump drafted a misleading statement about a Trump (Jr.)-Russia meeting held at Trump Tower and has been trying to derail the investigation (from an early stage, including denying that Russia even interfered in the election which all three major intelligence agencies concluded as well as his own cabinet picks). This suggests to you a belief that he has nothing to hide in connection with Russia? (Hint: he literally, actually tried to hide the purpose of the Trump Tower meeting....hence, we know for a fact he thought he had something to hide.)

    You believe, despite everything, that he believes he hasn't done anything wrong?

    Lol. Again, that only fits the available facts if by that you mean he has the Nixon-Clinton belief that he is incapable of doing wrong because he is more special than everyone else.

  • David Nieporent||

    1. Prof Somin glosses over the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants have no legal right to be here anyway. There's no punishment there, any more than removing people from a park that closes at sunset. You're not allowed to be here. Off you go.

    I understand people disagreeing with Prof. Somin; his views on this subject are pretty extreme. What I don't understand is people who write something that shows they didn't even read his post. He expressly addressed the idea of whether it was punitive.

  • Lee Moore||

    I know he addressed the idea of whether it was punitive. By totally ignoring the distinction between "punishment" and "stuff I'd prefer to avoid." The former is a particular category of "stuff I'd prefer to avoid" - a category which requires some kind of suffering that no one has the right to inflict on you anyway. Being deported when you're here illegally doesn't fall into that category.

    You are arrested in a bar room brawl and as a result the police check your DNA and discover that you are in fact Hannibal Lecter. You get sent back to jail to await execution. Meanwhile the guy you were brawling with gets 30 days. You haven't got an extra punishment for the bar room brawl, compared to the othe guy. You've got "stuff I'd prefer to avoid" - being the execution you had coming anyway, but managed to avoid by escaping from jail.

    The guy who gets 30 days for brawling with Hannibal Lecter does not get additional punishment when, as a result of the jail sentence and news report

    (a) his wife breaks up with him
    (b) the car loan company finds out where he is, and sends in the bailliffs
    (c) he loses his job

    That's just other bad stuff that happens, in consequence of the thing he's being punished for. It's not extra punishment.

  • David Nieporent||

    The guy who gets 30 days for brawling with Hannibal Lecter does not get additional punishment when, as a result of the jail sentence and news report

    (a) his wife breaks up with him
    (b) the car loan company finds out where he is, and sends in the bailliffs
    (c) he loses his job

    That's just other bad stuff that happens, in consequence of the thing he's being punished for. It's not extra punishment.

    Deportation is not something that "happens," like a lightning strike or a swarm of killer bees attacking. It's something that is specifically done to the guy, as a result of conscious choice by someone.

    And unlike your (a) - (c), the someone making that conscious choice is the government, not a finance company, employer, or spouse.

  • Lee Moore||

    Well I'm glad you spotted that (a) to (c ) were conscious choices, not swarms of bees. So venturing out on a limb here, you're accepting that (a) to ( c) are not punishment. So it all comes down to the fact that the bad stuff happening to you is down to the government.

    When the IRS reads in the paper something about how successful your pizza joint is, and they audit you, that's punishment ? Really ?

  • Negi||

    We don't owe anything to noncitizens. Their welfare simply does not factor into the equation, especially when they come here uninvited and unauthorized and cause trouble.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Their welfare simply does not factor into the equation

    That's actually evil. I don't think you mean that. You can say Americans' wellfare comes first, but to without reason completely discount someone else's welfare is what we usually call psychotic.

  • Careless||

    No, that's not "psychotic" at all. Perhaps you meant "psychopathic"? Still not right, but not completely wrong

  • Sarcastr0||

    Got me there. It is still connected with reality.

    Regardless of my weak grasp of psychiatric disorders, this tendency to casually dehumanize everyone outside of the US is bad news.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "casually dehumanize everyone outside of the US is bad news"

    Good thing Negi did not do that. He just expressed the widely held and completely normal idea that the welfare of Americans is the important thing to Americans and controls policy.

    Not that this attitude is confined to Americans. Do you think the Chinese care more about Chinese or Americans?

  • Jmaie||

    I wouldn't exactly consider "not owing anything" to be the same as dehumanizing. And denial of entry =/= discounting their welfare.

    Many of the planet's billions would come here if they could and only a small slice get the opportunity. Each failed applicant (here defined as one who is unable to abide by the rules agreed to when entering) who retains the right to stay thereby denies that spot to an aspiring immigrant. How is that fair?

    Unless you view our resources as limitless of course,

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Jmale,

    Thanks for proving Sarcastro's point. Did you even read the original comment?

    You say: "denial of entry =/= discounting their welfare"

    Negi said: "Their welfare simply does not factor into the equation"

    Which pretty clearly "discount[s] their welfare", which Sarcastro pointed out. Your comment strongly implies discounting the welfare of immigrants is dehumanizing, which, by definition, it is.

