Patterico's Pontifications

2/22/2008

Memo to L.A. Times Editors: Illegal Immigration Is Illegal

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 1:08 am

Do the editors of the L.A. Times realize that illegal immigration is, you know, illegal? I wonder when I read editorials like this:

It’s getting ugly out there for illegal immigrants. States and cities are cracking down with harsh new ordinances, and the courts are upholding them. Not only are deportations at record highs, but immigrants are being detained at places previously understood to be off-limits, such as schools. The debate about illegal immigration, labor, social justice and international trade has devolved into open season on illegal immigrants.

Arizona penalizes employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, suspending their business license for 10 days for the first offense, revoking it permanently for the second. Valley Park in Missouri fines businesses that hire illegal immigrants. Oklahoma not only forbids their hiring and bars them from receiving tax-supported services — except healthcare — it also makes it a felony for anyone to transport, shelter or conceal illegal immigrants.

Sounds reasonable to me. Not to the editors, who equate one court decision upholding such laws with the Dred Scott decision:

It’s nothing new for states and municipalities to try to regulate immigration. California pioneered that trail in 1994 with the passage of Proposition 187, which sought to discourage illegal immigration by denying noncitizens a range of public services. Last year, Hazleton, Pa., caught the nation’s attention when it tried to criminalize landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny business permits to companies that hire them. Until recently, however, the courts stood as a bulwark against this spate of angry — and often unconstitutional — ordinances, ruling that immigration is federal territory.

Not anymore. In Arizona, Missouri and Oklahoma, business groups or immigration advocates sued to block the new laws, and in each case federal judges upheld them. The Oklahoma ruling is particularly pernicious. With the spirit of Dred Scott hovering over his pen, Judge James H. Payne wrote that illegal immigrants do not have the right to sue: “An illegal alien, in willful violation of federal immigration law, is without standing to challenge the constitutionality of a state law, when compliance with federal law would absolve the illegal alien’s constitutional dilemma.”

Unfortunately, Payne’s dehumanizing tone echoes the callous treatment that too often is accorded illegal immigrants.

No, he simply recognizes that they are illegal. I’d like to think that maybe the spirit of Dred Scott really was hovering over his pen — whispering “I didn’t have a choice, but these people do” — when the judge wrote this:

[C]uriously absent from [the illegal alien plaintiffs'] voluminous complaint is any challenge to the federal laws rendering their presence in this country illegal. Instead, these Plaintiffs seemingly concede the validity of the federal immigration laws, and file this suit in order to remove any barriers the state of Oklahoma has erected to their continued violation of those federal laws. These illegal alien Plaintiffs seek nothing more than to use this Court as a vehicle for their continued unlawful presence in this country. To allow these Plaintiffs to do so would make this Court an “abetter of iniquity” and this Court finds that simply unpalatable.

Is the judge “callous” and “dehumanizing” here? Or is he demonstrating rare common sense?

You make the call!

91 Responses to “Memo to L.A. Times Editors: Illegal Immigration Is Illegal”

  1. “…demonstrating rare common sense?”

    Nuff said right?

    Actually rare suggest that once in a while it’s observed, I think a rarer word should be found, suggest, endangered species?

    TC (1cf350)

  2. Hah. Endangered is right.

    Good for Judge Payne.

    Joe M. (5d215f)

  3. It’s getting ugly out there for serial rapists. Women carrying tasers or mace, vigilantes stalking and harassing them, media dehumanizing them and encouraging people to track them down and do them harm…

    What’s a poor serial rapist to do?

    Pablo (99243e)

  4. hopefully this will be a trend that keeps goimg until every american has a good jolt of common sense

    todd barnes (073599)

  5. I want to buy that judge a drink!!

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  6. It’s getting ugly out there for mainstream newspapers. Alternative tabloids and internet websites are cracking down with harsh new criticisms, and the court of public opinion is siding with them. Not only are subscriber cancellations at record highs, but readers are being enticed by places previously understood to be off-limits, such as Patterico’s Pontifications. The MSM’s tirades about illegal immigration, labor, social justice and international trade have resembled the desperate flailings of men trying to swim against the tide with shoes of concrete.

    aunursa (8229bd)

  7. They could have quoted this as well for a fairer portrayal of the opinion:

    “The Court would perhaps reach a different conclusion if this case involved children plaintiffs whose unlawful presence in this country was involuntary. See Plyler, 457 U.S. at 220. Indeed, the Plyler Court made it clear that the result in that case was predicated, in large part, on the fact that the illegal alien children plaintiffs’ unlawful presence in the country was not of their own volition:

    At the least, those who elect to enter our territory by stealth and in violation of our law should be prepared to bear the consequences, including, but not limited to, deportation. But the children of those illegal entrants are not comparably situated. Their parents have the ability to conform their conduct to societal norms, and presumably the ability to remove themselves from the State’s jurisdiction; but the children who are plaintiffs in these cases can affect neither their parents’ conduct nor their own status.”

    Entire opinion here. (Caveat — “standing” is pretty dry stuff. ;) )

    nk (798403)

  8. Its called illegal imagration becuase its illegal and the outlaw goverment of mexico is encoraging it

    krazy kagu (9b4d22)

  9. When my father brought in a guest worker from another country in the 1960′s he had to put up a $5000 bond that would be forfeit if the worker applied for any benefits from the U.S. Government. Just applying for government benefits were grounds for deportation. He filed a small mountain of paperwork every year including their income tax report. The worker was in touch with their embassy and a representative from the embassy called them least once a year to confirm that my father was living up to his side of the contract. There was a basic understanding that just living in the US did not make someone a ward of the state. The system worked, and most people did their best to find US citizens to employ, instead of legal guest workers.
    Illegal immigrants are not immigrants.
    Immigrants are not guest workers.
    And people who settle in areas in such numbers that they change the local culture to match their own are called colonists.
    I have gone for a weeks at a time and not heard English spoken on the streets of my city. My community, apparently, didn’t deserve the protection of the laws of the United States.

    tyree (539142)

  10. In the LAT worldview, saying no to anyone other than a WASP is a dehumanzing act. These are the people who editorialized that parking lot attendants are victims of capitalism and we should t/4 park our own cars downtown!

