Cartoon: Top Ten Reasons We Won’t Abolish I.C.E.


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I truly believe that I.C.E. is an agency that’s rotten to its core. Hardly a week goes by without reading about another I.C.E. abuse of power. Just a few headlines will make the point:

Detained Immigrants Claim They Were Forced to Work Without Pay

FBI Investigates Shooting of Undocumented Driver by ICE Agents in Tennessee

100 Immigrants Pepper-Sprayed At Louisiana ICE Facility

The U.S. will not provide vaccines for migrants — even after three migrant children have died in the past year from the flu.

ICE Detention Center: We’re not responsible for staff sexually abusing migrants

And those headlines are all from the last few months. I could list dozens more.

And then there’s I.C.E.’s terrifying detention centers, which seemingly exist to subject migrants to inhumane conditions, and which evoke memories of WW2 concentration camps.

A former I.C.E. director recently spoke to a member of Congress, in a Congressional hearing, with the disdain of someone who thinks he shouldn’t be answerable to elected officials.  The entire culture of I.C.E. is corrupt; they see themselves as above the law and above human rights. I don’t think they can be reformed, only disbanded and replaced with a new agency – one that is not a subsidiary of the Department of Homeland Security.


This strip took forever. I actually had the strip entirely penciled when I decided I wasn’t happy with it, and ended up throwing out and replacing four entire panels.

But I’m pretty happy with how it came out. Drawing Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern in their “Home Alone” roles was especially fun – often I find drawing caricatures to be a struggle, but these guys came out easily.  The close-up of the man panicking about migrant invasions was also a lot of fun to draw. The uniforms in panel one weren’t fun to draw – I’m not a big uniforms buff – but it made me feel like I was Matt Bors or something (Bors is great at drawing uniforms).


 

Oh, and one more headline, in case you’re looking for a place to donate:

How to donate to help migrant children and families at the border


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has a big title panel at the top, followed by ten smaller panels.

TITLE PANEL

The title panel has a drawing of a close-up on a chain-link fence. Behind the fence, but still readable, are the words “Top Ten Reasons We Won’t Abolish…” And then, in larger, rougher lettering in front of the fence, the sentence continues: “I.C.E.”

PANEL 1

In the center, a man wearing an I.C.E. uniform – including bulletproof vest and a hard helmet – is smiling and holding an “aw, shucks” kind of pose, with a hand held on one cheek in an embarrassed fashion. Behind him, two other men – one dressed like a right-wing protester looking for a fight, with protective vest and camo pants, and a MAGA hat, and the other wearing a Nazi uniform – early praise him.

MAGA HAT DUDE: Because those I.C.E. uniforms look sharp!

I.C.E. DUDE: Aw, gosh. Thanks, guys!

NAZI: You can’t spell “nice” without I.C.E.!

PANEL 2

A conservatively-dressed (jacket and tie) man, sitting behind a desk, speaks to the viewer, spreading his arms, palms up, in a “let’s not go crazy” sort of gesture.

MAN: “Abolish” is an extreme position, and if we’re extremist in protecting human rights, aren’t we just as bad as the extremists abusing human rights?

PANEL 3

A woman in a striped shirt and a puffy jacket speaks to the viewer. Behind her, a darker-skinned person wearing a knit cap, a big jacket, and a skirt sardonically comments.

WOMAN: I.C.E. provides paychecks to thousands of vicious racist goons! Where else could those people go?

KNIT HAT: Police?

PANEL 4

In an extremely close close-up, a white man speaks to the viewer, lips contracted in fear, eyes incredibly wide, holding his hands to his face like the kid on the poster for “Home Alone.” His word balloon is drawn with shaky lines.

MAN: Because the b-b-brown people are invading and they’re g-going to replace us and soon there’ll be no white people left in America!

PANEL 5

A man and a woman talk in a park; the man looks angry.

MAN: Getting rid of I.C.E. means open borders!

WOMAN: But in 2000, before I.C.E. existed, borders weren’t-

MAN: DON’T DEFLECT ME WITH FACTS!

PANEL 6

The robber characters from the movie “Home Alone” stand smiling at the viewer. The shorter robber, who was played by Joe Pesci, speaks.

ROBBER: If the Home Alone movies taught us anything, it’s that children being left alone because I.C.E. snatched up their parents is wacky fun!

PANEL 7

A woman speaks to the viewer from behind a chain-link fence. She’s calm but sad, and she’s hooked the fingers of one hand through the chain links.