    Sarcastro pointed out that it is legitimate to say the paramount interest is of Americans, but denying we have any interest in the welfare of immigrants (illegal or otherwise) (which Negi did) is dehumanizing and evil. But, that's where we are, adopting policies that unnecessarily separate parents from their children precisely because we don't factor in the welfare of immigrant children into our equation. It is atrocious.

  • BillyG||

    this tendency to casually dehumanize everyone outside of the US is bad news.

    Lets generalize slightly.

    this tendency to casually dehumanize everyone outside of ones own borders is bad news.

    No, that's being Human. Try it in any country in the world and you'll get the same thing. Humans care about ourselves first, our family second, our local people third. Someone from another country is wayyyyy down the list.

  • bernard11||

    I don't think "dehumanize" means what you think it means.

  • Eidde||

    Noncitizens' welfare certainly matters, as does citizens' welfare, so we get to think of the welfare of citizens and law-abiding immigrants and the threat a convicted rapist or robber may pose if not sent back to their country of origin to be dealt with there.

  • Sarcastr0||

    But unless you think every immigrant is a rapist, I don't see how that logic applies.

  • Eidde||

    I have no idea what you're talking about. I specifically referred to "a convicted rapist or robber."

    There's absolutely no way you can *possibly* contort that into "every immigrant is a rapist."

  • Eidde||

    And I referred to "law abiding immigrants," which, again, is utterly irreconcilable with "every immigrant is a rapist."

    You seem to prefer debating the voices in your head to responding to the actual arguments people make.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I assumed you were making a generalization about illegal immigrants versus legal ones, not convicted of violent crime versus not. That's the usual distinction when people talk about 'law abiding.' Glad to be proven otherwise.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Sigh. A guy sits down and takes the good trouble to bang out the words "convicted rapist or robber"

  • Eidde||

    "I assumed"

    Making an "ass" out of "u" and "me"

  • Eidde||

    "I assumed you were making a generalization about illegal immigrants versus legal ones, not convicted of violent crime versus not. That's the usual distinction when people talk about 'law abiding.' Glad to be proven otherwise."

    The straw man you erected was "every immigrant is a rapist," which applies to legal and illegal immigrants.

    The voices in your head must be real zenophobes.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    "real zenophobes"

    ....is that an irrational fear of Stoics?

  • Eidde||

    I'm not here to set up your punch lines, man.

  • jph12||

    "I assumed you were making a generalization about illegal immigrants versus legal ones, not convicted of violent crime versus not. That's the usual distinction when people talk about 'law abiding.' Glad to be proven otherwise."

    Classic Sarcastr0. Read something horrible into a post by someone he disagrees with then pretend its their fault, not his.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "But unless you think every immigrant is a rapist,"

    Maybe he was reading about some of those newfangled definitions of "rape" and "consent" from the academic left.

  • Lee Moore||

    We don't owe anything to noncitizens. Yes.

    Their welfare simply does not factor into the equation Not quite.

    We don't owe anything to non citizens. The US government's duty extends to citizens. French people rely on the duty owed to them by the French government. (There are good instrumental reasons for structuring governmental duties this way, based on local v global, community, loyalty and so on.)

    But even if non citizens are not owed a duty by the US government, that doesn't mean that they may not be the subject of gratuitous mercy or generosity by both US citizens and the US government. The extent to which it is consistent with the US government's duty to its citizens, to expend time, effort and money providing gratuitous assistance to non citizens is debatable, of course. But I shoud say that the US government does not overstep the mark here if what it does for foreigners is acceptable to the people's representaives.

    So there is certainly no moral case for the government to treat citizens and foreigners alike. Indeed that would be immoral given where the government's duty lies. But to the extent that the people's representatives choose to vote to allow the government to assist foreigners, I don't see that as a breach of duty.

  • Negi||

    The government's primary responsibility is the protection of its citizens from foreign threats. When mercy comes in the way of that primary duty, government is doing something wrong.

    He who is merciful to the cruel will eventually become cruel to the merciful.

  • Ohio Farmer||

    This is remarkable. We have here a law professor who thinks it is presumptively wrong to discriminate against non-citizens when deciding who should be allowed to live here. Is it presumptively wrong to discriminate against non-citizens in voting? Is it permissible to limit elected officials to citizens? Can we have citizens and non-citizens at all?

    And ... this is how you get Trump.

  • Careless||

    Somin has never wanted to discuss why only he and his wife are allowed to control who lives in their house.

  • David Nieporent||

    Because it's their property. Which is sort of the point; why do people like Ohio Farmer think they ought to have a say who lives in Ilya's house?

