40. Do Some Illegal Immigrants Have a Right to Stay in the US ? – A Theory

February 12, 2017

Has our government, by decades of intentional neglect, granted that right?

If we can actually stop illegal entry within a year or two by virtue of a wall and of funding for enforcement on the border, and by prosecution of those who hire illegals, could we not have been doing it all along? Does that not prove that neglecting to prevent illegal entry and the use of illegal labor was systematic and intentional, no matter what anyone says about it? Was it not de facto intentional ?

What does fair mean and how does it relate to how we feel ?

Neuroscience has recently informed us that from the limbic structures of the brain that generate our emotions, there seems to arise a sense of fairness: that when events violate that sense of what is right we are warned by feelings of anger, fear and sadness. Moreover man cannot, as the Victorians thought, take sole credit for this ethical sense, for there are now proofs it may well exist in other creatures, certainly primates and some higher mammals. If the test for an ethical sense are to be found in displays of emotion in response to situational inequities, it follows that these can be detected in any animals in which we believe we can perceive anger, sadness, fear or joy.

The common usages of language seem to put that limit at the line between the warm-blooded and the cold-blooded, (e.g. we speak of a “cold-blooded” person when we mean one without perceptible feelings), a much wider category than most western religions have claimed for the soul, though Buddhists, animists and pantheists have been more generous.

Therefore it seems to me that it is not religion that gives humankind a sense of fairness, its moral sense. Rather it is a biologically-based sense of fairness that informs the philosophies of the prophets and profiteers who invent religions.

I am not a lawyer and never have been one, but I was once, more than sixty years ago, literally a legal scholar for two years, the first at the University of Chicago and the second at Rutgers University. Which has been of a certain value to me in the years since, given that in the sea of controversy over daily events, an amorphous universe in which we all swim, I have been in the habit of actually reading the laws and legal decisions that often serve to clarify, crystalize and define the core issues.

To give credit to all of my teachers for whatever ability I may possess for understanding “what is going on around here”, shortly after leaving law school, circumstances, (being drafted into the Army and designated an Information Specialist), forced me to spend two years as a working newspaper journalist. As a journalist it was my job to observe, then organize and describe the relevant facts surrounding important world events.

Between the two I think I may have fulfilled my astrological destiny as a Libra, to take a balanced view of matters before me.

There is one other event in my life, or rather the life of my father, that I think may have some relevance to my thoughts this morning on the matter of illegal immigration. After only one year of college at Duke, and a single year at Dana Law School, now Rutgers, my father “read law” in the office of a local magistrate and then passed the bar as an attorney in the state of New Jersey. After a mandatory five years of practice he took, and in an unusual feat, passed the first time, the Counselor’s exam, admitting him to the Bar of Equity. In New Jersey at the time, that allowed him the greater privilege of arguing in the “courts of equity”, and in the highest appeals court in the state. As a small boy he tried to explain that arcane abstraction to me, and to this day all I retain is a small boy’s understanding, but I gathered it meant that where the common law and the statutes were unclear, contradictory or incomplete, there were courts in which one could argue concerning what was fair and equitable, and where matters of the state Constitution could be heard.

Concerning the issue of illegal immigration, while I have sympathy for honest, hard-working and law-abiding long-term illegals, I have believed that the law was clear on what should be done with them: they should be deported.  However my habitual need to understand the whole story and untangle its complexities, (or perhaps it was that spicy snack at bedtime),  caused me to awaken this morning mulling over a different idea.

Which leads me to the proposal that there may be a legal argument that crystalizes and explains the seemingly inexplicable and indefensible: that open-border advocates believe that people who came here illegally and have even broken laws in order to stay and work here, should be allowed to stay and be Americans once they are eventually discovered.

I have intentionally avoided doing any internet research on this point, preferring to work out my thoughts on the basis of a general feeling about what it fair under the law as I remember it.

Squatters’ rights, adverse possession and the creation of an easement.

In the common law there was a principle that helped deal with the sometimes confusing succession of ownership of real property. I have never heard another soul make this argument explicitly, but it is implied in the vague notion that some illegal immigrants have been here so long it may be inequitable, and therefore wrong, to make them leave.

