Akil Alleyne I'm also not sure how much sense it makes to say "we shouldn't conclude which laws [undocumented immigrants] broke" while at the same time describing them as "without papers." The very act of being present in the country is itself unlawful, whether it's a civil or criminal violation. So by your own terms, it seems we CAN conclude that they've broken at least one law, no? As for the argument that they haven't yet been proven to have acted unlawfully--that's largely because most of those 11 million haven't been caught, precisely because their status requires them to live in the shadows. Anyway, this seems like better support for the idea of adding "alleged" or "suspected" to "illegal immigrant" than for abolishing the term altogether.
Akil Alleyne I recall reading a few years back that maybe as many as half of all undocumented people in the U.S. came here legally but fell out of status. That's why I wrote above that maybe we should reserve "illegal immigrants" for that category of undocumented folks, and refer to those who enter legally but overstay their visas as "unlawful immigrants." Your own article concedes my earlier point: that anyone who "eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers" when entering the country actually IS committing a crime. So crossing the border without permission is a crime, while entering legally but overstaying one's visa is a civil violation. Fair enough; but either act is still against the rules. Pointing that out is not racist.
Akil Alleyne 3. Your article doesn't state (or provide any proof) that the psychological affects of the term "illegal" caused Joaquin Luna to commit suicide. It looks more like he did so because he feared deportation, not because he was being called illegal. I doubt that most unlawful immigrants would kill themselves just because of a semantic label that's pinned on them. If some of them would do so, that's heartbreaking, but it doesn't affect the accuracy of the terminology. The article suggests that Luna was brought to America as a child by his parents, who likely knew they were acting illegally. If so, it's tragic that Luna paid the price for his parent's lawbreaking--but that doesn't make his presence in this country any less unlawful.
Akil Alleyne 1. The bottom line is that they're here in contravention of the country's laws. The term "illegal," if I'm not mistaken, applies to violations of civil as well as criminal legal provisions. If I am mistaken about that, I'll gladly amend my position to replace the term "illegal immigrants" with "unlawful immigrants." 2. It seems that people who smuggle themselves into the country are breaking criminal, not just civil, legal provisions: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/undocumented-immigrants-criminals-article-1.1186498. Perhaps we should reserve "illegal immigrants" for that category of undocumented folks, and refer to those who enter legally but overstay their visas as "unlawful immigrants"? Would that be fairer?
Akil Alleyne Bravo! As despicable as these bombings were and as tragic as the resulting suffering is, the fact remains that this sort of atrocity goes on quite routinely every single day, all over the world--and things were frankly far worse for the vast majority of human beings until very recently. People who fail to realize this need to read their history.
Akil Alleyne Think about it. Since 1973, the Supreme Court has posited that the Constitution protects a right to abortion. Does that give governments the power to force women to have abortions against their will?
Akil Alleyne No, it's not. Not saying something is not "expressing your opinion"; it's withholding your opinion entirely. If I refrain from saying something about same-sex marriage altogether, e.g., that could mean that I support it, or that I oppose it, or that I don't care about it either way. There's no way of telling which opinion I hold unless I express it openly...yet my right to remain silent is still protected anyway.
Akil Alleyne Not really. The constitutional rights the Supreme Court has been called on to interpret and enforce are understood that way. See, e.g., West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=319&invol=624), in which SCOTUS ruled that forcing students to salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance violates the right to free speech. That's just one example off the top of my head...
Akil Alleyne I agree with immigration reform, but I don't find the term "illegal immigrant" objectionable, simply because it's factually accurate. However much I believe that a crackdown on illegal immigration is the wrong way to go, I don't think there's anything wrong with referring to someone who immigrates to this country illegally as an "illegal immigrant." When determining the legitimacy of a certain expression, factual accuracy counts for a lot more in my book than the way the expression make people feel. AP has the right to use whatever terminology it wants, of course. There's nothing wrong with using the more PC term "undocumented worker," either, since that's factually accurate as well.
Akil Alleyne I agree with this article overall...but where the "Girls" example is concerned, a respectable counterpoint (for those who haven't already seen it) can be found here: http://www.salon.com/2013/03/22/my_bad_sex_wasnt_rape/
Akil Alleyne Even if criminals commit crime out of necessity, that doesn't negate the argument that they'll be less likely to commit those crimes against potential victims who happen to be armed. In theory at least, a criminal who becomes aware that a particular potential victim is armed and thus capable of defending him/herself would have an incentive to target some other victim who's unarmed, no?
Akil Alleyne It's just as well that this law has giant holes in it (i.e. the exemptions that render it basically unenforceable). Legally requiring citizens to own guns cannot be equated with "promoting the Second Amendment." The 2nd Amendment protects the RIGHT to bear arms; forcing people to own guns, whether they want to do so or not, establishes a DUTY to bear arms. That's incompatible with the right to bear arms, because a right is something that people are supposed to be able to do IF they so choose. Conversely, they're supposed to be able to refrain from doing it if that suits them better. Forcing them to do it negates individual choice and thus violates the right.