    In my one visit to the LAT, I saw lots of Amnistia posters. Quel surprise.

    BTW, in the show Jericho, there is a character who is a reporter from the LAT. He is younger by 40 years than any of the real ones, bearded, idealistic and the ONLY HOPE for civilization! It’s a hoot. He gets killed by the bad guys (white conservatives who took over the government) when they catch him calling his editor.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  11. Is it a felony to unknowingly transport or shelter illegal aliens in Oklahoma?

    One of the things that I dislike about this kind of rule is that it encourages everyone to demand to see my papers before, for example, letting me board a city bus. Or rent a hotel room.

    There’s something troubling about that.

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  12. It’s nice to see some enforcement of the law, for a change.

    However, let’s not forget also that the legal immigration system we have right now is rather broken. From all I’ve heard, it takes years to go through the legal system, far more than it should. And the stories of bureaucratic incompetence I’ve heard… well, let’s just say I can sympathize with those who want to bypass the whole mess and just come here illegally. I don’t want to encourage them, since it does make them vulnerable to all kinds of abuse — but I can sympathize.

    Let’s keep in mind that the motive for most illegals was to look for work in a country that has a lot more jobs than their home country. While we enforce the immigration laws and deport those who are here illegally, we should also be looking into just why so many people “jump the line”, so to speak.

    Enforcement of the law isn’t enough, in my opinion. The right thing to do is to both enforce the law and also fix the currently-broken legal immigration system.

    Robin Munn (cc08f2)

  13. If illegal immigrants want access to my tax dollars, I’ll be more than happy to help them get that via a two-week vacation in the nearest jail before they get sent back to wherever they came from.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  14. And here we go again…

    Woman charged in fatal bus crash; she’s using alias, in U.S. illegally

    The woman, who is using the name Aliannis N. Morales, is charged with four counts of criminal-vehicular homicide, running a stop sign and driving without a license at the time of the crash Tuesday afternoon near Cottonwood.

    The pseudonym is telling. Sort of a mash up of alian and alias.

    Federal immigration investigator Claude Arnold said that Morales is not the woman’s name, and she is not revealing her real name. He added that she is in this country illegally, probably from Mexico.

    …and…

    According to state records, Morales has a Minnesota identification card but not a valid driver’s license. She pleaded guilty in June 2006 to driving without a license and paid a $182 fine.

    Apparently, she was not impressed with our criminal justice system, nor our ability to identify and deport illegals who break our laws. And now 4 children are dead.

    Pablo (99243e)

  15. with the spirit of dred scott hovering over his pen…

    this is speaking in symbols with the intention of tarring judge payne with the brush of racism. in the mind of a liberal editor, an illegal alien and a runaway slave occupy the same estate, and the burden rests always with the white, heterosexual male to acquit himself of his original sin. this editor wants us to open our courts so that people from mexico (and guatemala, el salvador, even panama), their clothes still wet from the rio grande, can sue us to enjoin our legislative acts. it costs money to run these courts and defend ourselves in litigation, who do you think is paying for this? will nothing less than an abdication of our sovereignty over these fifty states satisfy this editor?

    assistant devil's advocate (5f17a1)

  16. Stated well and poetically, ADA. I am in awe.

    John Barrett Jr. (241ec0)

  17. The woman who was mugged in OC by a woman using pepper spray has now died. It’s murder.

    Why was the original report that the assailant spoke Spanish now changed? Was the report incorrect–or politically incorrect? Article

    Patricia (f56a97)

  18. Federal immigration investigator Claude Arnold said that Morales is not the woman’s name, and she is not revealing her real name.

    Somebody should just whisper “desaperecido” to her. She does not exist and nobody will miss her and even if anyone does there will be no trace back. And as kind a treatment for the murderer of four children as anyone should expect.

    nk (669aab)

  19. “No, he simply recognizes that they are illegal.”

    He does much more. He uses that to take away their standing.

    stef (6e3234)

  20. The Times also neglects to mention that the Mayor of Hazelton, PA won both primaries when he ran for reelection last fall. He won the Democrat primary as a write-in. He sponsored the policy about illegals.

    Last night I watched a Frank Luntz focus group during the Dem debate. In discussion among this group of undecided Democrats, illegal immigration was brought up by several with no prompting from Luntz.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  21. Please don’t use the Arizon law as an example of action. I live in Arizona, and for all the hullabaloo about sticking it to employers for hiring illegal immigrant, not a single employer has been fined, not a single business license has been lost. It’s another do-nothing attempt to scare the illegals into leaving town. The employers in Arizona know that the law has no teeth. Force the federal government to act NOW!

    Ann (66f92c)

  22. Thank you Judge Payne for protecting the American citizens of Arizona. We need more judges who care about the citizens of this country and uphold the law. We have a judge in Scranton, PA who sided with the illegals in the Hazleton decision and is a traitor to America. Thankfully, there are people like you who will continue to use common sense in protecting us from this illegal invasion. I wish there was a presidential candidate who speaks for us. Sadly, we conservatives do not have any one representing us in this coming election. I am frightened for my country. God help us!!

    Bernie (35525c)

  23. You know, the Oklahoma decision does bother me. I wouldn’t have a problem with the judge deciding the issue on the merits and deciding the state laws are valid — I think tougher state laws against illegal immigration are fine under federalist principles.

    But denying the illegal immigrants standing to even challenge the laws goes too far. Yes, they are violating federal law by being in the country illegally. The issue, however, is whether the state laws being applied to them are constitutional. Even though I would say they are, the plaintiffs should be able to reach that issue.

    Let’s say a Brit here legally has never filed federal tax returns and is thus in a stte of continuous violation of federal law. If a state arbitrarily and unconstitutionally confiscates all his property, is it right to say “well you are violating federal law so you have no standing to challenge the state’s allegedly unconstitutional taking?”

