False Papers

Brent Finnegan -- March 20th, 2008

In the wake of the ICE arrests, WMRA’s Martha Woodroof interviewed an unauthorized Guatemalan immigrant who used to work at the Cargill plant in Dayton. She asks him about working with false papers.

Transcript and interview here.

49 Responses to “False Papers”

  1. Gxeremio says:

    Good stuff. That Martha Woodroof is a top-notch reporter and we’re lucky to have her around here.

    On a related note, I would be really happy if more people took part in my “rank the crimes” survey on The Friendly City. Should we treat illegal border crossing more like murder, or more like speeding? And how do driving without a license and using false papers fit into the picture when undocumented people have no other options? It’s not hard to see where fake ID operations and driving without licenses can really become dangers to society, which makes judgment all the more difficult.

  2. Dave Briggman says:

    “Unauthorized” immigrant???

    Maybe we should call drug dealers unlicensed pharmacists?

  3. finnegan says:

    … or maybe we could call people who speed or don’t buckle their seat belts “illegal criminal drivers.”

    Maybe we should call drug dealers unlicensed pharmacists?

    Isn’t that what they are? I’m fine with that terminology. Oxycodone is legal, heroin is illegal. Other than the fact that pharmaceutical companies have lobbyists in DC, I don’t really see the difference.

  4. Dave Briggman says:

    But neither speeding nor unbuckled drivers are committing criminal acts, and if they are licensed, they aren’t illegal.

  5. Gxeremio says:

    Well the term “illegal immigrant” is not the term used in law (which uses “unauthorized alien”). Neither is the term respectful (since it implies they live a life of crime rather than having simply committed a crime at some point in their past), nor is it logical as finnegan points out since we don’t apply it to people who commit other types of crimes. So why would anyone prefer an incorrect, disrespectful, illogical term like “illegal immigrant” instead of “undocumented immigrant” which is correct, respectful, and logical?

  6. finnegan says:

    A law is a law. Exceeding the speed limit is breaking the law, and we are a nation of laws. Speeders (particularly out-of-state speeders) are flouting the laws of this great state.

    Crossing the border without permission (i.e. “unauthorized entry”) is not a prosecutable crime under U.S. law. Ask any attorney who deals with immigration cases.

  7. cook says:

    Dave, did you intend to set yourself up like that???? Being here without documentation, like speeding, is not a criminal offense. I understand the line you intend to draw in the motor vehicle code (between an infraction like speeding and a criminal misdemeanor like reckless driving) and that same line can be drawn in the immigration and nationality act (between being present in the US without authorization and the criminal act of returning after having been deported). And arguably speeding is “closer to criminal” than unauthorized presence because speeding is assigned a fine intended to punish the violation while no punishment is assigned to unauthorized presence. Try again.

  8. JGFitzgerald says:

    Uh, how about … can a person who commits a paperwork error be categorized as an illegal petitioner? I’m just asking.

  9. Dave Briggman says:

    Aaron, if it is not a criminal offense to penetrate our borders, then it must be absolutely legal for aliens to penetrate our borders and, therefore no need for those abroad to seek legal means to come into our country then, right?

    Joe, as you’ve previously written, I can legally start and circulate a petition under 24.2-233…I just can’t sign it.

    [EDIT: no name calling]

  10. Bryan says:

    yeah, i’m with dave! and if it’s not a criminal offense to speed, then it must be absolutely legal to speed, and therefore i will speed. and if i can be caught and fined for speeding, but these foreign peoples don’t face any consequences for hoppin’ on into my homeland, what’s the value of bein’ a proud american? american pride has gone the way of the buffalo.

    by the way, noone says “butthead” anymore.

  11. JGFitzgerald says:

    There is an old joke about a joke-writer’s convention where everybody has heard the same jokes so many times that they simply put numbers on them. One guy calls out “25,” and everybody laughs, and then a second guy calls out “31,” and everyone is silent because the second guy never could tell a joke.

    This could extend to blogging. One person cries out “46,” which everyone knows is an agnostic liberal tweaking a nativist, and the other person answers “24.2-233.”

  12. Barnabas says:

    People don’t generally come to America because they are selfish and inconsiderate of their fellow man. People come to america to escape the poverty that they live in and to provide hope for the future generations of there families, it is selfless.

    People who speed think that getting to where they need to go is worth putting their fellow citizens life in danger. Speeding is a selfish act that endangers and kills many Americans everyday. Speeding is more of a hostile act against the United States than immigrating without permision.

  13. Frank J Witt says:

    Joe, if I were a tad bit dumber, I would not appreciate your humor.

    Your use of the English language gives me a case of the laugh-out- louds…thanks!

