We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Reform


By: Bob Parks

Well, those wacky illegals are at it again, and our politicians are taking the bait. Although our laws are quite clear on how to legally enter the United States, apply for work, as well as what’s expected of immigrants once they get here, hundreds of thousands of lawbreakers have once again been allowed to protest en masse in our streets demanding we change those laws in order to forgive their transgressions.

I wish it were that easy.

What exactly are our lawmakers going to reform? It would seem as a starting point, that they should enforce the law already written, because as I’ve read them, they are reasonable, there are no gray areas, and they debunk the slogans carried by illegals that they are not criminals.

Yes, they are.

Let’s take a look at the laws on the books, as documented by the Department of Justice….

1911 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1325 — Unlawful Entry, Failure to Depart, Fleeing Immigration Checkpoints, Marriage Fraud, Commercial Enterprise Fraud

Section 1325 sets forth criminal offenses relating to (1) improper entry into the United States by an alien, (2) entry into marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws, and (3) establishing a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading immigration laws. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) amended 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1325 to provide that an alien apprehended while entering or attempting to enter the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty.

Comment: Further discussion of these offenses is set forth in Chapter 4 of Immigration Law, published as part of the Office of Legal Education’s Litigation Series, and as part of the USABook computer library.

This appears to be fairly cut-and-dry. Section 1325 clearly reads that coming into the country without the proper paperwork, thus permission, is a crime. So, if you cross our border illegally, hide out as to avoid arrest, detention, and removal from the U.S., you are breaking the law.

It doesn’t make exceptions for those wanting a better life for their families. Lots of people around the world want a better life for their families. Bank robbers want to buy a new home for their mother. No one is going to forgive their breaking of the law. What makes these illegals think their special?

Section 1325 also covers people who get married just to get into the country. Network news magazines cover this issue periodically, but unfortunately it becomes more of a love lost issue than that of law enforcement. The section also covers those who profit from the importation of illegals into the United States. “Coyotes” are breaking the law, not providing a service. Lawyers providing “Immigration Assistance” are finding ways around the law. That, too, is wrong.

What needs to be “reformed” as far as the present law is concerned? Most of the people who’ve immigrated to this country had to play by those rules. Nothing in this section need be “reformed.”

1908 Unlawful Employment of Aliens — Criminal Penalties

Title 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1324a(a)(1)(A) makes it unlawful for any person or other entity to hire, recruit, or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien, as defined in subsection 1324a(h)(3).

Subsection 1324a(2) makes it unlawful for any person or entity, after hiring an alien for employment, to continue to employ the alien in the United States knowing the alien is or has become an unauthorized alien with respect to such employment.

Subsection 1324a(f) provides that any person or entity that engages in a “pattern or practice” of violations of subsection (a)(1)(A) or (a)(2) shall be fined not more than $3000 for each unauthorized alien with respect to whom such a violation occurs, imprisoned for not more than six months for the entire pattern or practice, or both. The legislative history indicates that “a pattern or practice” of violations is to be given a commonsense rather than overly technical meaning, and must evidence regular, repeated and intentional activities, but does not include isolated, sporadic or accidental acts. H.R.Rep. No. 99-682, Part 3, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. (1986), p. 59. See 8 C.F.R. ¤ 274a.1(k).A scheme for civil enforcement of the requirements of ¤ 1324a through injunctions and monetary penalties is set forth in ¤ 1324a(e) and ¤ 1324a(f)(2).

In addition, 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546(b) makes it a felony offense to use a false identification document, or misuse a real one, for the purpose of satisfying the employment verification provisions in 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1324a(b).

Let’s be clear on this. It’s illegal to hire a person you know is an illegal alien. That also means that any illegal who asks you for work doesn’t give a damn about you or your business, as they are putting you in legal jeopardy. I’ll take it for granted these illegals are intelligent.

This means whether you employ illegal aliens to work in a factory or trim your hedges, employing these people puts the person(s) who hire them at further risk as false documents are sometimes accepted to verify employment eligibility.