    Is the principle here that illegal aliens have no standing to challenge any state laws whatsoever, no matter how unconstitutional they might be? That’s too much. I don’t like the idea of unconstitutional laws remaining on the books simply because the affected class doesn’t have standing to challenge them. It would be better if states intent on combating illegal immigration simply enacted tough laws that survive constitutional scrutiny. If need be, have the US Congress pass a law giving states broad discretion in enacting anti-illegal immigration policies, which should take care of most problems nice and constitutionally.

    Aplomb (d0fdfd)

  24. “Somebody should just whisper “desaperecido” to her. She does not exist and nobody will miss her and even if anyone does there will be no trace back.”

    What does this mean?

    stef (034065)

  25. Americans are starting to slowly understand something, despite the open borders fanatics who are still clueless, this is a nation of American citizens, and legal residents. We are the ones who want our laws enforced. We have NO desire, any longer for massive LEGAL, and especially not ILLEGAL immigration. We are in extreme trouble as a nation financially. I mean extreme trouble. Oh sure, this economy may not affect rich East/West Coast liberals, or even the heads of the Republican and Democratic Party elites. THEY are doing just fine and have limousines, private jets, and thousand dollar a night hotel accomadations wherever they go. It is now the American taxpaying, warfighting, hardworking, overstressed public, that is demanding accountablility. From Obama, Hillary, or McCain, it makes no difference. The same goes for the Mayors, Governors, Senators, Congressman, and the rest–across the nation. THE AMERICAN CITIZENRY AND THOSE HERE LEGALLY DEMAND TO BE REPRESENTED.

    Bobby (d507f4)

  26. Robin Munn seems to think we have illegal aliens because of a “broken” immigration system. No such thing. We have illegal aliens because there are literally millions of people who would like to come here (46 percent of Mexico alone according to the Pew Hispanic Center), many of them unskilled and uneducated laborers from Third World countries, and there is simply no way we can accommodate all or even most of them without destroying ourselves and our country. As it is, we have 1 million LEGAL immigrants a year, with more than 20 percent coming from one country, Mexico, under family reunification. The only thing “broken” about our immigration system is our government’s failure to enforce the laws on the books.

    Ali (d53d4c)

  27. nk -

    Last week, when speaking of Calvin Inman’s confession to a murder committed 13 years ago, you said:

    “The idiot put himself at the mercy, or lack of, his fellow human beings who are pretty much fairly represented in these comments.”

    The comments above yours were mostly saying that Mr. Inman did the right thing and that should count for something, but that he shouldn’t be let off the hook for the murder he committed. Your comment would seem to imply that you think this harsh, and that mercy should be shown — and that you disagree with those arguing for showing mercy to Mr. Inman.

    Now you have this to say about “Morales”:

    Somebody should just whisper “desaperecido” to her. She does not exist and nobody will miss her and even if anyone does there will be no trace back. And as kind a treatment for the murderer of four children as anyone should expect.

    First of all, that is vile. “Disappearing” someone is what dictators do, and I find it chilling that you would even suggest such a thing. You need to retract that statement and apologize for it.

    Second, what “Morales” committed was manslaughter, not murder. She was responsible for the deaths she caused, but she did not intend to harm anyone when she sat down behind the wheel. She killed four people, but she is not a murderer.

    And for this crime, you are suggesting that she should be “disappeared”? Um, what happened to showing mercy?

    Make up your mind, please. Are you in favor of harsh punishment for manslaughter? Because you can’t very well be both. Not and maintain any intellectual integrity.

    And whether or not what you said about Mr. Inman reflected your real views, you still need to retract and aplogize for your “desaperecido” statement.

    Robin Munn (cc08f2)

  28. Aplomb wrote:”But denying the illegal immigrants standing to even challenge the laws goes too far.”

    American students sued the state of Kansas (?) for providing in-state tuition to illegal aliens and not them. The judge ruled that the students had no standing. Would Aplomb say that that judge was going too far? (I think he is, but I’m not an attorney or a judge.)

    Ali (d53d4c)

  29. Robin…intent follows the bullet…

    She (Morales) got behind the wheel of a vehicle she was legally not allowed to drive, which means she is responsible before the fact of anything she does, or anything that happens.

    That is murder….isn’t it?

    reff (bff229)

  30. Ali -

    That is certainly a contributing factor. I’m not trying to say that even with a perfectly-functioning immigration system, we wouldn’t have to turn some people away. The number of people who want to come here is far higher than we can assimilate smoothly, and we’d still continue to see large numbers of illegal immigrants even if our legal-immigration system worked better.

    But I suggest that you talk to a few people who’ve immigrated legally, or had to deal with the Immigration & Naturalization Service (or whatever it’s called now, I can’t recall at the moment) first hand for other reasons. Such as my Texan friend who adopted three kids from Russia, or my cousin who married a South American man. The stories they’ve told me about their experiences with what was at that time the INS have left me deeply thankful that I’ve never had to fight with that bureaucratic mess just to get to be in the same country as my spouse, or to get my adopted kids acknowledged as citizens.

    Fixing the legal-immigration system certainly won’t relieve the problem of illegal immigration completely. Perhaps it won’t even relieve it very much. But that’s still no reason why the people who want to come here legally, and go through the proper channels, should have to suffer the kinds of incompetence I’ve heard about.

    Sorry I can’t share specific stories — it’s been too long since I heard them, and I’d probably hesitate to do so anyway out of consideration for the privacy of the people involved. The one detail I do feel free to share is that if you need to talk to the agent handling your case, you can’t phone him — they don’t give out phone numbers. Instead, you have to go to the INS office, take a number, and wait in line. The line starts forming in the very early hours of the morning, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get called before the INS employees go home at 3:30 PM. Yes — not 5:00, not 4:00, but 3:30. And if you didn’t get to see them, you get to do it all again the next day.

    That, and other stories, are the reason why I keep harping on fixing the legal-immigration system.

    Robin Munn (cc08f2)

  31. aplomb….how do the illegal aliens in your #22 have standing?

    They aren’t supposed to be here…ergo, they can’t be in the nation, so, they can’t even file suit…

    They aren’t here…

    Oh, wait…I know what’s coming next, but, I’ll wait for your response…

    reff (bff229)

  32. reff -

    No. The difference between murder and manslaughter is in the intent, not the responsibility. If you get behind the wheel drunk and end up killing somebody, you are responsible for your actions, but you didn’t intend to kill them. That’s manslaughter. If, however, you deliberately point the car at someone crossing the street and run them down, that’s murder.