WOMAN: Because a lot of people think “never again” was only a suggestion.

PANEL 8

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson speak; Jefferson has both fists raised above his head in a “frat boy celebrating” like gesture.

WASHINGTON: Because forced labor performed by brown people trapped in inhumane conditions is what America’s all about! Right, Thomas?

JEFFERSON: Hell yeah, George!

PANEL 9

Two men are standing in front of a stone wall, talking. The first man, who is white, is making an expansive “oh, come on!” gesture; the second man, who appears Latino, has his arms crossed and is speaking cheerfully.

WHITE MAN:  Because if we “cancel” I.C.E. for inhumane treatment, where does it end? Do we cancel the border patrol? Private prisons?

LATINO: I can live with that.

PANEL 10

A woman sits in the middle of her bed. The shot is a bit distant and from above, making her look small and lonely. (Or so the cartoonist hoped.)

WOMAN: Abolishing I.C.E. would be really hard and the whole issue is such a bummer. So instead, I’ll sit home and quietly loathe myself. Cool?

This entry posted in Cartooning & comics, Immigration, Migrant Rights, etc, Institutionalized Racism. Bookmark the permalink. 

41 Responses to Cartoon: Top Ten Reasons We Won’t Abolish I.C.E.

  1. 1
    Michael says:

    I think that there’s two things people mean when they say abolish ICE. The first is that ICE is too brutal to be reformed and we need to replace it with a more humane agency. The second is that people that crossed the border should not be removed, even if they committed serious violent felonies. The majority of people believe that at the very least, aliens that committed serious violent felonies should be removed, It’s a similar issue with the different meanings of “incel”- “romantically unsuccessful man” vs. “follower of the incel ideology”.

  2. 2
    J. Squid says:

    Thems some mighty fine strawmen, Michael. Oughta be good for a few ribbons down at the state fair.

  3. 3
    Michael says:

    J stop resorting to insults and make a proper argument,

  4. 4
    Ampersand says:

    I think that there’s two things people mean when they say abolish ICE. The first is that ICE is too brutal to be reformed and we need to replace it with a more humane agency. The second is that people that crossed the border should not be removed, even if they committed serious violent felonies.

    Can you link me to an example of someone prominent making the “abolish I.C.E.” argument and explicitly linking that to the second argument?

    On a brief search, I did find Ilya Somin, a conservative law professor who believes that immigration laws are unconstitutional. As far as I could tell on a brief search, he has never written about abolishing I.C.E., and I’m not sure he’d be in favor of that (since I.C.E. does perform some other functions).

  5. 5
    J. Squid says:

    Strawman the first (my bolding):

    I think that there’s two things people mean when they say abolish ICE. The first is that ICE is too brutal to be reformed and we need to replace it with a more humane agency. The second is that people that crossed the border should not be removed, even if they committed serious violent felonies.

    Strawman the second:

    It’s a similar issue with the different meanings of “incel”- “romantically unsuccessful man” vs. “follower of the incel ideology”.

    It is hardly an insult to point out that these are a pair of blue ribbon strawmen. Take them to the fair circuit and watch the awards pile up.

    Your strawmen, otoh, are insulting. Do better.

  6. 6
    Ampersand says:

    It also matters what we mean by “serious violent felony.” Deporting someone for murder? Sure, I can see that. But what if someone gets into a bar fight where no one is seriously injured, and they get arrested and plead guilty to felony assault – would you favor deporting that person, Michael? I wouldn’t.

    (Edited to add in the word “serious.”)

  7. 7
    Appro says:

    I can see how talking about abolishing ICE may make someone think that you mean you want to abolish ICE.

    I don’t understand the link to Ilya Somin, or the idea that someone has to prove through a third party that talking about abolishing ICE may actually mean abolishing ICE.

  8. 8
    Appro says:

    It also matters what we mean by “violent felony.” Deporting someone for murder? Sure, I can see that. But what if someone gets into a bar fight where no one is seriously injured, and they get arrested and plead guilty to felony assault – would you favor deporting that person, Michael? I wouldn’t.

    Well, you’re changing what he said. He said “serious violent felonies”, not “violent felonies” that you even put in quotation marks.

    There are some people on the left who don’t even want to have prisons or anyone put into prison, even for “serious violent felonies”, let alone deporting them. Don’t know how that would work out.