The way it worked was this. If a landowner noticed that people were crossing his land as a shortcut to town and, for whatever reason, tolerated it. And after a certain number of years he sought to put up a fence across the path in order to block their way, he could be estopped from building the fence on the grounds that he had, by his previous lack of action, tacitly granted permission for the use, with the eventual creation of an Easement, or right-of-way to the travelers. And that they had, by Adverse Possession of his land, eventually acquired the right to cross it.

As I recall, but it was more than sixty years ago, there were also cases where a person may have built a dwelling on the land of another, who did not object or evict him, until eventually, the squatter obtained the right to stay, again by Adverse Possession of the land.

It seems to me, unless an actual lawyer can tell my why it isn’t so, that illegal immigrants from Mexico may have obtained the right to stay and work here by Adverse Possession, and the creation of what is analogous to an Easement.

In other words, there is a time-honored legal principle that appears to me to support the right of illegal immigrants who have been here a long time to stay here as long as they wish, other things being equal. Naturally, those other things would include the legality of their behavior while living here, and the balancing of their overall contribution as members of the community against the harm caused by breaking whatever laws they may have violated.

It will take a real lawyer to decide whether this argument could actually be made, but I would rather see the issue argued head-on within the existing system of jurisprudence than fought out in the push and shove of the streets or the battle of the false narratives that constitutes political arena.

Now it’s time for me to do some reading to see whether this approach is possible.


39. The Deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos – A Discussion

For those who don’t want to take the time to read this whole letter, you might want to read the observations of a state welfare benefits worker, in the final indented segment at the end.

February 11, 2017

For the past several days our Phoenix-based discussion group had a brisk and sometimes heated on-line discussion of the case of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, Mexican mother of two teenaged girls living illegally in Phoenix for the past fifteen years and the first deportee under a new Trump Executive Order changing ICE deportation guidelines. Her arrest and removal has featured in the national TV news.

The discussion began when a member of the group posted the URL for a February 8 story in the Arizona Republic, written by Daniel Gonzales and Johana Restrepo, about the protests surrounding the arrest of the woman, headlined:

PROTESTERS RING ICE IN PHOENIX: Could woman in custody be the first deported because of Trump’s orders ?

Mother taken into custody after decades in U.S.; 7 arrested in Phoenix protest after trying to block her apparent transfer.

For four years, federal immigration authorities have given Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos a pass to remain in the US. rather than deport her back to Mexico.

That changed Wednesday when Garcia de Rayos went to check in as usual at the Central Phoenix offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. instead of being released, she was taken into custody, while her husband, two children — both U.S.-born citizens — and a group of supporters watched in tears.

And by Wednesday night, her case had become the latest epicenter of the national debate over immigration enforcement. …

A member of our discussion group asked of this situation:

“I don’t understand this. If you marry a legal can’t you stay? Or checking in for four years at the phoenix office of immigration and customs enforcement and getting a “pass”. Did everyone get a pass?”

Having read the whole story as far as it was then known, and watched a few TV news clips, I was able to respond:

Will people never get tired of falling for the false narrative?

1. The story cited said that the woman’s husband was also illegal, and that they came here as teens.

2. The story said that she had been arrested during a raid four years ago.

4. The Story said that the new guideline is to deport people convicted of a crime other than illegally entering the country.

5. Those who scoffed at 50 police arriving to deport one woman intentionally misled the readers of the story. The police were there to control a orchestrated crowd of 200 protesters, who did indeed quiet down after the police arrived and arrested several of them.

I don’t know whether the woman should have been deported. And neither does anyone else who does not know for what she was arrested four years ago. The point is that an emotionally charged false narrative was concocted to support an entirely untenable thesis… that any person from another country has a “right” to be here solely because he or she wants to. This is a totally insupportable argument, which is why the Left throws up an emotional smokescreen based upon a selcted set of incomplete facts.

If the left had a legal, rational or moral leg to stand on they wouldn’t use the tactic they routinely employ: to concoct a plausible lie the moment an event occurs and before any of the pertinent facts are published. …

A day later there came a salvo from a British member of the discussion group who says he is a naturalized U.S. citizen, who regularly expresses his contempt for Americans, and said once again after the Trump election, that Americans are too stupid to be allowed to vote.

Are You Proud or Ashamed to be an American?