    “Morales” killed four people by her incompetence, but did not have the deliberate intention of doing so. Thus, she committed manslaughter, but not murder.

    Robin Munn (cc08f2)

  33. “They aren’t supposed to be here…ergo, they can’t be in the nation, so, they can’t even file suit…”

    Thats some impeccable thinking. By that simple logic, I guess I can fear no lawsuit from what I do to trespassers.

    stef (0ea84b)

  34. As a layperson…I disagree with the intent of the law…as you interpret it….

    She had to know that her actions would intend for the deaths of others, because it is a forseeable intent…if you fail to drive a car responsibly, you will kill people, therefore your intent is to kill, because of your actions….it is not just the responsibility for the actions, but the intent of the actions to me that are the same….

    I’m not sure I could be on that jury…

    reff (bff229)

  35. stef…if the simplest logic were followed, you wouldn’t…

    But, trespassers are breaking the law as they enter your property, and, if you believe you have fear, kill them….

    Of course, if the trespassers don’t enter your property, they have no fears either, do they???

    If the illegal aliens are not here, they have no ability to sue, do they??? Why should they have the right if they are not here???

    reff (bff229)

  36. stef…p.s.

    I’d love to be on your jury…even though I don’t like your responses…

    You’d get off, because the trespassers don’t belong on your property….and that is not jury nullification, either…

    reff (bff229)

  37. What do you mean by “her actions would intend for the deaths of others”? You don’t seem to be using the same definition of “intent” that I am. You seem to be using it to mean “result” or “consequence”. I (and the law, as I understand it) use the word “intent” to mean what a person was planning to do, not the unplanned consequences of their actions. By that definition, the phrase “her actions would intend for the deaths of others” doesn’t make any sense — could you explain what you mean?

    Robin Munn (cc08f2)

  38. I understand your point…I just don’t think that your interpretation should be the one used…I’m not saying you are wrong….

    She didn’t belong in this country; she didn’t have the legal right to drive without a license, even though she was here; she was not properly prepared under the law to drive; she then drove, knowing full well that she was not supposed to do so.

    Those statements together in my mind mean that she did intend for people to die, which is a forseeable result of her actions. Intent, which I agree with your definition, should also carry forth when the actions of a person are so out of line with common law so as to mean the worst possible result is the intent.

    I’m stretching, I know….

    reff (bff229)

  39. OK, I think I understand where you’re coming from now.

    And actually, the law does provide for the kind of distinction you want to make — it’s the distinction between “voluntary manslaughter” and “involuntary manslaughter”.

    Voluntary manslaughter is where you should have known your actions were likely to result in someone’s death. For example, what “Morales” did, or what a drunk driver does — if they end up killing someone, that’s voluntary manslaughter.

    Involuntary manslaughter is where you weren’t fully responsible, or you couldn’t have foreseen the results. If your brakes fail and you end up killing a pedestrian, you might be charged with involuntary manslaughter. There’s some degree of responsibility — maybe you knew that your brakes needed repairs, but you put it off just too long — but not nearly as much as driving without a license or training, or driving while drunk.

    The difference between voluntary manslaughter and murder is the decision of “I think I’m going to go harm (or kill) someone today”, versus “I think I’m going to go drive even though I know (or should know) it’s dangerous”. Incompetence, responsibility for the results, but not the deliberate decision to kill.

    I should probably mention that I’m not a lawyer, so if I’ve made any grievous mistakes here, I’d appreciate a correction from Patterico or any other lawyers hanging around. :-)

    Robin Munn (cc08f2)

  40. Ali, no. 27: I’m not familiar with that case, but if the basic facts are, 1) Kansas provides low tuition for all Kansas residents, illegal and legal, 2) non-Kansan students sue because they are basically subsidizing illegal aliens and 3) court says plaintiffs have no standing, I think the court has it wrong. I think the case would be a loser for several reasons but the non-residents certainly are financially affected enough to confer standing to raise the issue.

    reff no. 30: foreign nationals and corporations, resident or not, legal or not, have certain rights under US law and constitutional law even if they don’t have the full range of rights as citizens. Illegal aliens are not non-persons with no rights whatsoever — you can’t beat one up and steal all their stuff and expect not to face punishment or a civil suit, for example.

    My point is that they should be entitled to establish their rights, however circumscribed compared to those of citizens, if they allege a state law affecting them violates the US constitution. Simply saying they don’t have standing to even raise the issue is wrong. Yes, they don’t have the right to even be here, but that doesn’t mean that other rights they may have under the law despite their illegal status are being violated, or that laws that apply to them are unconstitutional. To deny them standing goes beyond recognizing their limited rights as non-citizens and illegal status (proper) to denying them status as a person entitled to even assert whatever limited rights they may have (improper).

    Aplomb (d0fdfd)

  41. Patricia …#17…
    Well, of course the OCRegister has been very vocal in their advocacy for open borders.

    Ann…#20…
    Isn’t the effective date of that AZ law 1Mar08?
    Perhaps that is why no one has been charged yet?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  42. aplomb…I don’t disagree with the concept that they cannot/should not be abused, either legally or illegally, by people or the system…

    But, and this is a big but, there should be NOTHING in the law that gives them anything other than the basic protections of police, fire, emergency rooms, and safe exit from the country….

    reff (bff229)

  43. Aplomb -

    I agree with you that just because someone is here illegally doesn’t mean they have no rights.

    But if an illegal immigrant has standing to challenge whether a U.S. law is constitutional, that brings up the very interesting question of exactly which of his rights are guaranteed him by the U.S. constitution, and which of his rights are guaranteed him by his status as a human being with inherent rights. I think most everyone would agree that rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inherent, universal human rights. But what about the rights guaranteed by the U.S. constitution to its citizens — do non-citizens enjoy the same rights? I think we’d agree that rights such as freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion are (or should be) universal rights. But what about freedom to bear arms — does the U.S. Constitution guarantee that to non-U.S. citizens? What if those non-U.S. citizens are illegal immigrants residing in the U.S.? What if they aren’t immigrants, but are residing in Mexico? Or France? Or Japan?

