Attorney General Harris disrespects Califonnia law
California attorney general Kamala Harris is running for the Democratic nomination for United States senator from California. In an effort to appeal to California voters, on April 16, 2015, Harris told the San Francisco Chronicle that “[a]n undocumented immigrant is not a criminal[.]” The next day, she told CBSLA.com the same thing.
Harris is wrong. First, Harris uses the euphemism “undocumented” to obscure the illegal nature of the conduct at issue. “Undocumented” implies that the person simply forgot to carry certain documents on his or her person, like leaving one’s driver’s license at home and then driving a car. Or it implies that the person was never issued a particular document, and that the problem is merely the lack of a document. However, the problem with the immigrants is not their documentation. It is their compliance with the law. This is what Harris wants to obscure.
Entering the country without legal authorization is a misdemeanor or a felony, and it carries a civil monetary fine. Title 8 of the United States Code, section 1325, is titled “Improper Entry by Alien.” It states:
(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who
(1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
(2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
(3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
Even the ACLU asserts that “[e]ntering the United States without being inspected and admitted, i.e., illegal entry, is a misdemeanor or can be a felony, depending on the circumstances. 8 U.S.C. § 1325.”
We can also add illegals who deliberately overstay their visas to remain in the U.S.
Temple University’s International Student and Scholar Services provides a detailed description of the penalties for unlawful presence in the United States, including cancelation of a visa and three- and ten-year bars to readmission to the country after voluntary or involuntary deportation.
In either case, the person is in violation of federal law and therefore is acting unlawfully.
All of the conduct described above in the United States Code is punishable by law. Given her position as California attorney general, Harris is either stating an intentional falsehood or too incompetent to hold any elective office or to be an attorney. Perhaps all of these.
If a country based on liberty protected by the rule of law is to be destroyed, what better way to do it than to elect people who devalue the rule of law? With Harris running for the U.S. Senate, and the overwhelming dominance in California of the Democratic Party, Californians have a further golden opportunity to destroy their state and the country.
Allan J. Favish is an attorney in Los Angeles. His website is allanfavish.com. James Fernald and Mr. Favish have co-authored a book about what might happen if the government ran Disneyland, entitled Fireworks! If the Government Ran the Fairest Kingdom of Them All (A Very Unauthorized Fantasy).