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Would Harsher Sentences for Undocumented Criminals Lower Crime?: Left of Center View

The bigger question here is: Do harsher sentencing guidelines deter crime? In the abstract perhaps, but for anyone that watches "Cops" you really have to wonder. Consequences don't really seem to weigh into the equation until afterwards. Desperate people will do desperate things regardless, so realistically the only thing that will get accomplished about stricter sentencing guidelines for undocumented workers is that the public and the politicians get to feel a little safer thinking they have done something about the problem.

Personally, I think that sentencing guidelines are a big mistake. The whole point of our judicial system is that everyone gets their day in court and that every case is supposed to be looked at on an individual basis. Yet over and over again in their comments the presiding Judge will note that the sentence imposed is not necessarily the sentence warranted, but is the sentence mandated by legislation. Sometimes this means that the Judge is forced to hand out a much harsher sentence that the crime really calls for, especially under the ludicrous "three strikes" legislation. Lie on your taxes, steal the stamp and write a bad check, and one letter can get you sent away for life. You truly shouldn't get away with this, but is it really the same as shooting someone in the back of the head? In the eyes of the law it is.

Legislated sentencing goes both ways. There are plenty of instances where the Judge would like to impose a stricter sentence but again is limited by legislation. But before this becomes a discussion about judicial review and the competency of the courts let's just say that knowing what your sentence will be beforehand may not be a good thing. Rather than being a deterrent, sentencing guidelines may in fact become motivation for an escalating crime spree. From a criminal perspective, if a bank robbery goes wrong and a guard is killed, there is no reason not to execute everyone else. The penalty is the same. There is no motivation to negotiate or give yourself up. If they catch you, chances are they will kill you. Take enough out with you and your Mom might just get a book deal and guest appearance on Oprah. Personally, this if I'm ever caught in the middle of a robbery, this is not the mindset I want for the guy standing on the counter with the Uzi. I want him to think that maybe, just maybe, if he doesn't kill me and the teller cowering behind the potted plants, that the judge will take that into consideration.

Considering that most of the crimes committed by undocumented workers are crimes of desperation how will harsher sentencing deter them? Hell, they are already breaking the law just by being here. Many of them are already running for their lives or are here to keep their kids from starving. These people crawl through raw sewage and make month-long ocean voyages sealed in shipping containers. Prisoners already make a higher hourly wage than they would back home. Really, the consequences for getting caught are already sky-high, additions are un-necessary.

If you really want to deter criminal activity for undocumented immigrants you have to get to the heart of the matter and punish the people they are sacrificing for. Deport the mother for the crimes of the son. Deny entry for the entire family because of the actions of a cousin. This policy is not fair, but it will be effective. Hell, why not bring back public mutilation and floggings. I got it, a public flogging of the mother and one machete severed finger from each of the children, for a first offence. In many cases that is exactly what is waiting for them back home. If we really want to lessen crime, we need to instill hope, not fear. People will worker harder for a community they feel a part of.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: How Much Impact Will Our Faltering Economy Have on Illegal Immigration?

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Left:
Will There Ever Be Comprehensive Immigration Reform in America?

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Do Undocumented Immigrants Pose a Health Risk for Americans?
How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?
What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?
Outsourcing, Bad Trade Policy and Recessions
Is America Capable of Breaking Free from Foreign Oil Dependency?
What Does the Globalization of Big Business Mean for America?
Are American Car Makers Ready for the Oil Crisis or Will Japan Reign Supreme Once Again?
Does Dependency on Foreign Oil Endanger America?
What is a "Real" American?
Racial Profiling - Is It Ever OK?
Who Wins When Undocumented Workers Come to America?
NAFTA and the Election
How Can We Curb Illegal Immigration?
Fear Mongering and Illegal Immigration
Border Security and the War on Drugs
Outsourcing or Undocumented Workers: Which Hurts American Workers More?
Sierra Club vs. Border Fence
Who Owns America?
Redefining Immigration
Racism and the Immigration Debate
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade
Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Archives by Date




Would Harsher Sentences for Undocumented Criminals Lower Crime?: Right of Center View

For harsher sentencing to work in this case, it needs to be as bad as the sentencing would be in their home country unless ours is harsher to begin with. The only way harsher sentencing guidelines work is if they are worse than the alternative. We already know that deporting them doesn’t work. They just crawl back and return to being the same problem they were before we deported them. We can’t incarcerate them all unless our entire economy begins to revolve around housing criminals.

