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In case you missed it, Supreme Court says it is not a crime for an illegal immigrant to remain in U.S.

For several years now, I’ve been taking issue with folks who think that illegal immigration is ipso facto a federal crime. It’s not.

In and of itself, illegal immigration is a civil matter, which means it’s ruled by civil law, not criminal law. Immigration cases are heard in front of an administrative law judge, not a criminal judge.

During the 2008 president race, Rudy Giuliani said this about illegal immigration:

“It’s not a crime. I know that’s very hard for people to understand, but it’s not a federal crime. I was U.S. attorney in the Southern district of New York. So believe me, I know this. In fact, when you throw an immigrant out of the country, it’s not a criminal proceeding. It’s a civil proceeding.”

And now the U.S. Supreme has said basically the same thing. The high court, in its ruling today overturning much of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, said “it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States.”

Even Justice Antonin Scalia, in his dissent from the majority opinion on the Arizona law, said this of illegal immigration: “It is not a federal crime, to be sure.”

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10 Comments

  1. Luke Fredrickson

    And the business owners of America rejoice!

    Ask the job creators in Alabama how terrible it is for the economy to have otherwise law-abiding workers subject to criminal penalties just because they don’t have papers.

  2. Tim Rhyne

    Illegal entry 8 USC 1325 is the criminal charge and entry without inspection is the civil charge, so technically, a person entering the USA illegally has committed both a criminal violation and a civil violation. Deportation/Voluntary Departure are civil remedies. Fed Prisons are full of individuals convicted for 8 USC 1325/1326. 8 USC 1326 is for the criminal charge of Ren-entry after Deportation. Peace and Harmony

  3. Tim Rhyne: So you’re saying the Supreme Court is wrong in claiming that “it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States.”

    And you’re saying that Rudy Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, is also wrong about this stuff.

    Imagine that!

  4. Kayla Sonergoran

    Clearly that illegal alien does not know the definition of “illegal”. The very act of being here illegally makes you a criminal because you are breaking a CRIME!

  5. Kayla: The Supreme Court says the act of being here illegally does NOT make you a criminal.

    But you presume to know better than the court.

    By the way, what does “breaking a CRIME” mean? Is that like being a crimebuster?

  6. Truth About Energy

    This is the first time that Pat Cunningham hasn’t disparaged Rudy Giuliani. Do not trust what was spoken. Rudy was a lawyer, not a constitutional expert. The only constitutional expertise that I read yesterday was in Justice Scalia’s opinion.

    I wonder what Roberts will do when a majority can vote itself whatever it wants and that majority votes no more money for the court or the fiat is worthless?

  7. Truth About Energy: Of all the dumb comments you’ve made here, this bit of gibberish is the dumbest:

    “I wonder what Roberts will do when a majority can vote itself whatever it wants and that majority votes no more money for the court or the fiat is worthless?”

    Even the question mark at the end is dumb.

    By the way, Giuliani was a federal prosecutor and knows a hell of a lot more about this subject than you do.

  8. Are you kidding me? Read it again. If this isn’t contradicting I don’t have any idea what is. Someone please explain how this makes scene. So it isn’t illegal to be an illegal immigrant? WHAT??st

  9. Joe: Wake up! Not everything that’s illegal is a crime.

    It’s illegal to park in a “no parking” zone, but it’s not a crime. You can’t go to jail for that.

    Illegal immigration is usually a civil matter. As I noted above, immigration cases are heard in front of an administrative law judge, not a criminal judge.

  10. Under Obama more aliens have been deported than 8 years under Bush. If that helps the illegal beagles.

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