  14. Dave Briggman says:

    Barnabas, speed doesn’t put your fellow citizen’s lives at risk. Were that accurate, NASCAR racers would be dying on a frequent, constant basis.

    It’s the differential in speed that kills, caused primarily by those who enjoy running in the left lane(s) of traffic at or below the given speed limit.

  15. Emmy says:

    Uh what?? The roads we drive on aren’t controlled tracks without bicycles and pedestrians. We also don’t wear flame retardant suits, helmets and sit in little cages in our cars. Speeding in your car can most certainly put your fellow citizens lives and your own at risk.

  16. Dave Briggman says:

    Emmy, you’re using emotions to try and prove facts…

    Can you back up your statements with anything to support them?

    Here’s a report from Great Britain that studied over 140,000 car accidents in 2006…just 3% of the accidents were attributed to “excessive speed”.

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/6756/speed-doesnt-kill-its-official/

  17. Dave Briggman says:

    Jeremy,

    How did you go from Libertarian to bed-wetting liberal?

    Your writing, above, implies that penetrating our border without permission violates no law and is therefore legal.

  18. finnegan says:

    Dave, what part of “no name calling” do you not understand?

    I accept responsibility for initially taking this comment thread off topic — from Martha Woodroof’s interview with a local ex-Cargill employee to speeding — but I never thought a post about immigration would end up being a debate about whether speeding is dangerous.

  19. Barnabas says:

    It is much, much harder to get a drivers permit in GB than here. My little sister just whent through the two year process. You cannot use their statistics to prove anything here Dave, try again.

    Their new drivers aren’t permitted to drive over 45 miles per hour anywhere within the country and their new drivers are not permitted on the equivilant of our interstate system. The last time I visited she was still in her restriction time so she asked me to drive so that we could go over the 45 mph speed limit that she had to follow.

  20. Gxeremio says:

    Dave, I’ll have you know my bed has been completely dry since we put on the rubber sheets.

    I’m not saying crossing the borders without papers is legal, or even that it should be. I’m saying that on the hierarchy of crimes it’s closer to the bottom than the top. And we need to reestablish a realistic way for hard-working, motivated laborers to come here legally.

    But speaking of phraseology (like “illegal aliens” vs. “undocumented immigrants”), you have GOT to stop talking about “penetrating our borders.” ;)

  21. Dave Briggman says:

    Hey, I’m on vacation (anybody have any Myrtle Beach ideas in March?)…but most of them are penetrating our borders, Jeremy. Alternatively, many are overstaying their visas.

  22. Bryan says:

    If nothing else, I think we can all agree that NASCAR is, in and of itself, excessive.

    But we digress…

    Dave, I respect the solid, rational nature of your arguments and I hope that you will continue to enlighten us.

    If everyone would just calm down here, I’m sure we could better understand what the nice man with the petitions is trying to say.

  23. Dave Briggman says:

    Aaron, I thought you wrote that being here “without documentation” is not a criminal offense? This federal statute appears to state otherwise: (Title 18 of the United States Code is the US Criminal Code, isn’t it?

    Section 1325. Improper entry by alien

    (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.
    (b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
    Any alien who is 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 of –
    (1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or
    attempted entry); or
    (2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of
    an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under
    this subsection.

    Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not
    in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be
    imposed.
    (c) Marriage fraud
    Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the
    purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be
    imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than
    $250,000, or both.
    (d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud
    Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise
    for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws
    shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance
    with title 18, or both.

  24. finnegan says:

    This is how you spend your vacation?

    Rule #1 of being a blogger on vacation: stay away from the Internet.

  25. Dave Briggman says:

    O.D. on the stupid pills today, Bryan, or are personal attacks the normal level of your “wit”?

  26. Bubby says:

    Dave: Dudes in Myrtle Beach are supposed to ride their scooters out to the titty bars and drink beer. And here you are quoting Criminal Code? This is embarrassing.

  27. Dave Briggman says:

    Bubby,

    I’m working on going to Thee Dollhouse with my two brothers-in-law…none of the clubs seems to open until 4PM or so. ;-) [Just kidding]

    Until then, I’ll watch the parasurfers blow out into Merrill’s Intel, the Dolphins run up and down the beachline and continue studying for my Chemistry exam.

  28. Bryan says:

    the “level of [my] wit” typically varies with respect to those that i am addressing

  29. Dave Briggman says:

    Yeah, right.

  30. Bryan says:

    also, my mother was on stupid pills when she was pregnant with me. it’s very tragic, but out of my control.

  31. Dave Briggman says:

    [comment deleted]

  32. finnegan says:

    Dave, that was way over the line. That’s the second time today that I’ve had to edit your comments for violating the very simple rules.

    All your comments will go into moderation for the time being.

  33. Christa says:

    No drinking before 5:00 pm Dave… ;)
    So, how’s the beach?

