Thursday, July 17, 2014

Op-ed: What Part of Illegal Don't You Understand?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 11:30 AM


WHAT PART OF ILLEGAL DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND??? There is always one schmuck that needs to recycle that bumper sticker quote in the comments section of an immigration article. And it has to be in CAPS!! And it has to have multiple question marks and perhaps a couple exclamation points. If it’s not in CAPS and does not have the multiple punctuations, than the point is not made. So, let me be that schmuck today and pose that question to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, the Arizona State Militia, Russell Pearce, gubernatorial candidate Frank Riggs and congressional candidate/newest member of the Village People, Adam Kwasman: WHAT PART OF ILLEGAL DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND??!?!?

This lesson is for all those law-abiding folks that came to protest that fictional bus carrying unaccompanied migrant youths (aka UAC’s) to Oracle, Arizona on Tuesday. The minors are being held by the U.S. government pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protections Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). The TVPRA instructs our government to transfer the custody of unaccompanied minors to the custody of Health and Human Services (HHS). Once in the custody of HHS, the minors are processed for possible removal from the United States which includes evaluation of whether the minor can remain in the U.S. in some form of lawful status. It is the LAW that was originally signed by President George W. Bush in 2008.

If law-abiding U.S. citizens don’t like the TVPRA or its unintended consequences, lobby to get it amended. Feel free to peacefully assemble and protest, but don’t block the bus from going to its intended destination (a la the protestors in Murrieta, California). According to an article by Stephen Lemons in the Phoenix New Times, Oracle resident Robert Skiba was originally tipped off to this busload of migrant youths and Mr. Skiba told Mr. Lemons:

"We're going to engage in peaceful assembly and if these buses with these people from Central America come in, we're going to stop it. we're going to turn them around and send them back, just like they did in Murrieta, California."

Sheriff Babeu even posted on his Facebook page that the “children should be returned to their home country - not to Oracle, Arizona paid for by American taxpayers.” But, that’s not how it works in the good ‘ol United States, if there is a law we are supposed to follow it. Right Mr. Sheriff? Mr. Law Enforcer?

So, if you are following closely, you will realize that the minors that turned themselves into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are not breaking the law. In fact, they may not even be “illegal”. But, what about the protestors? Would their attempts to stop the bus and send it back be breaking the law? It turns out that if you read the Arizona Revised Statute, not only would these protestors be breaking the law, there are several possible statutes that they could have been violating including:

13-2402. Obstructing governmental operations, which is a class 1 misdemeanor;

13-2906. Obstructing a highway or other public thoroughfare, which is a class 3 misdemeanor; and

13-2908. Criminal nuisance, which is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Perhaps there are other laws that they could have violated in the process, but those are just a few examples. So, the irony of this situation is that the minors on the bus would not be the law breakers, the bus blockers would have been! Would Sheriff Babeu, who allegedly conspired in the planning of this protest and who always preaches the rule of law, have arrested the bus blockers?

There is no doubt our immigration laws are currently a mess and are in dire need for reform. If you asked Mr. Kwasman, Mr. Pearce and others if they support the comprehensive immigration reform bill that’s before congress they would undoubtedly respond “no”. They will tell you that we need to enforce the laws on our books right now! That if we enforce our laws and seal our border with a triple border fence, drones and man-eating alligators in a moat, we might solve our immigration problems. But, the irony of all this is that the moment they realized they didn’t like one of our current immigration-related laws (the TVPRA) they scream for reform and encourage illegal activity against immigrants.


(Editor's Note: This was originally published at Goldman's Blogger.)

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