Thursday, December 08, 2005

California town says it's fine to rape illegal immigrants

What? You think I overstate the case? I don't think so.
In an emerging trend, Costa Mesa leaders agreed Wednesday to clear the way for police officers to enforce federal immigration laws — a move some fear will having a chilling effect in the city's Latino community.

The City Council voted to negotiate an agreement with federal immigration officials that would allow city police to check some criminal suspects to see if they are in the country illegally, a job now reserved for federal immigration officials.
In other words, illegal immigrants who get raped (or beaten or robbed) would have to choose between, say, keeping a job that feeds their family or getting justice for the crime committed against them. If you go to the cops, you're gone.

Does anyone doubt that this is part of the intent of these laws? That there's a tacit threat of a permanent victim status for those who attempt to enter the country illegally?

I honestly haven't come to any final answers to illegal immigration, but I don't think tossing people to the wolves is a proper response.

Update: Paul, in comments, says that I'm making a leap of logic, as the article says that "Officials in Costa Mesa said they would only check the status of people arrested on suspicion of felonies or criminal gang activity."

May I just say that, like many of the immigrants of Orange Country, I ain't buyin' it? And, even if they are true to their word, if I and others aren't picking up what they're putting down, doesn't that equate to the same result as a direct threat of deportation if you report a crime? We're talking here about a class of people already living in fear of authority already, so this would just make it less likely they would report their victimhood for fear of being victimized again.

These political tirades have real results for real people.

2 Comments:

Blogger Paul said...

It seems like you're taking an unfair leap of logic to say that "rape victims" will be deported because of this rule. According to the article, the authority for the police to check immigration status of people involved in crimes is limited to those individuals who are felony SUSPECTS. Barring any improper enforcement of that power, how would VICTIMS of felony crimes (e.g., rape victims) be deported because of this rule?

I am convinced that this is a good direction that Costa Mesa is headed, however, as far as criminal law is concerned, the courts would have to determine the suspect's immigrant status at the trial proceeding for jurisdictional purposes as well. The practical effect of Costa Mesa's new rule, if designed with privacy rights of immigrants (both legal and illegal) in mind may not be as crazy as you suggest.

6:35 PM  
Blogger california_reality_check said...

I don't think you are over reacting in the least. Illegal immigration has been a problem in CA for some time. It creates a tremendous financial load as well as a challenge for law enforcement. So, this is a back- handed way to address the problem. What they can say now is - Well, we were investigating a felony and happened to run across these potential suspects, witnesses or victims, etc. Anyone who says that the police won't use this as a weapon is delusional. We are continuing down the slippery slope of a Fascist society. Stay tooned. It will get worse.

8:31 AM  

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