    Big ol’ can of worms here, and I’m not sure what the right answer is.

    Furthermore, I think I’d agree with you that an illegal immigrant should be able to challenge a state law that said, for instance, “All illegal immigrants shall be rounded up and have an I.I. symbol branded on their forehead.” But what if the state law said “All illegal immigrants shall be fined $5,000 and deported” — should they still have standing? What if the law simply said “All illegal immigrants shall be deported as quickly as may be reasonably and humanely effected”?

    I’m just not sure where the line should be drawn.

    Robin Munn (cc08f2)

  44. Is the principle here that illegal aliens have no standing to challenge any state laws whatsoever, no matter how unconstitutional they might be

    Well, yes…

    Because had they followed federal law, they would not be subject to the state law.

    That’s the whole point. I can’t get made for watching all three hours of a crappy TV show when the remote in in my hand, nor can I get mad when I get pulled over from drunk driving after drinking for the last 5 hours straight. My actions placed me in a position to feel the weight of the law. Had I complied, I would not have been punished.

    If a state law is unconstitutional, let a legal resident challenge it. Those who shouldn’t be here in the first place don’t get a say.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  45. “If the illegal aliens are not here, they have no ability to sue, do they”

    I do believe foreigners can sue in US courts.

    “You’d get off, because the trespassers don’t belong on your property….and that is not jury nullification, either…”

    Really? So I can torture and rape a trespasser, and you’d let me off?

    stef (614891)

  46. #33 No, reff, you do not understand intent.

    And, before the law, he who asserts something as fact, has the burden of proving it. You assert she intended to kill, what is your evidence? That she was operating a vehicle without a license? You’ll need something better than that.

    #18, #26 If the intent is to intimidate her into reveling her identity, I could stomach it. Maybe. But that is the only justification for such a remark I can think of.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  47. Robin Munn 42: There are tough questions where to draw the line concerning rights of illegal aliens. I think everyone agrees they get some basic rights but not nearly the rights of a citizen. The issue in the Okla case is that the judge implied that an illegal alien has no standing to contest state action that might violate rights he might have or to question whether a law affecting him is invalid because unconstitutional.

    Scott Jacobs 43: Breaking a law does not deprive you of all rights, even convicted illegal alien murderers on death row have some rights. Breaking the immigration law doesn’t deprive one of all rights. But if you don’t have standing to assert what few basic rights you have as an illegal alien, you may as well not have any rights at all. It’s one thing to have laws that are very harsh on illegal aliens and afford them few rights. It’s another to say because they broke one law, they can’t challenge possibly unconstitutional laws or actions affecting their rights in every other context.

    Aplomb (d0fdfd)

  48. #20 Ann, #49 Another Drew:

    The law when into effect Jan 1st. But maybe the reason there haven’t been any prosecutions of employers, is because the law has had the effect of scaring the illegals away. And employers, according to the story, have been purging their employee rolls of people who couldn’t prove their legal status, i.e., employers are obeying the law. If they aren’t in violation, there is nothing to prosecute for.

    But, yes, the Federal Government should D@%% well do its part in enforcing the laws on the books already.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  49. It’s another to say because they broke one law, they can’t challenge possibly unconstitutional laws or actions affecting their rights in every other context.

    Actions affecting their rights, yes, but duly passed laws, no. Why should you be allowed to challenge the laws of a society you have no legal business being in? Should you be able to go anyplace in the world and file suit to overturn their laws because you don’t like them?

    Pablo (99243e)

  50. And should anyone in the world be allowed to sneak into this country and file suit to overturn our laws because they don’t like them?

    Pablo (99243e)

  51. Aplomb, reread the opinion:

    [C]uriously absent from [the illegal alien plaintiffs’] voluminous complaint is any challenge to the federal laws rendering their presence in this country illegal. Instead, these Plaintiffs seemingly concede the validity of the federal immigration laws, and file this suit in order to remove any barriers the state of Oklahoma has erected to their continued violation of those federal laws. These illegal alien Plaintiffs seek nothing more than to use this Court as a vehicle for their continued unlawful presence in this country. To allow these Plaintiffs to do so would make this Court an “abetter of iniquity” and this Court finds that simply unpalatable.

    It’s not that the illegals have no rights, it’s that they were trying to abuse the system, and the judge called them on it.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  52. “Why should you be allowed to challenge the laws of a society you have no legal business being in?”

    Because they harm you. Thats what standing requires no? Injury that is caused by the complained against action, and that the court is able to redress if you win. Its kind of strange, this formulation that one doesn’t have standing because they are violating the complained against law. Sounds more like the argument FOR standing — you have standing because this law harms you!

    stef (688568)

  53. Actions affecting their rights, yes, but duly passed laws, no. Why should you be allowed to challenge the laws of a society you have no legal business being in? Should you be able to go anyplace in the world and file suit to overturn their laws because you don’t like them?

    Not because I don’t like them, but because the laws being applied to me are unconstitutional under that country’s own system. If I sneak into Oslo illegally, and Oslo has a duly passed law that people present illegally shall be put to death, I certainly would like to assert that the Swedish constitution abolishes the death penalty in all cases. I’d be pretty outraged if the Oslo judge says, “that may be, but you don’t have standing to assert that.”

    Aplomb (d0fdfd)

  54. If I sneak into Oslo illegally, and Oslo has a duly passed law that people present illegally shall be put to death, I certainly would like to assert that the Swedish constitution abolishes the death penalty in all cases.

    Oslo is in Norway.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  55. Aplomb, that would affect your right to not be summarily killed.
    Stef,

    Because they harm you.

    Then the prudent thing to do would be to not go there. Or leave, if you already have. Or, follow the laws so that you’re in compliance with them and therefore have an argument for standing.

    Pablo (99243e)

  56. Larry D: “It’s not that the illegals have no rights, it’s that they were trying to abuse the system, and the judge called them on it.”