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    "We have here a law professor who thinks it is presumptively wrong to discriminate against non-citizens when deciding who should be allowed to live here."

    Only, he didn't say any such thing. Why does every Trump apologist commenter seem to respond to an argument in the form "immigrants of class X should not be deported/denied entry for reason Y" with "why do you want completely open borders and immigrants to have the full rights of citizenship upon crossing the border"?

    I agree, such extremely poor logic and instinctual disdain for "others" is exactly how we get Trump.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Why does every Trump apologist commenter seem to respond to an argument in the form "immigrants of class X should not be deported/denied entry for reason Y" with "why do you want completely open borders and immigrants to have the full rights of citizenship upon crossing the border"

    Because people like Ilya keep making fundamental rights-type arguments like this one. There are loads of pragmatic arguments for less restrictive immigration, but Ilya's "equal rights" argument only makes sense if you presume citizens and non-citizens have an equal right to remain in the country. And I'd love to hear an argument that this is the case, but I haven't heard anyone make such an argument.

  • Jeff_Kleppe||

    Ilya's posts are so exhaustively frustrating. Branch upon weighted branch of low-hanging fruit coupled with the certainty that regardless of what we write, he will never respond. Is there a way to unsubscribe from this tripe?

  • David Nieporent||

    Demand a refund from him, while you're at it.

  • Blaze Miskulin||

    I see 2 flaws with your position:

    1) Aside from voting & holding elected office "can't be deported" is about the only significant benefit to being a US citizen. If you take away the deportation aspect, why should anyone bother to become a citizen?

    2) Your examples seem to focus on people who were born in the US, but aren't citizens. "You don't deserve to be sent to a country where you don't know people." Immigrants don't know anyone in the place from which they came? Or are you suggesting that 3-year-olds are getting convicted of drug possession and driving offenses?

    I agree that there should be a massive overhaul of our immigration policies, and it should be a very simple and straight-forward process for immigrants to gain citizenship--after a probationary period.

    But, to quote an old marketing campaign, "Membership has its privileges." Citizenship is "membership" in this country. You pay your dues (e.g., jury duty), and you get benefits (e.g., voting, and immunity from deportation).

    So set a severity threshold, or create a simple "demerit" system. To use an analogy:

    If my son swears at me or hits me, I punish him--put him in the corner, dock his allowance, ground him, whatever. If my neighbor's son does it, I kick him out of my house and send him home. That's an appropriate distinction--my son is family and the other kid is a guest. Immigrants are guests--until they gain citizenship and become family. Family and guests are treated differently.

  • bernard11||

    Or are you suggesting that 3-year-olds are getting convicted of drug possession and driving offenses?

    Let's not be stupid, blaze.

    No, 3-year-olds are not guilty of these things, but maybe a 25-year-old who came to the country at the age of 3 is.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    A 25 year old who came here illegally at 3 should have been deported with his parents 22 years prior.

  • Joe_JP||

    But, the person who came here undocumented was not deported, in part since this country -- including certain businesses that support Republicans -- does not want such a strict policy. The owners and managers of those businesses are "illegally" doing this but are getting limited penalty for doing so. In fact, someone involved in such a criminal enterprise got a pardon from Trump.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Yup. That indicates another problem with our immigration system. A 25yo who came here illegally at 3 should be deported, or a citizen, by 25.

  • bernard11||

    But he wasn't.

    Are you really such a jerk as to want to do it now? Contemptible.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You know what's contemptible? Thwarting enforcement of a popular law for decades, and then arguing that, because you managed it that long, election of a government willing to enforce that law shouldn't change anything.

    What is this, a kind of 'adverse possession' doctrine for government policy?

    A 25 year old who entered the country illegally at 3 is someone who should have been deported 22 years ago. If they are otherwise law abiding, we might let them stay as a matter of mercy, but they're not legally entitled to stay. And here is Ilya arguing that we must extend that mercy even if they're a hardened criminal rather than law abiding.

    He's moved from minority viewpoint to crazy, I think. Some people do that: Double down when they realize their position isn't and never will be the prevailing one.

  • nonzenze||

    If the law was so popular, it's a wonder it never got enforced strictly by Congress/Presidents of either party.

    After all, both the GOP and the Dems had control of both at some point. And even then neither did anything about it.

    [ And of course, Saint Ronnie passed a huge amnesty bill. ]

    So uh, it might not have been as popular as you remember . . .

  • GabrielSyme||

    Amongst the general populace, strong enforcement of immigration law has polled consistently well for decades

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Brett:

    What nonzenze says, and also, a fix for Dreamers is extremely popular. This suggests you are wrong in asserting the popularity of sending 25 year olds back to a country they don't remember, whose language they don't know (in many cases), and to which they otherwise have no real connection other than the accident of birth.

