Friday, June 29, 2007

Amnesty and Leniency

I used to read the comments on the Salt Lake Tribune Letters to the Editor section of their online paper. I've stopped for the most part, because it seems like the people who comment are Anti-Everything, and I find it a bit tiring. I did read some comments following a letter praising Orrin Hatch for voting against the immigration reform package (or maybe it was criticizing Bob Bennett for voting for it- I don't remember). There were lots of comments to the effect of, "stupid illegals, we shouldn't give them amnesty! Yea Hatch! Boo Bennett- just wait until the next election! Stupid illegals!" Nice things like that.

Amnesty is a pardoning of past wrongs. No one was suggesting amnesty. Only leniency (see Wikipedia).

People broke the law to be here and work, and there should be a penalty for that, but the penalty should be lenient to those who do not break other laws, people who just want to survive. Here's a question, what kind of a crime is illegal immigration? A misdemeanor? A felony? I read something from Tyler at Davis County Watch awhile back about how illegal immigration isn't a crime per se. Maybe he can enlighten us with the specifics, since I can't remember...

A $5000+ fine per person didn't seem terribly lenient to me. Our economy draws these people here, and then punishes them. Yes they broke a law to be here, and many of them broke another law by using fraudulent documents, but we could solve both issues if we fixed our immigration laws. "Secure" the border (as much as is possible), allow people to work legally without using other people's SS numbers (right there that solves a huge problem of ID theft), fine them, or sentence them to community service or some combination of the two, and then enforce the laws.

How long is it going to take before we fix the immigration problems?


WP said...

Could not agree more. I do not understand why so many here in Utah are so opposed to reform. I wish I had a copy of Sen. Kennedy blasting the opposition yesterday. it was powerful and eloquent. He asked the question what do those oppoing reform have to offer? If it is not amnesty how do we, please tell me Orrin and Mitt, how we return 12+ million back to Mexico and South America? Sen. Kennedy asked the opposition do we take all of the school busses in America and drive them back... What do we do Orrin?

Bradley said...

The term amnesty has certainly been at the center of a swirling debate. You might be interested in two opposing views on the subject from two conservative publications.

Opinion Journal
National Review Online