    That sidesteps my problem with the decision. The illegals probably were trying to abuse the system in a sense, with a losing argument intended to delay federal and state sanctions. I have no problem with the legality and constitutionality of the Okla laws and the judge’s calling the aliens on the perceived abuse of the court system. I just am troubled with the standing issue. The judge should have conceded standing and then slapped down the case as totally without merit and abusive.

    Aplomb (d0fdfd)

  57. Pretty much all laws harm you…when you break them.

    But try a Constitutional challenge to any robbery statute. You’re not going to get very far. And if you’ve got no business being in the country at all, is there any compelling reason that a federal judge should even hear you?

    Pablo (99243e)

  58. Perfect sense: D’oh! My geography sucks.

    Pablo: “Aplomb, that would affect your right to be not summarily killed.”

    No, Oslo, uh, Sweden (little known xenophobic town that doesn’t even turn up on Google) affords me full due process in a trial establishing my illegal status and imposing its death ordinance, in a procedure that complies with the highest standard of fairness. I can’t complain about due process, or about how the law was legally and democratically enacted (it was). I’m complaining about how the law violates Sweden’s constitution. The constitution affords me a right (no executions in this country of anyone) but the Oslo judge is saying I don’t have standing to assert that. I am killed unconstitutionally without the ability to point that out.

    Aplomb (d0fdfd)

  59. “Then the prudent thing to do would be to not go there.”

    That’s very nice advice. But it doesn’t really have much to do with standing. One has standing to challenge a robbery statute if one is charged with robbery. It would have been prudent to not find oneself charged with robbery, but standing is still there.

    I’m not sure you quite realize what standing means though.

    “Pretty much all laws harm you…when you break them.”

    And that’s standing. Which is very different than winning.

    stef (394243)

  60. Because they harm you. Thats what standing requires no? Injury that is caused by the complained against action, and that the court is able to redress if you win. Its kind of strange, this formulation that one doesn’t have standing because they are violating the complained against law. Sounds more like the argument FOR standing — you have standing because this law harms you

    You’re missing the point here…

    The Oklahoma law would not affect them had they obeyed the greater federal law regarding immigration.

    If they were here legally – and thus obeying the law – and there was passed a law there that affected ALL immigrants (legal or illegal), then they would have standing.

    The issue here is that they were illegally in a place with a new law they didn’t like.

    It’s like if you were squatting in an abandonded house, and then you found out it was going to be torn down. You have no standing to object to the tearing down, because you should not be in the house in the first place.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  61. “You’re missing the point here…

    The Oklahoma law would not affect them had they obeyed the greater federal law regarding immigration.”

    I understand that point. But I don’t see what it has to do with standing. Maybe there’s more to the opinion besides the judge finding this situation “unpalatable.”

    stef (d10c75)

  62. I think YOU don’t understand “standing”.

    First, re-read my squatter comparison.

    Now think about this. I live in Illinois, and you don’t (or so I assume). Lets say Illinois passes a law saying that every adult who passes a background check will be given a handgun, and they have the option of carrying it where ever they like.

    Now lets assume you don’t like that idea. You are disgusted by it, so you file a lawsuit in the attempt to strike it down…

    It would be rejected immedeately, because you don’t have standing. The law does not affect you because you don’t live in Illinois. “But I could TRAVEL to Illinois! It affects me!”. Not so. You are not REQUIRED to go to Illinois, and thus would be chosing to come here. That is not the concern of the courts. You don’t live here, so you can’t file. No Standing.

    Now, also consider the following:

    You and I know each other, and I am a criminal. I stel things. I then keep these things (with your permission) at your place, in case the cops search my home.

    Now, the cops know I keep the stuff at your place, but because of some legal whatever, they can’t get a search warrant for YOUR home.

    So they execute an illegal search, find they stuff along with proof that I stole it. I am brought to trial, and the stuff is entered into evidence. I attempt to have it excluded, because it was an illegal search. Hell, the cops admit that it was illegal.

    Sadly, MY civil rights weren’t violated. It was YOUR home they searched sans warrant, not mine. I don’t have standing to challenge the search, and YOU dont’ have standing because it isn’t being used as evidence against you.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  63. Scott, standing is the first question a court asks (along with jurisdiction) based on the allegations, not a finding based on actual facts.

    In your squatter example, when I hear the bulldozers heading toward the abandoned house I am sleeping in, I file a case where I allege that my grandmother left the house to me in her will, and that the city violated state laws of notification and hearing when they ordered it torn down. If my allegations are true, I certainly do have standing for the case to proceed because I am alleging recognized rights are being violated. But I am lying, I don’t own the house and it was legally ordered torn down. The judge finds my allegations baseless and maybe punishes me for contempt and abuse of the system. But he doesn’t retroactively deny me standing.

    Aplomb (d0fdfd)

  64. “You are not REQUIRED to go to Illinois, and thus would be chosing to come here. That is not the concern of the courts. You don’t live here, so you can’t file. No Standing.”

    Assuming this law only harms people who are in Illinois, my concrete plan to be in Illinois would be enough to give me standing.

    stef (688568)

  65. No stef, it wouldn’t.

    You would only have standing once you were here.

    But the difference is that you would be here legally.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  66. Robi Munn #26, said:

    And whether or not what you said about Mr. Inman reflected your real views, you still need to retract and aplogize for your “desaperecido” statement.

    I respond:

    Lakeview School, where the students attended, will be closed Monday for the funerals of brothers Jesse Javens, 13, and Hunter Javens, 9, both of Cottonwood. Also killed were Reed Stevens, 12, of Marshall; and Emilee Olson, 9, of Cottonwood.

    nk (669aab)

  67. Standing requires you show injury to a legally protected interest.
    Working in violation of federal laws by definition can’t be a legally protected interest.

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  68. “You would only have standing once you were here.”

    Or if your plans to go were thwarted. I think a concrete plan to go to Illinois would be enough for standing — there is injury in the future. A job offer there, a plan to start a business, or even visit relatives. If these are thwarted by my fear of what would happen in Illinois, I’d say have standing.

    “But the difference is that you would be here legally.”

    Even if it was illegal for me to go to illinois, my presence there would be standing, and so would a concrete plan to enter. There would still be injury. The fact that i’m not supposed to be there getting injured doesn’t really change the presence of injury.

    stef (fc07be)

  69. nk -

    I’m fully aware of the fact that “Morales” killed four people.