    You are doing what many do, and that is mistaking your view for the prevailing view. (Somin's is also not the prevailing view, but that doesn't mean yours is.)

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    I certainly don't want to deport people who came here legally at three. But the "equal rights" argument just doesn't work.

  • David Nieporent||

    What if he came here legally at 3?

  • Michael Hihn||

    . If you take away the deportation aspect, why should anyone bother to become a citizen?

    This is about illegals. Social Security and Medicare are the most obvious. They pay the taxes, but get no benefits.

    Your examples seem to focus on people who were born in the US, but aren't citizens.

    Birthright citizenship.

  • Kelnix32||

    "But they should not be subjected to any more punishment than native-born Americans who commit the same crimes. That means they should not be deported, unless deportation is also imposed on natives."

    I am a native born American. So were my parents, and so were my grandparents. There is no country to which I can be deported. The illegal immigrant has a country to which he can be deported, and since he has no right to be here, he should be deported.

    My situation and that of the illegal alien are distinguishable.

    Also, an alien being deported is not punishment, it simply returns the alien to his own country. If you wish to apply the same rule to native born Americans, then I guess I would be "deported" to the USA.

  • floridalegal||

    I disagree with the conflating of racism with immigration. A person's race is an immutable characteristic. No matter what someone may say or do, their race will not change. The same can not be said for citizenship or immigration. There ARE processes and procedures whereby a person may legally immigrate to the US and to obtain citizenship, The processes and procedures may be flawed but, they DO exist. Latching on to the evils of racism is just an attempt to garner emotional support not logic or reason.

  • dunce||

    This is lawyer reasoning, not common sense. Non citizens do not have the identical rights as citizens. We can not deport citizens so if an immigrant commits murder in a terrorist incident we can not deport them ??? Nonsense.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It's not even lawyer reasoning, most lawyers would acknowledge it to be nonsensical.

  • Careless||

    Ok, I used to say that Somin was just reduced in intelligence when arguing about immigration, but you have to be evil for this one.

  • Eidde||

    Agreed that deporting someone for a crime is a criminal punishment, and should be imposed by the jurisdiction whose laws were broken, not by an immigration bureaucracy. Also that this punishment should be reserved for felonies.

    With these reservations, let me critique the following:

    "it is wrong to punish people for morally arbitrary characteristics that are beyond their control"

    It may be arbitrary to deny citizenship to most of the world's population, but for most immigrants being in the U. S. is not "beyond their control."

    Illegal immigrants - except bone fide refugees who have no other choice - made a decision to come to the U.S. in violation of the law, and they can be deported even if they don't subsequently commit a car theft or whatever.

    Legal immigrants have the choice to abide by the standards for naturalization and become citizens.

    And of course they have the choice not to commit crimes in the first place.

    The ingratitude of an immigrant who comes to the U. S. and then commits a felony sounds to me like an aggravating factor to me.

  • Eidde||

    Plus, a path to citizenship can be two-way, it can be, for felons, a path away from citizenship and away from this country.

  • ReaderY||

    Immigration status is a status, and deportation is a preceded. There's no concept of crime, punishment, or guilt. The constitution requires "the accused," whether or not a person (even in a criminal in rem case, for example) to be afforded certain rights. Determining immigration status involves no accusation, and the rights the accused enjoy don't apply.

    Moreover, the constitution avoids reducing things to simplistic morality, the sort of simplistic morality the political branches could choose to follow if they want, but don't have to if circumstances require a more complex, nuanced approach. The political branches can constitutionally order all citizens or subjects of a particular foreign country out, and deport them, solely as a sanction against that state. The reasons for deportation don't need to have anything to do with anything an individual has done.

    I again make the analogy to abortion. I think many parts of the analogy sound even if one doesn't extend it as far as I've proposed. The constitution and traditional precedents in fact acknowledge that foreign policy is a realm where traditional standards of morality don't necessarily apply, and this country, like any other sovereign country, has to be free to make difficult choices affecting its ability to survive and thrive unconstrained by simplistic moral straightjackets.

  • Eidde||

    Why this talk of "unconstrained by simplistic moral straightjackets" when dealing with a convicted felon from abroad? Considerations of justice are enough to justify sending the person back to his or her country of origin.

  • ReaderY||

    Clarification: Congress can, if it wishes, liberalize its immigration policies, including increasing immigration quotas, amnesties, Natrower deportation criteria, etc.

    If Congress passed any or all of these measures I would defend their constitutionality as Congress' right to enact, just as I would defend the constitutionality of more restrictive measures if Congress chose that path.

    If Professor Somin is intending to make a political argument he of course has the right to do so.

