Immigration Crisis Solved!

It’s pretty simple, actually: those opposed to making citizens out of illegal immigrants say that it is wrong to be rewarded for violating the law. That’s true, as a general matter. (In my view, it is vastly overstated: we don’t take away someone’s license for a parking ticket.) But in any event, why not say that those illegal immigrants who want to become citizens have to pay a particular penalty?

Now McCain-Kennedy already does that, of course. But I’m thinking of something far more specific: why don’t illegal immigrants have to do precisely what Rush Limbaugh must do under his plea agreement?

I’d love to see the right wing, which has condemned Limbaugh’s probation/plea agreement as unduly harsh, answer this: why suddenly is it a free ride for an illegal immigrant to do precisely what Limbaugh must do, even though the immigrant (unlike LImbaugh) has not actually committed a crime?

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web

7 thoughts on “Immigration Crisis Solved!”

  1. It wouldn't be a free ride, since the terms of that agreement would require an illegal immigrant to leave the country immediately, and stay out.
    1. You will refrain from violation of any law.
    Including immigration laws, employment laws, laws against the use of forged ID?
    2. You will pay X thirty dollars…
    Yeah, a fine to cover the cost of finding and deporting them would be pefectly reasonable, and, yeah, Limbaugh got an insane bargain.
    3. You will work regularly at a lawful occupation…
    In Mexico, one would assume, since NO occupation is lawful if you're here illegally.
    So, sure, bring it on, that would be much harsher than current policy.

  2. Damn fine idea. If some Fukienese fisherman can come up with $30K to get smuggled here on a tramp steamer, he can pay the US Treasury instead. We could even sell guestworker coupons on Ebay. This would put the coyotes and snakeheads out of business and more importantly get the free-market types onside.

  3. Actually, the term 'illegal' implies criminal activity.
    And Rush is a wanker.

  4. Crossing an international border without following the laws of the countries involved is a crime. Staying beyond the length of your visa is a crime. Pay for it.

  5. "Staying beyond the length of your visa is a crime. Pay for it."
    Is this true, or did you just make it up? Staying beyond the length of one's visa is a crime? I don't think so. I could be wrong, but I don't think there's any such criminal law.

  6. Christopher surely can't believe that violating a visa entails no penalty. Jonathan should know that the penalty prescribed for unauthorized entry into the USA is…deportation.

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