Series 14 | Part 3: The Need For More Nuance in Deportation Decisions

There’s literally nothing more than stay or go when it comes to illegal immigration. Where’s all the detail? How come each individual doesn’t get a different punishment? It’s the same crime, I know, but the same crime has different punishments when the crime is murder or robbery or something else. A murderer gets 20 years or life or something else. A bank robber gets a different sentence when he/she is just driving the getaway car and not even going into the bank.

There are a million different sentences for rape because, as courts have stated, the situation matters. I’m not stating an opinion on that, but when someone can get 90 days if both people were drunk, when a husband can get a different sentence for spousal rape than a high school student can get for statutory rape, then how come there’s only one punishment for illegal immigration?

I’m not saying I know the best punishment, but there’s only one crime that supports the same punishment for all, and that’s conspiracy, and illegal immigration is not a conspiracy. Moreover, a conspiracy to commit a crime holds the same punishment of the crime, and we don’t have any deliberation as to what that punishment should be. We just have stay or go.

I support not a legislative process for illegal immigration but a judicial process. I support due process, trial-by-jury, and so on. Now, there are so many people. Therefore, it may be untenable. We might not be able to do it. Therefore, let’s get some details in there. We have some already. We have DACA, and we have laws or at least precedents that treat illegal immigrants who have committed other crimes differently that they treat those whose only crime is illegal immigration, not whose only crime to seek a better life or give their kids what they didn’t have, but whose only crime was illegal immigration. They were doing the best they could, and that’s great, but if we conflate the pursuit of happiness with the law, then why not say you can rob a grocery store to feed your kid and there’s no punishment because your kids were hungry or you can rob a bank because you know they’ll be hungry again so you need the money for the long-term? The law is the law, and we need punishments for crimes committed. However, I’ve never seen any crime in my life for which the punishment is so sparsely detailed.

Honestly, we have variations in sentencing for rape and murder and armed robbery and depraved indifference for which you can get any number of years in any level of security any distance from your loved ones and/or dependents and so on, but for illegal immigration, it’s one size fits all. Why?

There’s a reason law school is so boring and law textbooks are so dry. Where’s all the dry, boring details on illegal immigration?

Maybe there should be an international body that decrees how individual countries within its international jurisdiction handle illegal immigration. If a crime occurs across state lines, it’s a federal issue and the Constitution, in the U.S anyway, says the federal government decides. So why not have an international body decide when it’s international? We have other issues that are decided by international bodies. Maybe there should be some rule that the US must follow when considering sending someone across a national border. If we want to keep him or her, not that international body’s problem. If we want to deport or otherwise transit them across national lines, that international body could be in control of the laws on that, the manner in which it’s done, etc.

You’ve reached the end of Series 14: Deportation
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