    But if I were in his shoes I would make arguments of a very different sort:

    That humanity is the hallmark of a great and civilized nation; that greater compassion towards other countries' citizens improves our foreign relations and works to build bridges and reduce conflicts; that the impression we make on others matters to our future in the world and we are not so great or powerful as to think we can ignore what others think of us; that we are a nation of immigrants and immigration has tended to lead to economic growth and prevent the sort of economic stagnation seen in countries like Japan.

    But even then, I don't think I'd start with violent felons as my first example. If I were making a political argument for greater leniency towards immigrants, I'd start with a set of immigrants more likely to draw sympathy and support.

  • ReaderY||

    (Cont)

    And this is exactly the argument used in the abortion context. Thinking of an abortion as representing a punishment to the fetus for something it has supposedly done is similarly out of place.

    I'll point out that this perspective sometimes works to foreigners' benefit. In particular, I've argued that it is no crime to be a soldier, and hence a declaration of war (or use of force) serves to insulate individual members of the enemy from criminal prosecution for acts of violence against us, so long as the acts of violence they have personally done are consistent with acts of lawful war. The fact that immigration is a status and not a crime tends to make the issue less emotional. There's no fault here, and thinking of actions of state in individual fat terms is inappropriate. When we get really angry at foreigners, the perspective tends to help limit our anger.

  • Eidde||

    "Thinking of an abortion as representing a punishment to the fetus for something it has supposedly done is similarly out of place."

    Of course the fetus hasn't committed capital crime, that's why it's wrong to kill it.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Ok, you just finished going off the deep end. In fact, you can't even SEE the deep end from whatever psycho ward you've now arrived in.

    What's next. Invading armies can't be deported, either?

  • Joe_JP||

    Just to be clear, some family who came here undocumented and are farming strawberries or something, is not an "invading army." An actual "invading army" is not "deported." They are basically expelled or forced to leave. And, he didn't say immigrants "cannot" be deported. He would put a high bar before they could be.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    My point is that the only step I see remaining in his open borders crusade, is to deny that the federal government is entitled to repel invasions. I'm unaware of any circumstance whatsoever in which he has ever admitted that deportation is legitimate. If you can't deport criminal illegal aliens, what remains except invading armies?

    Sure, he doesn't say "illegal" alien above. But that's his standard practice, to deliberately conflate illegal and legal aliens. Since that IS his standard practice, and he didn't expressly make the distinction, I have to assume he means illegals, too.

    And I would disagree about whether illegal immigration can be considered an invasion. If it's done contrary to the express policy of a country, and with the active encouragement of the country of departure, I think it can be fairly characterized that way.

    And that is the current situation we have with Mexico. They actively encourage illegal immigration into America, including giving safe passage through their own country to people they would not themselves admit, so long as their destination is America.

    Were I President, I'd notify Mexico that they have one year, and one year only, to stop illegal immigration on their end, after which it would be treated as a casus belli.

  • David Nieporent||

    And I would disagree about whether illegal immigration can be considered an invasion. If it's done contrary to the express policy of a country, and with the active encouragement of the country of departure, I think it can be fairly characterized that way.

    I think it can be fairly characterized that way... by loons who don't know the meaning of common English words.

    I mean, people spoke about the "British invasion" in the 1960s, but nobody thought that the Beatles could actually be fairly characterized as invaders.

    And that is the current situation we have with Mexico. They actively encourage illegal immigration into America, including giving safe passage through their own country to people they would not themselves admit, so long as their destination is America.

    No, they don't actively encourage any such thing, and of course Mexico isn't the "country of departure" for Central Americans anyway.

  • Lee Moore||

    Did anyone think the Beatles were here illegally ?

    What part of "illegal" in whether illegal immigration can be considered an invasion did you find particularly difficut to understand ?

  • David Nieporent||

    Were I President, I'd notify Mexico that they have one year, and one year only, to stop illegal immigration on their end, after which it would be treated as a casus belli.

    Were I in the government, I'd notify you that I consider you mentally unfit to be president and ought to be removed either by operation of the 25th amendment or impeachment.

  • nonzenze||

    Assuming they did nothing, or not sufficient to your liking, then what? Invade? Occupy a small strip of the border on their side? Occupy the whole country? Regime change?

    Forgetting all other concerns for a second, what would this actually accomplish in terms of practical effect of stopping illegal immigration? That is to say, by what actual means or policy would declaring war on Mexico accomplish this goal?

  • jph12||

    "Were I President, I'd notify Mexico that they have one year, and one year only, to stop illegal immigration on their end, after which it would be treated as a casus belli."

    Something like half of illegal immigrants enter the country legally then overstay their visas. Mexico can't stop that.

    And I really see no reason why Mexico is responsible for enforcing our immigration laws.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "some family who came here undocumented and are farming strawberries or something, is not an "invading army."

    Its a decent comparison to those who come here and commit crimes.

    I think history shows as well that peaceful migration can turn into an invasion. The Boers didn't invade South Africa under arms but came to farm. How did that turn out?