Mexican mother Garcia de Rayos is now in Nogales, Mexico due to the fine work of ICE (http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/latest-woman-deported-mexico-amid-phoenix-protests-45380160 ). In less than 24 hours!!! Aren’t you proud how well our legal system works; now you can sleep safely tonight! The Bully Bureaucrat Boys (BBB) are really effective in protecting us from these rapist killers from down south.

Garcia de Rayos’ broken family, two kids and husband, are still in Phoenix. Let’s hope the BBB are keeping an eye on them too.

I just returned from gracious dining at my local Walmart/McDonalds. It’s on the south side of Thomas Road – the Mexican border (we’re waiting for the Trump wall down Thomas Rd.). I enjoy the many nice family people there. And I was very lucky – not attacked tonight – never have been! I just wonder how many of those mothers are fearful that the BBB may pick them up on the way home and split up their families too.

I realise I’m a leftist liberal wimp so, in fairness, let me present …

And he reprinted my post seen immediately above, adding sarcastically (his default mode), “So now you’ve got both sides – sleep well.”

As additional facts of the matter were gradually revealed, it became known that the woman had been arrested in a sweep for illegal aliens by then County Sherif Joe Arpiao, while she was working as a custodial employee at a local amusement park, where half the employees were also found to be illegals. At the time she was convicted of using the names and social security numbers of several U.S. citizens, the lowest class of felony in Arizona, but a felony nevertheless. Under Obama’s guidelines, ICE and the DOJ had opted to allow her to stay in the U.S. on the basis that her crimes were non-violent, somehow trivializing identity theft by characterizing it as “victimless”, to which my rejoinder in the discussion was this:

I caught part of a TV update on the Mexican woman deported the other day. One thing I saw were signs carried by her supporters that said “Migration – a Human Right!”. How unsophisticated of her poor and ignorant supporters to actually reveal the the absurdity of their agenda, by denying the right of a nation to have borders at all. I actually feel quite sorry for them. But the truth is that they simply don’t understand the abstract idea of national sovereignty. I don’t know where they would stand on the idea of a stranger invading the sovereignty of a private home, and like Goldilocks, simply crawling into the bed of an absent owner.

There has also been a little more information today about the arrest four months ago of the deported woman. When arrested, she was working using the name and social security number of several other people. She was charged with a form of identity theft, a Class 6 felony. With the revelation of this information, open border advocates are now claiming that her crime, the lowest class of felony, was a victimless one and shouldn’t get her deported.

As I recall, felonies, even the lowest ones, are crimes that may be punished by a year or more in jail. One of the problems with illegal workers is that because they cannot get honest documents, they steal the identities of other folks, as a consequence of which honest working folks whose identities are stolen are not infrequently done serious economic damage. In this particular case, the man whose social security number she stole has not yet noticed any adverse consequence, but that risk is why theft of identity is classified as a felony, a more serious crime than a misdemeanor.

Open borders advocates have shifted their defense to, “her crime was non-violent”.

Most of us have experienced some form of identity theft or credit-card fraud, and know that “non-violent” is not the same as “not serious” or “not significant”. Non-violent is not the same as victimless. It can take a victim months or years to expunge the very troubling consequences of a theft of identity.

I am not angry with this Mexican woman, and I’m really sorry she got herself and her family into this pickle, but I will not blame the sheriff, ICE, or the U.S. for decisions that she alone made. There may be more information yet to be forthcoming about this case.

“Migration – A Human Right!” is a false statement, a canard. Assuming that “migration” on this sign is the Spanish equivalent of “immigration”, under international laws formalized by the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, flow between countries is at the consent of the receiving country. To advocate for open borders is anarchy and contravenes long-established international law. Not many actually think anarchy is a good idea. Or globalism, which is an idea not yet, and may never be, ready for prime time.

There followed this brief exchange:

To our sarcastic, self-styled communist-capitlalist British member, from a middle-aged member who has struggled to find and keep work for the past several years: “What part of “illegal alien” do you not understand? She and others like her are taking jobs away from American citizens. They are also a large burden on the welfare system, that we taxpayers are paying for.”

From the hypercritical Brit: “Thanks for your question re “illegal alien”. Beyond the superficial it’s a very tricky and subtle topic re Legality versus Just. I recognise the practical need for Laws but they are created and managed by the elite and sometimes do not reflect a higher Justice. Jim Crow laws are a simple, if moderate, example. Garcia de Rayosis is a “little” person with few resources or options. 24 hours and Garcia de Rayos was out of the country.