    Sometimes I actually think that the United States should split into two – Washington, Oregon and California can just run their own place and not have prisons or a border.

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:

    I’m genuinely sorry for leaving out “serious.” I’ll go back and edit.

    But it doesn’t really change my question. You may think that felony assault (my bar example) isn’t a “serious” violent felony, but do you think everyone agrees with you about that? I don’t think there’s an objective measure or definition of “serious,” so it’s fair to ask how that’s defined.

    Is I.C.E. the one making that determination for deciding what counts as a “serious” felony assault for purposes of if I.C.E. will try to deport someone? If so, I think it’s safe to assume that the bar fight would be called “serious” by I.C.E..

    How about assaulting an officer and resisting arrest? Those are charges I think many people would call serious; but they are also charges that some police add unfairly and at the drop of a hat.

    In practice, DAs and police often overcharge, either out of being hardliners for punishment, or because it makes their negotiating position stronger during plea bargain discussions. The more dire the punishment on offer, the more leverage the DA has to make people – including innocent people – plead guilty to a lesser charge instead of taking a chance on a trial. So there’s another incentive powerful actors in the system would have to interpret ALL violent felonies as “serious.”

    There are some people on the left who don’t even want to have prisons or anyone put into prison, even for “serious violent felonies”, let alone deporting them. Don’t know how that would work out.

    And there are some people on the right who want to have detainment camps for immigrants, including those legally applying for asylum, with inhumane conditions.

    Here’s where the parallel falls down: The right elected one of those people president.

    Because while “abolish 100% of prisons, no one should ever be held prisoner” is a marginal view on the left, “treat immigrants like shit” is the mainstream position on the right.

  10. 10
    Ampersand says:

    I can see how talking about abolishing ICE may make someone think that you mean you want to abolish ICE.

    Yes, “abolish ICE” means abolishing ICE. But that’s not what we’re discussing. No one here has argued that abolishing ICE doesn’t mean abolishing ICE. (Unless I missed it.)

  11. 11
    J. Squid says:

    No one here has argued that abolishing ICE doesn’t mean abolishing ICE. (Unless I missed it.)

    You did miss it! Michael’s first comment argues that when people say abolish ICE, that, in addition, people mean

    … that people that crossed the border should not be removed, even if they committed serious violent felonies.

    Sure it’s a strawman but that’s an argument being made. All of this make’s Appro’s position a little bit ambiguous to me.

  12. 12
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Here are two compatible statements:

    – I believe any country, including the USA, should be permitted to deport non-nationalised immigrants that are convincted of serious crimes.
    – I believe the USA should probably abolish ICE.

    That said, my main argument against abolishing ICE is that it’s insufficient. Abolishing ICE without addressing the underlying xenophobia and racism in the system will move the problem to other agencies, perhaps even making things worse.

  13. 13
    J. Squid says:

    That said, my main argument against abolishing ICE is that it’s insufficient.

    Agreed, but this is the perfect example of “necessary but not sufficient.” So I’ll take the closure of ICE as a good step towards solving the problem of white supremacy in the US.

  14. 14
    Saurs says:

    I can see how talking about abolishing ICE may make someone think that you mean you want to abolish ICE.

    This is in response to the suggestion that abolishing ICE as an agency doesn’t mean that some of its functions shouldn’t be reformed and/or re-assigned to other agencies. Deportation, of course, existed before the creation of a 17 year-old agency and dissolving that agency or removing its deportation brief does not automatically foretell the end of deportation or even deportation as we largely know it, so I have no idea what this is supposed to mean or how it furthers any substantive discussion. It’s of course especially distracting and ludicrous to pretend to misunderstand the meaning of concise slogans (Abolish ICE = broad, very transformative reform of US federal approach to immigration, asylum, citizenship, and diplomacy, especially as they intersect and intermingle with customs, law enforcement, and national security) when we’re living under the thumb of people who only speak in meaningless populist jargon, active disinformation, and quiet parts bellowed/tweeted.

  15. 15
    Kohai says:

    Really great job on the expression of the guy in Panel 4!

  16. 16
    Ampersand says:

    Thank you! That panel was so much fun to draw.

  17. 17
    Erl137 says:

    Wait, why would we deport criminals?

    Surely, someone who commits a crime in America should be tried, convicted, sentenced, and serve their sentence in the US. We don’t want to set a murderer free on the streets of a foreign city, simply because they happen to come from that country.