  • Allutz||

    Interesting how committed the Professor is to calling "nation of origin" an immutable characteristic, while he simultaneously strives to deny that a criminal alien being deported might have other immutable characteristics (criminality, stupidity, preference for communist dictators, etc) which might be exactly the reason we are deporting said person. Such characteristics are likely to be passed down to children through both genes and childcare, so by not deporting said person you are actively making the moral case that America should be more .

    Indeed, the argument the Professor is making under his equal protection argument is just as applicable to advocate for the deportation of criminal citizens, which I'm sure would be an option, aside from the fact that no country would take them.

  • Tyler Durden||

    The entire article is based on a false premise: that immigration is something done to you, not something you do. It takes the small percentage of migrants who enter as infants, and infantilizes the entire class of adult migrants. This premise collapses at the lightest inspection. I am an immigrant, not an infant. Do not handwave away my agency as if it does not exist.

  • nonzenze||

    Are you acknowledging that his argument is correct with respect to the small percentage of individuals brought here before the age of 8?

    Or is this a bit of a dodge -- having claimed this distinction but then refusing to actually distinguish?

  • Tyler Durden||

    Not at all, their parents had full agency in migrating, then again in transgressing criminal law. Deportation is not a punishment, it is the agreed consequence of failing to comply with immigration law. The children do not lose their immigration status for their parents crime, they choose to go with their deported parents.

  • nonzenze||

    You're moving the goalposts around, but let's be concrete a bit:

    A) A 4 year old is brought by his parents, who are then deported
    B) A 4 year old is brought by his parents, 14 years later the parents are deported
    C) A 4 year old is brought by his parents, 28 years later the parents are deported

    We agreed these are a 'small percentage' of immigration cases, and this is not representative.

    We agreed that 4 year olds have no agency in failing to comply with immigration law. Immigration was something done to them, not something they did.

    I can't quite tell what you would do in scenarios (B) & (C) though. You seem to conflate them all with (A).

  • AmosArch||

    Wow, so we should let in and keep foreign criminals forever even after they rape and murder because kicking them out somehow 'is like Jim Crow'? wow, I knew Somin was nuts about this but this is seriously off the rocker level material.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    I wonder why it is racism to deport white Europeans who commit crimes.

    Which happens every day.

  • AmosArch||

    This whole post is essentially the absurd statement I can analogize x to segregation therefore it is wrong. So logically by extension why can't the wise Somin open his doors to random strangers and let them take what they want? After all they weren't able to choose their parents. Why does Somin's family and friends get more rights to the contents of his house than they do?

  • Brightly||

    If you aren't a citizen, you have no right to be in any country. Immigrants and legal residents are there by permission of the political processes of that nation and are a guest. This is part of what being a nation is, but I suspect that Prof. Somin to a large extent rejects this idea.

    It is unavoidable that guests in a nation have the additional jeopardy of having their "guest pass" revoked. That is a natural consequence of things.

    The Jim Crow reference was a Straw Man. We are not talking about melanin levels, we are talking about the fact that citizens naturally have rights non-citizens do not.

  • Joe_JP||

    As a libertarian, he very well seems to have a general belief of the value of open borders, but says that deportation is not "indefensible under any conceivable circumstance." And, the average person would accept that on some minimal level. A single act of speeding or something might be an unjust ground to deport someone, especially if they have long deep ties to this country, including citizen children.

    So, it is a matter of degree. The Jim Crow reference is inexact but if we are talking about those who came as children, we are similarly dealing with people treated as a result of something largely out of their control. As noted, "it is wrong to inflict additional punishment on them simply because they have the wrong parents."

  • AmosArch||

    By your logic we should throw open the doors to criminals who came here as adults to because they can't help that they weren't lucky enough to be born to parents who decided to flout the law so that their children could rape and murder with impunity.

  • Joe_JP||

    No it would not follow.

  • jph12||

    Unless Ilya Somin refines his arguments, it kind of does. Disqualifying an alien from being able to emigrate to this country because they committed a crime is a punishment not applicable to native-born criminals. Under Ilya Somin's extremely broad formulation of his moral argument, it's hard to see why the restriction wouldn't apply to people looking to emigrate as well as those already here.

  • Brendan||

    No.

    I favor (controlled) immigration, perhaps modest to significantly expanded. I also strongly support reforming the system to make the process of residency and citizenshup more straightforward and efficient.

    That said, someone here illegally has NO RIGHT to be here. NONE. If they are caught, I support them being deported after a proper hearing to ensure they are actually here illegally. If they are caught because they were found to have committed a crime, I support the same thing even more strongly.

    This is like saying that a person who is arrested for possession of an illegal machine gun or kilo of heroin should have it returned to them if they are acquitted of the charges or the case dropped because the evidence was tossed out. Would that make sense.