“Compare her treatment with that of, say, the Trump family transgressions.

“We clearly need Laws but I feel they should be focussed on the underdog rather than the super privileged. The underdogs need more protection. The powerful simply pass on to their legal teams.”

And finally, word-for-word from the soft-spoken fellow who doesn’t usually say much, but who for the past couple of years has been working in the office that distributes state welfare benefits, came the definitive answer on the question of illegal immigration and its effect upon the American worker:

Okay, let’s start at the beginning.

Mankind did not originate in the Americas. The ancestors of the Native Americans migrated here, tens of thousands of years ago. They just arrived before the rest of us.

The idea of the Noble Savage, living in harmony with the environment, is just a myth. Many scientists believe that the early arrivals were, at least partially, responsible for the extinction of many species of animals. When was the last time you saw a giant ground sloth or a wooly mammoth? As for peacefully co-existing, the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs brutally conquered their neighbors, and killed them in bloody sacrifices to their gods. Just watch the movie Apocalypto. Many of the first European settlers were massacred by the Native Americans, or left to starve. A few members of one tribe in New England did help the Pilgrims, in an attempt to use the Pilgrims in their battles against other local tribes. Some Pilgrims survived, thanks to their help. Many died of starvation and disease. We all know the story of Pocahontas, saving Captain John Smith from being executed.

As for (the British immigrant), after you went to all of the effort, and spent the money, to live here legally, aren’t you at least a little upset about the millions of illegal aliens who are living here just by crossing the border? As for the term illegal alien, I have seen posters saying that no human being is illegal. That might be true, but their living here is an illegal act.

America is a nation of laws, and the laws are there to protect the citizens, including the little people. However, by being here illegally, these undocumented immigrants are not subject to that protection.

Big Business wants the undocumented visitors here, as a cheap labor source, which is why they were not rounded up and deported by the past couple of Administrations, like Presidents have done by executive order in the past. This was done during the Great Depression and at the end of the Korean War, so that the jobs could be filled by American citizens. You can Google this if you do not believe me.

From your lofty position of being retired and living off of your investments, you have been insulated by the reality that I have experienced in the last several years.

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, I had trouble finding a job. More than once, I failed a job interview because I am not fluent in Spanish, so I would not be able to pass on Management’s instructions to the employees who only spoke Spanish. As for learning the language, I took a year of Spanish in high school, but that does not make me fluent. Hablo Espanol un pocito.

The 11 million or so illegal aliens are not committing a victimless crime. They have taken not just the jobs that Americans do not want, like picking crops, but all of the low-paying jobs, and many higher-paying jobs. Many jobs pay a bonus if you are bilingual. By willing to work for less money, they have knocked several rungs out of the pay scale ladder, dropping the pay for the jobs above minimum wage. Jobs that paid $20-25 per hour 20 years ago now pay $12-15 per hour. I am speaking from my experiences in job hunting.

I have friends who are in construction. That was formally a high-paying field, for experienced help, craftsmen. Now the positions are filled by these immigrants, who work for one-third to one-half of the pay. The results of their work may not be at the same quality level, and they usually have to do it more than once to get it right, but, at the lower rate of pay, the construction companies still wind up paying less in salaries. One of my friends had to take a demotion, and a cut in pay, because he refused to take a class to learn Spanish, so he could supervise all of the illegals who were being hired by his company. He did not have the time to take evening classes, after working all day, and factoring in the commute times to and from the remote construction locations.

My 1st real job, other than mowing yards, back in high school, was in the kitchen of a Mexican food restaurant. These low-paying jobs used to be taken by high school and college students. Now they are filled by these immigrants. The employers would rather hire them, because they are willing to work for less money, and are more reliable, as they are working to support their families.

These jobs were never meant to support a family of 6. Now the minimum wage has gone up, so the businesses have had to increase their prices, to compensate for the higher payroll costs. For instance, the Tempe Cinemas used to cost $3 during the week, and $2 on Tuesdays. Now it’s $3.50 during the week, and $2.50 on Tuesdays. The prices for the drinks and snacks have increased, too. The same has happened at stores and restaurants. This is a huge increase in inflation, being felt by all of us who have to budget our spending.