What needs to be “reformed” as far as this present law is concerned? Most of the people who’ve immigrated to this country had to play by these rules. Nothing in this section need be “reformed.”

1942 18 U.S.C. ¤ ¤ 1541 to 1546 — Passports and Other Entry Documents

Title 18 U.S.C. ¤¤ 1541 to 1546, provide criminal penalties for offenses related to passports, visas, and related documents. Sections 1541 to 1544 exclusively concern passports. Section 1545 deals with safe conducts as well as passports. 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546 deals with visas, permits, and related documents. See 3 A.L.R.Fed. 623.

A passport is defined at 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1101(a)(30) as “any travel document issued by competent authority showing the bearer’s origin, identity, and nationality, if any, which is valid for the entry of the bearer into a foreign country.” The Supreme Court has stated “[a passport] is a document, which, from its nature and object, is addressed to foreign powers; purporting only to be a request, that the bearer of it may pass safely and freely; and is to be considered rather in the character of a political document, by which the bearer is recognized, in foreign countries, as an American citizen; and which, by usage and the law of nations, is received as evidence of the fact.” See Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. 280, 292 (1981).

Title 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1104 entrusts control of passport and visa matters to the Department of State, and establishes a Passport Office and a Visa Office. Title 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1185(b) makes it unlawful for a United States citizen to attempt to depart from or enter the United States without a valid passport, except as authorized by the President.

Section 211a of Title 22 authorizes the Secretary of State to issue United States passports in foreign countries. Title 22 U.S.C. ¤ 212 limits issuance of United States passports to United States nationals only. Section 213 prescribes the method of applying for a passport, Title 22 U.S.C. ¤¤. 213, 214a, and 215 control the fees for passports, 22 U.S.C. ¤ 217a limits the temporal validity of passports to no more than 10 years. State Department regulations governing passports appear at 22 C.F.R. Part 51. See 59A Am.Jur.2d “Passports” for a general discussion of the law of passports.

The statutory maximum term of imprisonment for violations of 18 U.S.C. ¤¤ 1541 – 1546 is 10 years. However, 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1547 provides that notwithstanding any other provision of title 18, the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed for passport and visa violations (except violations under 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1545) if committed to facilitate a drug trafficking crime is 15 years; and if committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism is 20 years.

The statute of limitations for violations of 18 U.S.C. ¤¤ 1541 to 1544 is 10 years. See 18 U.S.C. ¤ 3291.

Now while I can understand how easily one can be fooled by a false document nowadays, especially if you are in a border state, care should be taken and checks should be conducted to assure that the person you are hiring is not only an illegal, but whom he/she says they are. The current concerns on national security dictate additional vigilance regarding the verification of documents.

What needs to be “reformed” as far as this law on false documents? Most of the people who’ve immigrated to this country had to play by these rules. Nothing in this section need be “reformed.”

1945 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1543 — Making or Using a Forged Passport

Section 1543 of Title 18 proscribes the forgery, alteration, etc., of passports or the use of or furnishing to another of a forged, altered, void, etc., passport or purported passport. It applies to instruments issued or purportedly issued by foreign governments as well as by the United States. See United States v. Dangdee, 616 F.2d 1118 (9th Cir. 1980).

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) amended this statute to provide for enhanced penalties if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime.

Heads up for the criminal free-lance enterprises going on around Alvarado Street in Los Angeles. Making or using a forged passport, no matter what country is on the cover, is illegal. The only possible use of such a forged document is for deception of one’s identity. It doesn’t matter what immigrant rights groups or the clergy says. When you make or use a false passport to obtain anything, you are trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. You are attempting to bamboozle someone. You are attempting to make someone think you are someone else. You are being dishonest from the very first time someone meets you.

There is nothing in Section 1543 that needs to be reformed, that is unless you wish to make all persons who provide passports suspect as to their true identity. Also, the financial ramifications of such deception is obvious.