The sentences need to be as bad if not worse than the maximum sentences that they would face at home. One way to achieve this is to enact a law that automatically increases the minimum sentencing guidelines for any crime committed by someone in the country illegally to twice the punishment for the crime in their home country and requires that the legal proceeding take place with the same rules as a court in their home country. If their legal system does not allow for appeals, they are not entitled to one here. We have our rights and privileges because our forefathers fought and died for them. It is a privilege to live in America because of our rights and freedoms. Illegal immigration is in a sense an attempt to steal American privileges without earning them. We should make sure that criminals do not prosper for breaking our laws. If we guarantee them all the rights our people have then we are making it easier for them to break the law here than it was for them before they snuck into our country.

Passing laws to protect our privileges from those who would steal them is the first step to making America unappealing to criminals who look to America as “easy pickings”. We also need to make sure that those who aid illegal residents in committing those crimes be subject to the same losses of legal privilege as the criminals illegally in America. If you go after any American support structure for undocumented criminals you make it that much harder to successfully commit a crime. Sure there will always be those who get through and commit crimes but there is absolutely no reason to make it easier or less consequential for them to commit crimes just by coming to America.

The next step is to make sure that the bleeding hearts don’t sway us from our course by talking about how it’s “cruel” or “inhumane” to punish criminals by the standards of the country of their birth. Never forget that they broke the law to come here and then they disregarded our laws even further by committing crimes after they got here. They don’t deserve to be rewarded with lighter sentences or a more relaxed court system because they shifted their criminal behavior inside our borders. If anything we need to make sure that criminals around the world know that if they are thinking of coming here to commit crime they will not be facing lighter sentences but rather harsher punishment than if they are caught in their home country and after they serve their sentence they will be deported to boot.

It’s time we stood up to those who would come into our nation to take advantage of our people for their own gain. We need to let criminals know that they are not welcome here. Of course harsher sentences would deter them but they have to be harsher than the sentences they already face at home for breaking the law. If our sentences overall are lighter then we become more appealing to would-be illegal alien criminals. If on the other hand they know from the start that we will not only punish them for their crimes but will do so even more harshly than their current government then the risk becomes greater for them to come here than to stay where they are now.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: How Much Impact Will Our Faltering Economy Have on Illegal Immigration?

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right:
Will There Ever Be Comprehensive Immigration Reform in America?

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
Do Undocumented Immigrants Pose a Health Risk for Americans?
How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?
What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?
Outsourcing, Bad Trade Policy and Recessions
Is America Capable of Breaking Free from Foreign Oil Dependency?
What Does the Globalization of Big Business Mean for America?
Are American Car Makers Ready for the Oil Crisis or Will Japan Reign Supreme Once Again?
Does Dependency on Foreign Oil Endanger America?
What is a "Real" American?
Racial Profiling - Is It Ever OK?
Who Wins When Undocumented Workers Come to America?
NAFTA and the Election
How Can We Curb Illegal Immigration?
Fear Mongering and Illegal Immigration
Border Security and the War on Drugs
Outsourcing or Undocumented Workers: Which Hurts American Workers More?
Sierra Club vs. Border Fence
Who Owns America?
Redefining Immigration
Racism and the Immigration Debate
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade
Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Archives by Date

A Legal Immigrant’s Perspective

If you are not a Native American, you are an immigrant, so am I. I came legally to this country at the age of five with my parents who worked hard, paid taxes (even Jesus paid taxes), lived by the rules of this great nation and never took or accepted a penny from the government. We came seeking FREEDOM from a communist country. It was months before we were able to enter the US legally. I remember us getting medical exams, shots (small pox), background check, references, and going through numerous interviews once we arrived. I also remembered people coming to the US from all over the world who waited years since it was based on "Quotas". Read more...

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally “The Race” in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isn’t really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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