Now I am interviewing people for welfare benefits. I worked two Saturdays in January, working on the backlog of cases that were waiting for information to be supplied before the benefits could be approved. These were State-wide. I kept a tally. Over half were Hispanics who were not born here, and half of the Hispanics who were born here, one or both parents were not born here.

I am seeing that the Dream Act is a myth. The majority of the now adult illegals who were brought here as children are not using the opportunity to go to college and become productive members of American society. The woman drop out of high school at 15 to start having children. Both the men and woman, if they work at all, are in low-paying jobs, and receive welfare benefits. They are part of a low-paid working class.

The welfare benefits I approve allow them to survive while working at minimum wage jobs. We taxpayers are subsidizing the businesses that hire them. There are aid groups, mostly Christian, who assist them, and coach them, as to how to complete the forms, and answer the questions, so as to maximize their benefits amounts. Some are former employees of my division. One of my coworkers just retired, and she is now working for one of these aid groups.

Almost every kitchen of almost every restaurant in town, no matter the ethnicity of the cuisine, has illegals working in the kitchen. I know, I see their paychecks. The Italian restaurant chain Buca Di Beppo prints out their paychecks en Espanol.

As (referring to the writer of this essay) mentioned, the woman who was deported was using fake IDs in order to work. This is not a victimless crime. Several times a month, I see the results. The people whose ID the illegals are using are liable to pay the taxes on the income earned against their Social Security numbers. They are required to go to the IRS and Social Security offices, fill out the proper forms, and file a police report, for each city where their ID was used at an employer. I interviewed one man with a common Hispanic name. We showed 19 jobs for him in the last 6 months. Two were his, his previous and current jobs. The other 17 were from people stealing his identity. I told him that somebody is selling his ID out of a van in a Walmart parking lot. This is a huge headache for these victims.

I am thrilled to see that Trump is taking steps to change the enforcement of existing laws, and beginning to deport some of these who are living here illegally, and breaking our laws.

Our laws are to protect the little people, and, finally, these laws are starting to be used to protect the little people who are American citizens.

The American people cannot continue to afford to have the millions of them taking our jobs, and receiving billions, if not trillions, of dollars in welfare benefits.

As for Muslim refugees, we are seeing many in our office every day, as there is a large HUD apartment complex nearby, where the Federal Government has placed many of them. An article in the Arizona Republic said that there are over 7100 Somali refugees in AZ. It seems, at times, that all of them come into our office.

As for attempting to stop the flow of refugees, I agree, we need to look more closely at the backgrounds of those who the Christian aid groups are trying to bring in from the selected countries. We do not want another San Bernardino massacre. This was real, not like Bowling Green. Look at what is happening in Europe, with the tsunami of refugees that are coming in, and the terrorist acts being committed.

I mentioned the aid groups. I have seen these documented on 60 Minutes and other TV programs. There are Christian aid groups who do the paperwork to bring these refugees in. I can tell a Somali refugee, as every one has the birthday of January 1st. Since there is no real Somali government, there are no birth certificates issued. People know the year they are born, but, with no proof of the actual birthday, the paperwork filled out to bring them in shows January 1st. When they arrive, they are already set up for food stamps, medical, Cash Assistance, and free HUD housing.

Once again, the American taxpayers are paying billions, if not trillions, of dollars for these refugees to live here.

Not too many years ago, when immigrants arrived, they did not receive Government help. They were on their own, and had to used their wits and hard work to survive. Now it is all being handed to them. True, some do find jobs and support themselves, so as to wean themselves off of Government aid. However, many do not fit in, or have health issues, so we taxpayers support them. Many come here just to receive medical care, and qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

It is going to be interesting to see how well Trump succeeds in protecting the American people, both from the criminal activities of the illegal immigrants, and the possible terrorist acts committed by the Muslim immigrants, coming here legally. I believe some of the recent court decisions are illegal, and will be overturned.

The burden on the taxpayers for all of these immigrants, legal or illegal, is huge, more than enough to fix all of our roads and bridges.

I feel sorry for the young Americans just finishing school. They must make a quantum leap from nothing to a higher-paying job, with no steps in between, as most of the lower-paying jobs are being filled by illegal immigrants. Not everybody can work at Starbucks.