  34. Dave Briggman says:

    It’s your blog, Brent.

    I don’t see you editing people’s personal comments directed toward me.

  35. Back top the actual report: Martha Woodroof’s recorded news stories are good stuff. The same day that this story appeared regionally on Morning Edition, a story of hers was carried nationally in the afternoon on All Things Considered. She also get a lot of national air on Marketplace and on the NPR weekend news shows. No my name is not Martha.

  36. Draegn88 says:

    “Crossing the border without permission (i.e. “unauthorized entry”) is not a prosecutable crime under U.S. law. Ask any attorney who deals with immigration cases.”

    Sorry Finn, you are wrong.

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=8&sec=1325

    Section 1325. Improper entry by alien

    (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.
    (b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
    Any alien who is 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 of –
    (1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or
    attempted entry); or
    (2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of
    an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under
    this subsection.

    Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not
    in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be
    imposed.
    (c) Marriage fraud
    Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the
    purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be
    imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than
    $250,000, or both.
    (d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud
    Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise
    for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws
    shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance
    with title 18, or both.

  37. JGFitzgerald says:

    88? Never was all that funny. Some people just can’t tell a joke.

  38. Draegn88 says:

    “Well, I don’t have a job for four months. I was looking for a job, but don’t found it because I don’t have paper. And after that I pay for paper and work with other name. That is what the police and immigration say is illegal and bad for migrant come to United States. I understand that. But we don’t have other option.”

    If he did not have a job for four months, how did he pay his bills? How did he eat? What’s with Martha’s touchy feely, cry me a river, story? After three years, she could have asked if he ruined someone’s credit rating, stole someone’s identity, but no it’s boo hoo hoo.

  39. JGFitzgerald says:

    In general, people who do not have jobs cannot pays bills or, in some cases, feed their families. That is why not having a job is considered a bad thing. This is addressed by Charles Dickens in “A Christmas Carol,” when his stingy character, Scrooge, asks, “Are there no poorhouses?” This is considered a mean and spiteful thing to ask. People who have trouble with the concept are encouraged to view the Mr. Magoo version of the novel.

  40. Del says:

    Joke number 88? I think that’s the one starts out “A rabbi, a bear and Adolf Eichmann walk into a bar….”

  41. Draegn88 says:

    Let’s try this again.

    Joe, I do not buy the story of this guy being poor and destitute. He had money to sneak in the country, money to buy his fake papers, money to live off on for his first four months here. Martha’s story is nothing more than another attempt to engender sympathy for the open border amnesty crowd.

  42. M says:

    Yeah it’s all good to feel sorry for the poor picked on “undocumented” aliens – until you get garnished for 100% of your net by the IRS because some “undocumented” person used your identity to get work and somehow didn’t pay taxes. Until, you get thrown in jail because some “undocumented” worker broke the law and used your identiy. Until your bank account gets emptied by one of these poor pitiful souls. Until your credit is wrecked.

    This is happening to Americans all across the country ever day. Every day these “undocumented” workers they are committing a crime. They are in the country illegally and they are guilty of fraud by using a stolen identity. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that they’re not hurting anyone.

  43. Lowell Fulk says:

    M,

    Please name someone to whom this has happened? Point us to a report or article based on fact and not repeated rumor? I’m not arguing that it doesn’t, but I would like to see some verification of what you claim. You can I assume, or you certainly wouldn’t be making the claim.

    Sincere thanks,

    Lowell

  44. JGFitzgerald says:

    <p>I have another suggestion, Lowell, for M and the other paranoid fabulists. Let them name 100,000. That figure is one-half of one percent of the high estimate of undocumented immigrants. Can they lay that many cases of ID theft at the feet of immigrants, without access to their fetid imaginations? How about if we lower the bar and take one-half of one percent of the 6.4 million cases of ID theft the Justice Dept. documents for <a href=”http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/it05.pdf” rel=”nofollow”>2005</a>, the latest year compiled. That would be 32,000. Can anyone name them?</p>
    <p>I think we all know that what’s more likely is an immigrant paying taxes and Social Security into an account he’ll never draw it out of. If someone eviscerating turkeys at Dayton is using your SS#, then you’ve overpaid. Try for a refund, and be sure to thank him.</p>

  45. Frank J Witt says:

    Joe, you make a great point. If these criminal immigrants are using SS# to get work, where IS the money going to ? If thee were to use my SS#, then why isn’t my refund check bigger?

    Thanks Joe.

  46. Lowell Fulk says:

    This is what happens all the time. Outlandish claims made to stir people’s worst fears and under the surface bias.

  47. David Miller says:

    And it works! That’s the sad truth

  48. seth says:

    on both sides
    :)

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