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How can ‘We are not Criminals be True?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at How can We are not Criminals be true?
In today’s paper the headline read, “US agents fire tear gas as some migrants try to breach fence at border.”
The ensuing story told of hundreds of migrants pushing past the Mexican police blockade in an attempt to enter the United States. Here are selected passages from that article:

  • “Earlier Sunday, the group of several hundred migrants pushed past a blockade of Mexican police who were standing guard near the international border crossing…
  • They carried hand-painted American and Honduran flags while chanting: “We are not criminals! We are international workers!”

So what is a Criminal?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a criminal is “one who has committed a crime.”
Technically speaking the migrants are correct. They are still in Mexico and have not violated any United States laws.
What if They Cross over the Wall?
There are legal ways of entering the United States. We have places where people can seek asylum or seek lawful entry. Trying to come into the country by any other means is a violation of our immigration laws.
That would mean that if they go over/under/around/through the wall/barbed wire/etc. they are breaking United States law. At that moment they become criminals or lawbreakers that can be convicted as criminals! It does not matter what they are fleeing from or their motivation for entering our country. They are in violation of the law!
Isn’t that Heartless?
Not really. Our country was built on immigration and to this day still accepts “your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” (from the poem The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty). We have and still do welcome immigrants and have established a legal way for migrants to enter our country. This mechanism has and still does work well.
America is not big enough to absorb thousands of immigrants. And thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, may well come especially if those at our border are able to enter illegally without consequence.
Should the System be Improved?
That’s a fair question. I assume by improved you mean allow more into America. Such an improvement must also include a means to do background checks. While many, maybe most, of the migrants are legit there is the possibility of hardened criminals, even terrorists, entering our country.
As a sovereign country we have the right and the obligation to screen applicants. And it may take time!
A Sympathetic News Media
News media reports have consistently shown a bias toward the migrants as if they are trying to create sympathy. There’s nothing wrong with sympathizing with the migrants, but what is wrong is encouraging the migrants in the belief that they have a right to enter the United States.
Most articles and commentaries in the media focus on the migrant plight. They also try to make the Trump Administration look bad. We have already had terrorists enter legally (under false names and therefore actually illegally). They entered, trained, and eventually flew two planes into the Twin Towers in New York City, plus another failed attempt in Pennsylvania (9-11-2001).
What About the Courts?
Good question. Here’s my opinion. District Judges in California will rule against anything the Trump Administration attempts. It will be appealed up to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The government will lose and appeal to the United States Supreme Court where they will be victorious.
It will cost the courts time, energy, and taxpayer money all because liberal judges with an agenda will try to impose their agenda on perfectly legal actions by the Trump Administration.
So What is the Solution?
I can tell you what I don’t think will happen though it should.
The Democrats now control the House of Representatives. If they were responsible they would try to improve our immigration laws with safeguards that would protect our country. Instead they will pass bills that if enacted into law would undermine the system and endanger the people of the United States plus negatively impact those who entered or are entering the country legally.
As a result the Senate will reject such actions and nothing will happen.
Can the President Do Anything?
One achievement of President Obama was that he showed that in absence of a law, the President can rule by decree which has the force of law. As with laws decrees can be challenged in Federal court. And Congress can pass a law that invalidates the decree.
Even if the decree stands the next President can cancel or replace the decree. For example, President Trump revised Obama’s Clear Water Rule which affect private property rights.
But such action is a temporary solution that may lead to a permanent law.
So the Migrants Have No Hope?
On the contrary, they have legal avenues to follow. Some are already doing so. But because of the sheer number of applicants it will take a long time. We live in a generation of instant gratification. We want what we want now!
Mexico seems to be leaning to allowing some migrants stay in Mexico. But that seems to change daily and if I was a migrant I’d be nervous about Mexico’s sincerity. Still, it is a possibility that Mexico will allow them to stay and become citizens.
So the migrants have the option to:

  • Wait for the opportunity to legally enter
  • Decide to live in Mexico and become Mexican citizens
  • Return to Honduras

In Conclusion
When you violate United States law you are a lawbreaker. If convicted in a court of law you are a criminal. As for “undocumented” immigrants, that is a politically correct term with no merit. If they are in the country without proper and legal documentation then they are illegal. So, while they haven’t gone to court yet and been convicted, they are lawbreakers and could be tried as criminals.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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