    And once someone has served their time, why then should they be deported for that crime? Sure, there might be specific circumstances such that they’re no longer eligible to stay after their sentence—someone had a work visa, now that work is no longer available, etc.—but that would be no different than the civil deportation system.

    I know we do deport criminals. From the research I did since writing this comment, it seems like the practice has grown dramatically since the 90s. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, and as Amp notes above it is subject to a lot of abuse.

    It seems to me that the proper class of people who should obviously be deported are not those who commit crimes in the US, but those who are fleeing justice in their country of origin (e.g., Jakiw Palij, the Nazi war criminal deported in 2018). And, frankly, I imagine that even the Abolish Borders, Abolish Jail types wouldn’t object to requiring Nazi criminals on the run to make amends in the communities they ravaged.

  18. 18
    Eytan Zweig says:

    I don’t think deportation as a criminal penalty is any more or less subject to abuse than the rest of the criminal system. In a corrupt system, it could be wielded corruptly, just like incarceration can and the death penalty can.

    However, I believe that an honest and fair justice system can use deportation as one of its tools, especially in cases where there is a link between the crime and the act of immigration. This would include people who emigrated for purposes of terrorism, people trafficking, and financial exploitation (e.g. executives in multinational corporations that violate local laws).

  19. 19
    Adrian says:

    Michael said:

    The first is that ICE is too brutal to be reformed and we need to replace it with a more humane agency.

    Well, duh.

    The second is that people that crossed the border should not be removed, even if they committed serious violent felonies.

    SOME people that crossed the border should not be removed, even if they committed serious violent felonies. I don’t want the US to be the kind of country where the penalty for mugging is to be tortured to death in a concentration camp. (I don’t even want the guy who raped me to be tortured to death in a concentration camp. If he were an immigrant, which he wasn’t.) I think that sort of thing should be decided case-by-case, and I don’t trust ICE to make the decisions. See also, “ICE is too brutal to be reformed.”

  20. 20
    Michael says:

    @Ampersand#4- In the below article, Sean McElwee, the originator of the “Abolish Ice” slogan makes it clear he opposes deportation of “felons not families” and calls for an end to “mass deportation”.
    https://www.chicagomaroon.com/article/2018/11/30/interview-twitter-going-abolish-ice/
    In a Vox article he compared deportation to the death penalty. I think it’s fair to say McElwee opposes deportation of criminals.

    [Link to Vox article that I think is the one Michael described, added by Amp, so that others can skip googling it like I did. :-p ]

  21. 21
    Michael says:

    @J Squid#5- The confusion over the different meanings of the word incel isn’t a straw man , it’s real life. Ellen Pao suggested Silicon Valley should get rid of incels, she was criticized for wanting virgins to be fired and she said she meant misogynists. This wouldn’t happen if people didn’t use the same word for virgins and misogynists.

  22. 22
    Ampersand says:

    Michael – you’ve shifted the goalposts. Your original claim was “I think that there’s two things people mean when they say abolish ICE. The first is that ICE is too brutal to be reformed and we need to replace it with a more humane agency. The second is that people that crossed the border should not be removed, even if they committed serious violent felonies.”

    Now you’ve shifted to “the activist who coined the hashtag #abolishice doesn’t want anyone deported, under any circumstance.” But that’s not the same thing. As an analogy, I am pro-choice and I want government-funded abortions; it doesn’t mean that I believe the term “pro-choice” means “government-funded abortions.” I coined the term “MRA” (really!), and I know some MRAs want to take away women’s right to vote; that doesn’t mean that the term MRA means being against suffrage.

    But it’s pretty clear that what he means by “Abolish ICE” is a political tactic to shift the Overton window and put pressure on Democrats, with the eventual goal of either getting rid of ICE, or defunding ICE. From the Washington Post:

    “My read is that ‘Abolish ICE’ is the demand, and defunding ICE is the mechanism to do that,” said Sean McElwee, co-founder of Data for Progress, who coined “Abolish ICE” as a hashtag in February 2017. “In the interim, the movement has largely succeeded in making detention beds and increased funding in omnibus toxic, [and] putting incumbent Democrats on blast.”

    The Wikipedia entry defines “Abolish ICE” as simply “a political movement that proposes abolition of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” and I think that’s how most people understand it.

    Deporting violent criminals: I’ve been thinking about this since you brought the subject up. As a general rule, I don’t want people deported for any but the most serious crimes.