    It doesn’t change the fact that you have advocated that she be “disappeared”, something only dictators and totalitarian societies do.

    Until I see a retraction from you, I will treat you as a totalitarian at heart, and refuse to believe that you argue in good faith.

    Good Day, Sir!

    Robin Munn (cc08f2)

  70. “Standing requires you show injury to a legally protected interest.
    Working in violation of federal laws by definition can’t be a legally protected interest.”

    In the PA case I believe they challenged it under the equal protection clause — which applies to “any person” — and would be a legally protected interest.

    stef (fc07be)

  71. “Second, what “Morales” committed was manslaughter, not murder. She was responsible for the deaths she caused, but she did not intend to harm anyone when she sat down behind the wheel. She killed four people, but she is not a murderer.”

    If someone dies while you are in the act of a felony it is murder no? I’m sure that Morales was in effect in the act of a felony by her illegality in the country (as most illegals are felons after a period of time).

    Verlin Martin (899dce)

  72. In the PA case I believe they challenged it under the equal protection clause — which applies to “any person” — and would be a legally protected interest

    But that interest would not be violated if the person had not entered the country illegally.

    Really, what about this aren’t you getting?

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  73. We need this judge in the U.S. SUPREUM COURT along with CLARENCE THOMAS

    krazy kagu (4ca035)

  74. I’m fully aware of the fact that “Morales” killed four people.

    Four children. If you’re going to lecture me about “intellectual integrity” try practicing it.

    And I don’t know what you find inconsistent between what I said about Inman and what I’m saying about Morales. There is no similarity in the two cases. But your thinking is your business. You may call the “consistency” you demand “intellectual integrity”. I prefer Emerson who called it “the hobgoblin of little minds”.

    nk (669aab)

  75. Just imagine: a federal JUDGE who believes in doing his sworn duty – upholding the law – and refuses to be corrupted! I hope I see a trend here. Too many FRAUDS wearing black robes have indeed become “abetters of iniquity” – or to put it plainly, friends of the Devil! Sooner or later one of these cases has to make it to the Supreme Court; when the illegals lose there will the charges of “racism” FINALLY cease?

    VivaLaMigra (6caf30)

  76. Verlin -

    For certain violent felonies, such as armed robbery, yes – a death caused by actions you take in the course of the felony counts as murder, not manslaughter, at least in certain jurisdictions.

    Vehicular homicide can’t get upgraded to murder in any jurisdiction that I’m aware of. Not unless you can prove deliberate intent to run the person down. Simply being incompetent at the wheel, no matter how much the driver should have known they weren’t competent to drive, isn’t enough to upgrade the manslaughter to a murder.

    nk -

    Thanks for the correction — it was indeed four children. I’d missed that earlier.

    And, well, Inman committed deliberate murder. Morales committed voluntary manslaughter — meaning that she was culpable for the decision to drive that led directly to the kids’ deaths, but she didn’t set out with the intent of killing them. See a difference there? What I find puzzling is that you seem to advocate mercy for the one who committed the more serious crime of deliberate murder, but you want punishment (one that’s way too harsh, much more than the law allows) for the one who didn’t actually mean to kill anyone. The number of victims has very little to do with the intent, and the intent is what the law uses to judge the severity of the crime.

    Now punishment, on the other hand, does get handed out per victim — Morales can be charged with four counts of manslaughter, so her total prison time could be higher than Inman’s time for one count of murder.

    Finally, you still haven’t apologized for your way-too-totalitarian suggestion that Morales be simply “disappeared”. There’s simply no excuse for that one, and I demand an apology and a retraction of that suggestion.

    Robin Munn (cc08f2)

  77. For certain violent felonies, such as armed robbery, yes – a death caused by actions you take in the course of the felony counts as murder, not manslaughter, at least in certain jurisdictions.

    I belive you are refering to the felony murder rule.

    The felony murder rule is a legal doctrine current in some common law countries that broadens the crime of murder in two ways. First, when a victim dies accidentally or without specific intent in the course of an applicable felony, it increases what might have been manslaughter (or even a simple tort) to murder. Second, it makes any participant in such a felony criminally responsible for any deaths that occur during or in furtherance of that felony. While there is some debate about the original scope of the rule, modern interpretations typically require that the felony be an obviously dangerous one, or one committed in an obviously dangerous manner. For this reason, the felony murder rule is often justified by its supporters as a means of deterring dangerous felonies.

    Wikipedia article on legal standing:

    There are three constitutional standing requirements:

    1. Injury: The plaintiff must have suffered or imminently will suffer injury – an invasion of a legally protected interest which is concrete and particularized. The injury must be actual or imminent, distinct and palpable, not abstract. This injury could be economic as well as non-economic.

    … Prohibition of Generalized Grievances: A plaintiff cannot sue if the injury is widely shared in an undifferentiated way with many people. For example, the general rule is that there is no federal taxpayer standing, as complaints about the spending of federal funds are too remote from the process of acquiring them. Such grievances are ordinarily more appropriately addressed in the representative branches

    Illegals don’t have standing because:

    a) They do not have a legally protected interst in illegally being in the US. Notice that they weren’t even trying to challange the Federal Immigration laws, only Oklahoma’s supplimental laws.

    b) They may also be in violation of the prudential limitation of Prohibition of Generalized Grievances.

    LarryD (e80853)

  78. LarryD: They do not have a legally protected interst in illegally being in the US. Notice that they weren’t even trying to challange the Federal Immigration laws, only Oklahoma’s supplimental laws.”

    That doesn’t affect standing. They weren’t challenging Federal immigration laws at all. They weren’t arguing they had an interest in being in the US illegally. They had a few arguments that Okla’s laws were unconstitutional under the constitution of either the US or Okla.

    Let’s go extreme hypothetical and say Okla passed a law that any illegal immigrant apprehended there should, after full and fair due process establishing the person is illegal, and after applying any standards relating to mitigation as spelled out by the Okla statute, have a hand cut off before being deported under Federal law. Assuming the law is otherwise completely valid, the hand removal is cruel and unusual punishment under the constitution, a right generally recognized to extend to everyone, citizen and illegal alien alike.