    Perhaps a suspected child pornographer should have their pictures/videos returned if they are acquitted and/or the evidence excluded.

  • Doug Huffman||

    Deportation is being conflated with transportation, the punishment. Deportation is not punishment.

  • Jerry B.||

    "The answer, I think, is that it is wrong to punish people for morally arbitrary characteristics that are beyond their control."

    Oh. So illegal immigrants come to the U.S. because there is some force beyond their control compelling them to come, rather than staying in their home countries and trying to improve them. That makes good (?) sense. Maybe if we increased shipments of tin foil to Latin America and Africa, they could stop this mind control.

  • rsteinmetz||

    Every discussion of Immigration seems to be derailed by the use of language purposely designed to obscure the issues.

    The most flagrant is consistently failing to differentiate between legal immigrants, legal residents, illegal immigrants.and "undocumented workers"

    Some seem to want open boarders and allow anyone in who makes it across the border to claim citizenship. But they won't say so openly. The Mexican government is complicit in this by protesting any attempt by the US to control it's southern border, while at the same time fiercely guarding their own southern border, except when it may influence the US and their immigration allies in the US. Of course the Mexican government has reason to act this way, they are not only looking out for their citizens in the US the first of second source of hard currency to the Mexican Economy is "remittances" from the US (money sent by Mexicans in the US to their relatives in Mexico) or that immigration takes pressure off the Mexican government to improve the opportunities for their own citizens at home.

    Then there are those who argue against "the wall" as some sort of unjustified racist project, ignoring the massive criminal activity in and around the border. There is certainty drug smuggling and arms smuggling (back to Mexico) but also human trafficking, including "coyotaje"s who take money to bring people across the border. There have been cases of deaths due to people being abandoned no one knows how many.

  • rsteinmetz||

    At the turn of the 19th century the great transatlantic ocean liners were built primarily to transport immigrants to the US. It cost around $500 in current US dollars to make trip. If the US borders were truly opened how long would be be before a stream of wide body airliners had immigrants from all over the world arriving by the thousands daily?

    I am in favor of an expansive immigration policy however I am also in favor of knowing who we let into the country. To that end I would favor a wall and to negotiate a deal with any friendly country, including Mexico, to allow their citizens to come to the US without a visa for a limited time provided the person held a valid, verifiable passport from their home country and an open return ticket, even to look for work. If the person found work there should be a simple verifiable green card issued immediately upon verification of their employment and identity.

    I am truly amused by the reaction of our Canada neighbors at the current flood of illegal immigrants fleeing the US and crossing their border. I think there have been fewer than 5,000 so far. I wonder if they'll start building a wall soon.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Cliche now but this sort of argument is why Donald Trump is president.

  • HMI||

    The claim is that, "it is wrong to punish people for morally arbitrary characteristics that are beyond their control. They include such things as race, gender, ethnicity, and - in this case - where you happen to be born, and to which parents..."

    But for that to be so, it must be equally wrong to reward people for the same morally arbitrary characteristics. If that's so, then some set of non-arbitrary characteristics would be legitimate criteria for obtaining citizenship, including a demonstration of good moral character that could preclude conviction of felony charges. The fact that some have received citizenship on morally arbitrary grounds (i.e. birth), does not ethically prohibit the use of non-arbitrary grounds for others.

  • jph12||

    "then some set of non-arbitrary characteristics would be legitimate criteria for obtaining citizenship"

    There aren't enough toddlers dangling off of apartment complexes though.

  • Don Nico||

    "unless deportation is also imposed on natives."

    This is a completely stupid argument on its face. As citizens cannot be sent into exile and Somin knows it.

  • dwshelf||

    Why conflate "immigrants" with illegal immigrants, let along gang members?

    It's a dishonest rhetorical device.

  • Anon Y. Mous||

    Your whole argument is built on sand, starting with your subhead.

    Immigrants who commit crimes should be punished. But no more than others who commit the same offense.

    Deportation is not a punishment. When we catch a thief and return his ill-gotten gains back to the rightful owners, that is not the punishment. Punishment comes in the form of imprisonment or fines. How can giving the victims their property back be considered a punishment against the criminal? He never had a right to that property in the first place.

    Similarly, returning an illegal alien to their country of origin is not about punishment. They have no business being in our country to begin with. Sending them back to where they belong s just restoring the rightful order.

    Now, I would be happy if the federal government made a more concerted effort to round up all illegal aliens and send them all back to where they belong. But, since we aren't willing to invest the kind of resources that would take at this time, getting the criminals out is a good first step. They don't belong here anyway. Let them go back to where they belong where they can victimize their fellow citizens instead of us.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    This meeting of Libertarians For Authoritarian, Bigoted Immigration Practices has been especially spirited . . .