    For the most serious criminals – murderers, say – although my personal preference is “don’t deport them” (they should just do time in prison like any other murderer), I don’t really think it matters much. My guess is that the percentage of people who are deported, who are murderers, is so tiny that it’s actually not a significant policy question at all. It’s like if, instead of discussing pro-choice, we started discussing “should women named Carol born in 1979 from the city of Wichita be allowed to have abortions?” I mean, yes, Carol should be, but it distorts our view of the larger policy question if we treat the specific case of Carol from Wichita as a central question of the abortion debate.

    If the price of abolishing I.C.E. is that we continue to deport murderers, I’d gladly accept that trade-off.

    (I can see a strong case that violent criminals who are specifically anti-American in their violence – i.e., terrorists whose goal is to strike at public places in the US – should be deported. But, like Carol from Wichita, that seems like it’s too specific to be worth focusing the discussion on.)

  23. 23
    Ampersand says:

    Erl137 wrote:

    Surely, someone who commits a crime in America should be tried, convicted, sentenced, and serve their sentence in the US. We don’t want to set a murderer free on the streets of a foreign city, simply because they happen to come from that country.

    As I understand it, the current policy is usually to have the person serve their sentence in the U.S. prison system, and after completing their sentence they are deported.

    I think the logic behind deporting people for serious crimes is that immigration is a contract. Jane Immigrant agrees to be a good citizen and obey the rules, and the U.S. agrees to take Jane in. If Jane breaks that contract by robbing a bank, then Jane can’t stay in the US any longer. (I’m not saying I necessarily agree with that logic; I’m just saying that’s what the logic is.)

  24. 24
    J. Squid says:

    Ellen Pao suggested Silicon Valley should get rid of incels, she was criticized for wanting virgins to be fired and she said she meant misogynists.

    Who criticized Ellen Pao? If it was people who call themselves “incels” (as seems likely sans any kind of links), I’m not buying that virgins and incels are the same thing.

    For example, I was a virgin until I was 21. Had the term “incel” existed at the time, there is simply no way I would have self-identified as such (even though my celibacy wasn’t a voluntary choice I was making at the time). Why? Because incels – as they exist online – are a bunch of reprehensible misogynists who blame women for their lack of sex with women rather than taking a look at themselves to see if there’s something they’re doing that may be less than chick-magnetlike.

    So I’m not buying that the 2 terms are synonymous without seeing a fair number of links to reputable sources from outside the manosphere.

    Protest all you want, but you’re not even beginning to convince that those strawmen you started this thread with aren’t all-time, ribbon winning greats.

  25. 25
    Michael says:

    @Ampetsand- Look at this article:
    https://www.thenation.com/article/its-time-to-abolish-ice/
    McElwee says the goal of abolishing the agency is to “abolish the function”. Under those circumstances, I’m not moving the goalposts, you’re splitting hairs. If by abolishing the function, he envisions abolishing deportation altogether, then abolishing ICE means abolishing deportation according to McElwee.

  26. 26
    Appro says:

    Ampersand, I’m kind of curious: Why do you think that undocumented immigrants who commit serious violent felonies (let’s just narrow it down to murder if you want) should be deported? That seems to conflict with your stance otherwise, and it’s not that US citizens don’t commit murder.

  27. 27
    Michael says:

    @J Squid- Nobody is disputing that incel originally meant involuntary virgin (of either gender). Of course after Elliot Rodger male virgins who wish to distinguish themselves from the ideology call themselves virgins, so people who identify as incels these days usually are horrible people. My point is that third parties need separate words to describe the two since what is offensive with one meaning is not with the other meaning. Barry has made the same point at least once.

  28. 28
    J. Squid says:

    I’m pretty plugged in and I dispute that. From the very beginning, “incel” referred only to a select group of men. It didn’t mean all men or include women. It never has. “Incel” is a very specific term that is reserved for, and describes, a specific subset of men.

    Were you going to provide any links to criticism of Ellen Pao’s use of the term from people indisputably outside the manosphere?

  29. 29
    Michael says:

    @J Squid- do you also dispute that the sky is blue or the earth is round?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incel
    As the article says, the message boards were intended for lonely people but taken over by misogynists.
    As for Ellen Pao, if you look at her tweet, a lot of responses seemed to think she was talking about virgins in general. I can’t prove that all of these weren’t from the manosphere but some of them were probably in good faith.