    The problem with the Okla decision is it seems that an illegal alien couldn’t object to an Okla law that would remove his hand, even though if the issue is reached on the merits any court would find it unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. The logic of the decision is, if you weren’t in Okla violating federal law, this constitutional problem wouldn’t ever come up, so you have no standing to complain about it. Whether or not hand chopping violates the constitution when applied to anyone, the decision seems to say, because you are violating this one particular federal statute you aren’t entitled to be heard to complain about this potentially unconstitutional state statute being applied against you. The decision is just way too sweeping in kicking out of court the illegal aliens complaining at the standing phase, as opposed to the phase where you actually examine the actual law to determine on the merits whether the state action is either legal or unconstitutional.

    The illegal alien in the hand removal case isn’t asserting that he has a protected interest in remaining in the US. He is asserting that the separate state law being applied to him is unconstitutional, and thus invalid, and thus should not be applied because it is illegal. Regardless of his status as an illegal alien.

    While I think the Okla law is probably valid and the plaintiffs’ case weak and untenable, I do think they have standing at least to get a judge to decide the issue on the merits. What the plaintiffs were asserting isn’t that crazy — the comprehensive federal scheme to regulate national immigration could be arguably seen to preclude alternate state schemes under the Supremacy Clause. While I disagree with that theory, some courts might buy into it and decide the law was in fact illegal. Some in fact have decided cases in favor of arguments of that type on different facts.

    I think almost everyone in this thread ends up in the same place — the plaintiff’s arguments were crap and Okla can impose these laws on illegal aliens. I’m just saying, as an attorney, bouncing the complaint at the standing phase was wholly unnecessary. It sets a precedent where illegal aliens are entirely unable to assert rights in court, by virtue of standing, even if the law in fact would provide them rights despite their illegal status in violation of federal law. Grant them standing to assert colorable claims of law, and bounce them out of court if they fail to prove it, or confirm their rights if they make their claim. It’s basic justice.

    Aplomb (d0fdfd)

  79. Finally, you still haven’t apologized for your way-too-totalitarian suggestion that Morales be simply “disappeared”. There’s simply no excuse for that one, and I demand an apology and a retraction of that suggestion.

    And I would think less of him if he did.

    Bitch killed 4 children, with many others still in the hosp.

    I find it hard to have sympathy for someone who does that.

    Actually, that’s a lie. I am incapable of having sympathy for someone who does that. Life in prison is a cost on society we should not have to bare. She should, at best, simply cease to be.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  80. That doesn’t affect standing. They weren’t challenging Federal immigration laws at all. They weren’t arguing they had an interest in being in the US illegally. They had a few arguments that Okla’s laws were unconstitutional under the constitution of either the US or Okla.

    The problem with the Okla decision is it seems that an illegal alien couldn’t object to an Okla law that would remove his hand, even though if the issue is reached on the merits any court would find it unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.

    You cntinue, like stef, to think that someone here illegally should have a right to challenge a law punishing employers of illegal immigrants.

    The problem with your hypothetical is that “cruel and unusual punishment” is a secured right, while “being able to work here without legally immigrating” is not.

    They lack standing because – I feel like a broken record for saying this – this wouldn’t affect them at ALL if they had followed the law to begin with. Their criminal act does not give them standing. At all.

    Please, explain to me why you don’t grasp that.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  81. “But that interest would not be violated if the person had not entered the country illegally. Really, what about this aren’t you getting?”

    I get that point. It just doesn’t have anything to do with standing. You cant avoid the 14th amendment by just passing a law that says that people protected by it shouldn’t be in your state or country.

    stef (6e3234)

  82. “Please, explain to me why you don’t grasp that.”

    I get the point. You imagine that they’re claiming the right to do something which they cannot do. But they’re not.

    What you’re not getting is that they’re not claiming a right to be able to work here illegally. They of course are claiming a legally protected interest. Such as the federalism issues of having the federal government take care of immigration, or the 14th amendment interest in equal protection.

    stef (0bd967)

  83. Standing is a legal fiction. It has a good purpose but it can lead to odd results. For example, an illegal immigrant employee has standing to file a civil rights claim against his employer, but legal residents of other states don’t have standing to request the same treatment as laws that let illegal residents pay college tuition at in-state rates.

    The theory in the first example is that the parties have standing because they may have been harmed. The theory in the second example is that they don’t have standing because they haven’t been harmed.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  84. “Standing is a legal fiction”

    It’s a constitutional requirement.

    stef (48e229)

  85. Take it easy, stef. I’m sure that if the plaintiffs were actually prosecuted under the laws they’re challenging, they’d have standing to challenge their constitutionality. Until then, it’s speculative. Yeah, I think the death penalty for rape of an adult woman violates the Eighth Amendment. So do I have standing to sue for an assurance that I would not get the death penalty were I to rape an adult woman, under Article III’s requirement of “cases or controversies”?

    nk (669aab)

  86. I understand that, Stef. The legal concept of standing in US courts is important and works well, but it is nevertheless a legal device. That’s what I meant by my comment, and I regret if it didn’t come across that way.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  87. In the end, it just appears that Stef takes issue with illegal immigrants being unable to terminate laws intended to punish them for being here illegally, and preventing them from benifitting them from being here illegally…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  88. “In the end, it just appears that Stef takes issue with illegal immigrants being unable to terminate laws intended to punish them for being here illegally, and preventing them from benifitting them from being here illegally…”

    The problem is that you don’t get the difference between standing and winning. Standing just requires that there be a harm. Winning, that requires more.

    stef (513533)

  89. Winning requires standing …

    Verlin Martin (899dce)

  90. “Winning requires standing …”

    And standing doesn’t require winning. There we go.

    stef (9ae93b)

  91. The Immigration Debate: How This Issue Could Affect Your Household

    The current immigration debate opens up questions about the rights of employers and employees, particularly those engaged in domestic work. As the topic grabs headlines, many Americans may wonder how this issue affects their households.

    Immigration Debate Could Affect You (174689)


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