  • M.L.||

    Better headline: The Case Against Borders

  • Kazinski||

    Let's try a thought experiment here, say we implement Ilya's proposal that immigrants can only be punished for their crimes and not deported.

    Then let's say we have a country that comes up with a policy that they expel any of their own citizens guilty of violent felonies to the United States, surreptitiously of course. Then we have an entire class of criminal illegal aliens that we can't deport preying on Americans.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'm all for deportation being in the toolbox myself, but under your hypo they're all still being punished for their crimes in the US by being imprisoned. Which we do much more enthusiastically then most anyhow.

  • MightyMouse||

    Assuming it's a penal colony

  • ReaderY||

    Professor Volokh, a staunch libertarian, isn't quite an anarchist, but he regards countries as essentially administrative units, there to pick up the trash and enforce contracts, but not something people should feel membership in is especially important.

    I've pointed out that if you take the court's cases and the constitution's text seriously the order tends to be reversed. Since person is defined based on textual usage, you need the constitution's text to know what a person is, and moreover, Article III says only citizens and subjects have standing as individuals to sue. All this tends to make countries precede persons, not the other way around.

    The practical legal reality is often between these extremes.

  • ||

    What does Professor Volokh have to do with this?

  • M.L.||

    "[O]ffenses . . . will get an immigrant (even a legal one) deported to a lifetime of poverty and oppression"

    Why is Ilya so bigoted and racist, that he believes certain countries are condemned indefinitely, and there is no hope for them to develop and improve?

    This is far worse than calling those countries sh*tholes. Ilya is saying, "not only are they sh1tholes, they are so to the worst imaginable degree: the population generally is condemned to a lifetime of oppression and poverty, and it's going to stay that way."

    This prejudiced and fatalist outlook illustrates a defining psychology of modern leftism, which even Ted Kaczynski noted when he wrote about, "The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call
    "feelings of inferiority" and "oversocialization.""

    There are many other problems with Ilya's post, which should be embarrassing for a law professor. But this is sort of a key issue, because, as he nearly admits himself here, his logic actually applies equally as a criticism of the very existence of borders, and any policy which does not allow the entire world to migrate into the US if it so desires. So his many other fallacies and falsehoods are worth nothing but ultimately subsumed in the larger issue.

  • Rеv. Arthur I. Kirkland||

    Bull Cow is a deranged globalist hack. He doesn't believe that there should be ANY national borders anywhere. He wants to demolish the Constitution and our system of government in favor of a Communist one world government that he somehow thinks that he will be a major player in.

  • M.L.||

    *worth noting

  • kramartini||

    Regarding the bit about Trump allegedly referring to "sh*t-hole" countries.

    Trump made a private comment that was incorrectly leaked to the press by Democrats.

    The term he actually used was "shinola-hole", but the Democrats couldn't tell the difference...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Deport them all and let God sort them out.

  • MightyMouse||

    Agreed with the basic insight, which I find quite profound, that any measure of culpability can't be solely based on agent characteristics.

    But I have to fault the post for mentioning "retribution" without giving a trigger. /sarc

    Retribution, as I understand it, is the act of reflecting the crime back onto the perpetrator. Two wrongs don't make a right!

  • MightyMouse||

    The rule of law demands the depersonalization of punishment.

    Law is not a conduit through with personal retribution is paid.

    As Tolstoy says, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay"

  • MightyMouse||

    And I'm not defending pacifism. If you look back at America's just wars, they were all defending dignity against honor.

  • JonFrum||

    This is so bad it makes my head spin. Either we are a sovereign nation, or we are not. Under this proposal, we are not. If my kid acts up, I send him to his room. If my kid's friend acts up, I send him home. My kid/not my kid. This isn't a difficult concept. It is deliberately - perversely - obtuse to suggest otherwise. There is no need for detailed rebuttal - the thing is a non-starter. If he goes to court, you must deport.

  • EndOfPatience||

    I think we all agree that "... it is wrong to punish people for morally arbitrary characteristics that are beyond their control."

    Since that isn't the issue, let's also agree that it is perfectly reasonable to punish people for the criminal behavior they engage in, which IS NOT beyond their control.

    In the case of non-citizens, and especially those here illegally, deportation is a perfectly reasonable response to said criminality.

    In the case of naturalized citizens who lied about their intent to join out community, revocation of citizenship followed by deportation is also a reasonable response.

    (Seriously, how could you write such a shallow, poorly reasoned piece based on the Leftist stunt of using a strawman to dishonestly portray a position you don't like?) You're better than this.)

  • ThomasH||

    I do not this this is quite right. Deportable alien "criminals" are not being punished more than the native-born for the same offense. If they are deported it is because the law says they may be and choosing to expend resources deporting them rather than non-criminal aliens is just cost effective law enforcement.

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