Federal, state, and local social service benefits can be improperly obtained using such documents. That, by all definitions, could be considered fraud. And who usually ends up paying for fraud, waste, and abuse…?

1943 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1541 — Issuance of Passports Without Authority

Section 1541 of Title 18 makes it a crime to issue or verify a passport, or other instrument in the nature of a passport, without authority to do so. For example, state and local governments may not issue documents designed to facilitate overseas travel of their residents. 17 Op.Att.Gen. 674 (1884). Similarly, forgery of a document purporting to be such a travel document issued by a state or local government would also violate 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1541. 9 Op.Att.Gen. 350 (1859). 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1541 also makes it a crime for consular officers to verify passports for persons not owing allegiance to the United States, even if they are citizens.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) amended this statute to provide for enhanced penalties if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime.

Simply stated, Section 1541 makes it illegal to “issue” a United States passport for the purpose of misleading an employer or government entity as to the false identity of a bearer. Section 1541 says nothing about use of such a false document to provide for anyone’s family. Giving out a passport is clearly done to make someone appear as someone else.

There is nothing in Section 1541 that needs to be reformed. Distribution of a false document for the purpose of creating a false identity is not a humane act. It is deception, pure and simple.

1947 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546 — Fraud and Misuse of Visas, Permits, and Related Documents, and False Personation

The first paragraph of 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546(a) proscribes the forging, counterfeiting, altering or falsely making of certain immigration documents or their use, possession, or receipt. The second paragraph proscribes the possession, or bringing into the United States of plates or distinctive papers used for the printing of entry documents. The third paragraph makes it a crime, when applying for an entry document or admission into the United States, to personate another or appear under a false name. The fourth paragraph makes it a crime to give a false statement under oath in any document required by the immigration laws or regulations.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) amended subsection 1546(a) to provide for enhanced penalties if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime.

Subsection 1546(b) makes it a felony offense to use a false identification document, or misuses a real one, for the purpose of satisfying the employment verification provisions in 8 U.S.C. ¤ 1324a(b).

COMMENT: Further discussion of offenses defined in 18 U.S.C. ¤ 1546 is set forth in Chapter 7 of Immigration Law, published as part of the Office of Legal Education’s Litigation Series, and as part of the USABook computer library.

As I mentioned above, the only reason one would obtain falsified passports or other documents of identification, is for receiving employment or social benefits while being in the country illegally. There is no social good that can be had for allowing anyone to use a bootleg visa or Social Security card. In essence, those using false documents are also stealing.

They are stealing jobs from someone who is legally eligible to obtain one in America. They are stealing food stamps, WIC benefits, Section 8 housing, thus they are stealing taxpayer money from every citizen in the United States. For every activist who claims that illegals pay taxes, the amount we have to pay in services for those who deem themselves victims, thus worthy of our charity, dwarfs whatever taxes they “pay.”

The bottom line is this:

The laws currently on the books are straightforward, non-discriminatory, and fair. They clearly define what is bad behavior. There are no exceptions to ignoring these laws so people can provide better lives for their loved ones. In every case, a person who violates these rules does no service to the United States or her citizens. The violators are attempting to deceive others and extract benefits from taxpayers. They are thieves; they are criminals. They are not undocumented, especially when they use false ones.

The only thing reforming the current laws will do is invite more to break them because it will be easier. Reforming our current immigration procedures will provide a victory to the millions who came here illegally and the millions who are coming to take advantage of reforms, should they occur.

I say should, because I believe this is not a done deal. I hope that the politicians in Washington understand that they are trying to make 11 million or so people who have broken many of the laws stated above legit, at the expense of the 300-plus million of us who pay all the bills. Hopefully, they’ll get their minds right and realize that it’s not the United States and her immigration laws that need reforming. It’s the behavior of those who have no problem breaking our laws and soaking us all in the process.

Reform? We don’t need no stinkin’ reform.



Bob Parks is a former Republican congressional candidate (California 24th District), Navy veteran, single father, member/writer for the National Advisory Council of Project 21, and is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.