Akil Alleyne It makes no sense to cite United States v. Miller in a vacuum, as though that case still represented the Supreme Court's dominant 2nd Amendment jurisprudence. SCOTUS no longer views the 2nd Amendment as only protecting state governments' "rights" to form militias. Since its decisions in D.C. v. Heller (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf) and McDonald v. Chicago, SCOTUS has held that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. To conveniently sidestep those decisions in your analysis is downright bizarre.
Akil Alleyne "Her brand of liberal politics plus her celebrity status would have hugely contested McConnell." Really? I'm genuinely confused. Since when do conservative Southern red-state voters lend much credence to Hollywood liberals (whether they should or shouldn't)?
Akil Alleyne It never occurred to me that PolicyMic might feature an article about Star Wars, LOL. This is a nice list. Too bad most moviegoers won't know who half these characters are or anything about their backgrounds when the new trilogy comes out! It'll be interesting to see how they finesse that...or whether they bother to observe continuity with the Expanded Universe in the new trilogy at all. Thanks to the novels and comic books, an awwwwwwwwful lot of storyline now exists between Episodes VI and VII...
Akil Alleyne Thanks, Amy. I don't plan on replying to anything more that Jan Civil has to say; he/she isn't worth my time or energy. It never ceases to amaze me how many Internet tough guys there are out there, trolling discussion boards like this to lob ad hominem bile at their opponents instead of making rational, well-informed counterarguments calmly and respectfully. What makes these people the way they are, I can't imagine, but I'm certainly not going to waste any time dignifying their obnoxiousness with any reply (beyond the bare minimum that's needed to expose their nonsense, of course).
Akil Alleyne Thanks for RESPECTFULLY disagreeing, Jo; I wish Jan Civil would take a page from your book. As for your point, remember that there IS a Libertarian Party that fields its own presidential candidates in every election. Anyway, those libertarians who throw in their lot with the GOP do so out of necessity. In a system like America's, third parties merely split the vote in a way that guarantees one major party a virtual lock on power for years. In a country with a 2-party system and more than 2 ideological movements, the more marginal camps have to either work within one of the mainstream parties or become politically irrelevant. Members of those movements shouldn't have to take it when people mistakenly lump them in with views they don't share.
Akil Alleyne That interpretation of the CC would subject almost all forms of private conduct to federal regulation. Everything is influenced by some form of commercial activity that involves interstate commerce to some degree. That would eviscerate the 10th Amendment's guarantee of state autonomy. There has to be some limit to what the federal gov't can regulate. The CRA doesn't regulate only interstate commerce; it also regulates local commercial transactions (i.e. businesses can't discriminate at the point of sale). Any part of the CRA that targets interstate purchases of supplies would be constitutional, but the parts that regulate local business transactions aren't consistent with the CC, in my view.
Akil Alleyne Your point about rhetoric is pathetically laughable. Rhetoric is a stylistic matter, and in the context of persuasive argumentation, style should ALWAYS take a backseat to substance. Your stated obsession with rhetoric is unsurprising, though, given the shallowness of your contribution to this conversation so far. Of course someone who doesn't bother to provide any logical or empirical support for his/her erroneous claims and normative misconceptions would think that rhetoric (which refers to one's choice of words, not to the content of one's statements) is a paramount concern. WHAT one says in a debate is more important than HOW one says it. Your ignorance of that basic principle of debate is glaringly bright every time you write.
Akil Alleyne You obviously know nothing about the libertarian movement. We generally favor getting gov't out of the business of licensing marriage altogether and recognizing same-sex marriages at a minimum: http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/constitutional-case-marriage-equality Insofar as Rand Paul doesn't take that position on same-sex marriage, he's taking a conservative rather than a libertarian view of that issue. It's well known (to those in the know, at least) that he's not a pure libertarian, so it's absurd to accuse him of hypocrisy for breaking with libertarian orthodoxy on this or that issue.
Akil Alleyne "Civil liberties" refers to the basic freedoms guaranteed to all Americans based on their residence in a free society (hence "civil"). Those rights are protected by the Constitution (http://civilrights.findlaw.com/civil-rights-overview/civil-rights-vs-civil-liberties.html), which constrains gov't and not private action (the various amendments of the Bill of Rights use language such as "CONGRESS shall make no law," etc....see also http://www.harvardlawreview.org/media/pdf/DEVO_10.pdf). The CRA goes beyond the Constitution's requirements; its strictures don't fall into the civil liberties category. If you're going to call your opponents' claims "idiotic," you should at least back up your obnoxiousness with verifiable facts and sound logic.