  30. 30
    Ampersand says:

    Appo – I think you misread my post (which probably wasn’t very clear). I wouldn’t choose to have murderers deported after they’ve served their time. But I also think that’s a point which can be compromised on. From my earlier comment:

    For the most serious criminals – murderers, say – although my personal preference is “don’t deport them” (they should just do time in prison like any other murderer), I don’t really think it matters much. My guess is that the percentage of people who are deported, who are murderers, is so tiny that it’s actually not a significant policy question at all. […]

    If the price of abolishing I.C.E. is that we continue to deport murderers, I’d gladly accept that trade-off.

  31. 31
    J. Squid says:

    Although I seem to have been mistaken about the origin of the term, “incel”, I don’t see where that link tells us that the term was taken over by terrorism encouraging misogynists. That had certainly happened by 2010, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen a reference to the origin being in a specific year.

    So, mea culpa on the origin story. However, incel has meant exactly what it means today for a decade or so. That’s forever on the internet. It would be weird to criticize someone’s use of “incel” to describe self-described incels instead of the people who used to use the term in the infancy of the internet.

    But, okay, sure. Now that I’m aware of the origin of the term, does anybody think that ancient definition is accurate today or at any time in the teens? Maybe I’ve missed that, too.

  32. 32
    RonF says:

    I think it’s kind of interesting that the debate here seems to be limited to whether or not illegal aliens who have committed serious felonies should be deported, with some question as to what constitutes a serious felony (as opposed to what must apparently be considered garden-variety felonies). It seems to me that the baseline is that any illegal alien is subject to deportation, regardless of whether or not they have committed a serious felony, a garden-variety felony, or any felony or even misdemeanor. They are also subject to deportation whether or not their intent is to immigrate.

    Now, if ICE needs reformation, so be it. It’s a government agency, after all, so corruption and misbehavior on the part of its employees and management would hardly be a surprise. Fix it, change it, delete it and start over, whatever. But deportation of illegal aliens is called for in American law and there’s no exception at law that I know of for people who haven’t committed “serious” felonies (quotes because we don’t have an agreed-upon definition of the term). The Executive branch is charged with enforcing the law. If it is doing so in an inhumane fashion it is sensible to criticize it. But then, American citizens who commit crimes are separated from their children and families as well, so the separation itself is not something that non-citizens should be protected from. Unlike American citizens being sent to jail/prison, the families of people being deported can go with them. Illegal aliens who came here separated themselves from their families in the first place, and knew very well that they could be separated from any families they established here. All that is their responsibility, not the Federal government’s.

  33. 33
    Eytan Zweig says:

    RonF – That is not what the discussion was about, though.

    The discussion is about whether immigrants who commit serious crimes should be deported. No one said those immigrants didn’t have the legal right to be in the country prior to committing the crime.

    Let me give the following scenario:

    – A French person comes to the US on a valid work visa. While in the US, they fall in love and marry and American, and are granted a legal permanent residence (a green card). They then have children together, who are American citizens.

    Let us assume that the American parent gets into a drunken fight and seriously (but not fatally) injures someone. This is a first offense. They may have to serve jail time, but when it’s over they can go back to their families.

    Now, exact same scenario except that the French parent was the one who committed the crime. Again, a first offense. Does it make sense to permanently seperate them from their family?

  34. 34
    RonF says:

    The discussion is about whether immigrants who commit serious crimes should be deported. No one said those immigrants didn’t have the legal right to be in the country prior to committing the crime.

    Well. True. However, the usage of the word “immigrant” on the left is commonly conflated to mean both resident aliens and illegal aliens. If you want to actually make the distinction then I agree that the two should be treated differently. I would agree that if a resident alien commits a crime then the seriousness of the crime, the circumstances under which it was committed, etc. would fairly be taken into consideration. In the case you outline, I’d say no, that person should not be deported.

    Amp @ #4:

    On a brief search, I did find Ilya Somin, a conservative law professor who believes that immigration laws are unconstitutional.

    Hm. Then doesn’t that mean that based on Amendment X to the Constitution the Supreme Court had no business striking down any part of Arizona’s S.B. 1070? It seems to me that his position concerns the Federal government’s powers, but if the Constitution does not grant a particular power to the Federal government then Amendment X grants it to the States (“or to the people”, but in this case it’s an issue of government power, not the rights of individual citizens).

