ACLU: Stop the Criminialization of the Undocumented

The ACLU has released an issues brief arguing against the criminalizing of the undocumented. It's both unlawful and harmful to public policy.

The use by states and localities of criminal laws to go after undocumented immigrants simply for being undocumented is generally unlawful, because the federal government has sole power to regulate immigration.


...More important, the federal government's decision to prosecute more immigration violations criminally has diverted resources from prosecution of serious violent and property crimes. As federal prosecutions for immigration law crimes such as illegal entry have increased dramatically, with prosecutors choosing to pursue 97 percent of all such crimes referred to them, federal prosecutors have had less time for prosecutions for gun trafficking, public corruption, organized crime, and white-collar crime.

The full brief is here.

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    Unfortunately, vile Tancredo will get (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by esmense on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 04:20:28 PM EST
    more mainstream coverage than this -- and in the process have his insanity validated as part of the mainstream debate. While the ACLU, as an organizaton, will be, as it routinely is, dismissed and ignored as far Left and out of the mainstream.

    The answer is right there (none / 0) (#1)
    by pluege on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 03:28:42 PM EST
    federal prosecutors have had less time for prosecutions for gun trafficking, public corruption, organized crime, and white-collar crime.

    a.k.a. republican crimes: public corruption, organized crime, and white-collar crime.

    republicans are very organized. Don't expect to see any shift of diversions from republican crimes any time soon.

    I think the best compromise... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 06:41:17 PM EST
    ... is allowing illegal aliens (I do resist calling them undocumented, because they have broken the law) to, via some route, become permanent residents, but not allow them to become citizens. I think some things need to be reserved for those who played by the rules.But I also think a mass effort to deport ten million mostly law-abiding and productive people doesn't do anyone any good. And I think removing the partisan argument that the Democrats are trying to mass-legalize potential Democratic voters wouls make it easier to pass something.

    I see your logic (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Babel 17 on Sat Feb 06, 2010 at 09:12:00 PM EST
    but I think your solution would work to keeping them an exploited class.

    Consider communities where they are a sizable portion of the work force. If their employers were being unfair how concerned would elected officials be?

    Fwiw, in any debate about illegal workers I'm sensitive to the plight of lower income workers who are legal residents/citizens and who suffer due to the competition from this unplanned for workforce.

    Those employer who profited from this won't have to pay a price. And they're still banking their gains.

    I'm assuming some form of a limited amnesty will be the eventual compromise.

    I'm old enough to remember how the first amnesty was solemnly sworn to be the last one we'd need.

    Many do, I think. That our government failed to prevent a need for a second one is partly why this next amnesty is such a hot topic.

    Enforcement is a tricky issue. Proposals for realistic enforcement for immigration invite comparisons to our current failed system.


    As long as the labor market is (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 12:10:07 PM EST
    flooded, be it with illegal aliens, legal immigrants or US citizens, wages and working conditions will be poor.

    That is just how the commodity market, and labor is a commodity, works.

    If you want to help the "labor class" as some have described them, close the borders and enforce the law.

    That would include some draconian punishment for employers.

    No more outsourcing, too? (none / 0) (#9)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 12:18:09 PM EST
    Outsourcing is an entirely different problem (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 02:38:25 PM EST
    but if I could figure a way to stop it, I would.

    You are right (none / 0) (#11)
    by nyjets on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 03:28:50 PM EST
    Immigration (illegal or illegal) and outsourcing are two sides of the same coin.
    We need to punish companies that outsource and make it economically difficult for them to do so.