  35. 35
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Hm. Then doesn’t that mean that based on Amendment X to the Constitution the Supreme Court had no business striking down any part of Arizona’s S.B. 1070

    I’m not sure I follow. Prof. Somin argues that laws restricting immigraiton are unconstitutional (based on an originalist view of the constitution and on his view that free markets require open borders). If it’s unconstitutional to restrict immigration, then wouldn’t the tenth amendment specifically require states to not restrict immigration as well?

  36. 36
    RonF says:

    Eytan, Prof. Somin’s argument is that Congress – i.e., the Federal government – has no power to restrict immigration. From the article:

    The immigration laws whose enforcement it restricts are themselves unconstitutional. The detailed list of congressional powers in Article I of the Constitution does not include any general power to restrict migration.

    But if it’s true that the Constitution does not give Congress the power to regulate immigration, that wouldn’t mean that no one has that power, it simply means that Congress doesn’t have that power. Amendment X says:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    I don’t see where the Constitution prohibits the States from regulating immigration. So if the Constitution does not grant the power to regulate immigration to Congress, absent an explicit prohibition it seems to me that the States do have that power and it was incorrect for the Supreme Court to say otherwise.

  37. 37
    J. Squid says:

    Side note:

    RonF, how many times has Amp told you that your the term for immigrants that you habitually use is not welcome here? How many times has he asked you to stop using that phrase here? How many times has he given you an alternative that is acceptable on this site? Is there ever a point at which you decide common courtesy should be prioritized over your personal preference? Have you just decided that nobody here deserves respect? What, exactly, is up with you?

  38. 38
    Eytan Zweig says:

    RonF – I fell into the trap of asking for a clarification (which I recieved, and thank you for that), but that sort of sidesteps the bigger question which is – what relevance is the supreme court’s decision about Arizona’s S.B. 1070 to the conversation? I mean, sure, prof. Somin was mentioned, but just as an example of somebody who might (but probably doesn’t) have a particular opinion. Why do his views on S.B. 1070 matter?

  39. 39
    RonF says:

    I mean, sure, prof. Somin was mentioned, but just as an example of somebody who might (but probably doesn’t) have a particular opinion. Why do his views on S.B. 1070 matter?

    What views on Arizona S.B. 1070 did Prof. Somin express? I didn’t see any reference to it in Prof. Somin’s article.

    … what relevance is the supreme court’s decision about Arizona’s S.B. 1070 to the conversation?

    The relevance is that if Prof. Somin is right that Congress has no Constitutionally valid power to regulate immigration, that does not then mean that the power to regulate immigration doesn’t exist. According to Amendment X of the Constitution, it would mean that the power to regulate immigration is retained by the States. And if that’s true then the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Arizona S.B. 1070 is invalid and Arizona, Texas, California, and any other State can legitimately regulate entry of aliens across their borders.

    The concept that the Federal government has no power to regulate aliens’ entry into the U.S. is intriguing. I certainly agree that it’s a possibly valid reading of the Constitution (I’d have to do some study before I express an opinion one way or another). Has the question ever come before the Supreme Court? I’ll ask this, though – which would you rather have? The Federal government regulating that, or the States? I can just see Arizona and Texas creating very restrictive laws while California opens their border, and then the States surrounding California passing laws of their own restricting entry of aliens from California. Followed by an absolute plethora of lawsuits….

  40. 40
    RonF says:

    Apropos of nothing at all in this thread, I have found the bumper sticker that is going to be on my car this election season.

    https://customstickershop.us/shop/empire-doesnt-care-stick-family-bumper-sticker/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy_uB2L-e5QIVEdbACh3rRA3DEAQYASABEgIFH_D_BwE

  41. 41
    Ampersand says:

    I like that bumper sticker (although next time, I think the open thread would be a better choice for it).

    I don’t think anyone here is defending Somin’s views. Speaking for myself, I definitely don’t feel able to say what he’d say about state’s rights to expel immigrants.

    It seems to me that under the “federal gov’t doesn’t have the right to regulate immigration, but states do” intepretation, states would also have the right to arrest and expel all immigrants, including those whose entry into the US was fully approved, including naturalized citizens. (Although wait, under Somin’s interpretation, I guess the federal government can’t naturalize citizens? But another state might have.) A new government being elected could mean that naturalized citizens who have been living in a state for decades are suddenly kicked out.

    Except then what about the full faith and credit clause?

    Anyway, although Somin’s point is interesting, I’m pretty confident that his interpretation is not going to be generally accepted by the courts or the federal government anytime in the foreseable future, and it’s not very relevant to my cartoon.

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