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#387442 - 03/20/08 03:50 AM Posse Comitatus
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
There was a thread in another section of the forum which unfortunately degenerated into bickering. The discussion of the military being used to patrol our borders against "undocumented immigration" not being legal due to the Posse Comitatus Act was brought up. It was also brought up that undocumented immigration is not a criminal law but a civil crime. Both subsequently are not true.

Two things about Posse Comitatus, one is that it only applies to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines (including their reserve components) but it does not apply to the National Guard and the Coast Gaurd. The National Guard when operating in a state status under Title 32 of the US Code exempts them from Posse Comitatus. The Coast Guard doesn't fall under the DOD, initially they were under the Department of Transportation and now fall under the Department of Homeland Security.

The second issue is the "erosion" of the Posse Comitatus Act. Congress approved the use of the Navy and Air Force for anti-drug law enforcement, tariff enforcement and immigration control with 10 U.S.C. sections 371-381. These changes to Posse Comitatus began in the 1980s with President Reagan.

As for "undocumented immigration" being a civil crime? Not true, Title 8 section 1325 of the U. S. Code (Improper Entry by Alien) makes entering the United States by a non U.S. citizen by any means other than through designated immigration points, eludes examination and/or inspection by immigration officers or tries to enter the U.S. using false information or omitting information has committed a federal crime. They can receive criminal fines and imprisonment of up to six months and repeat offenders can be imprisoned for up to two years. Civil fines may also be imposed.

Sorry i just have issues with people spouting "fact" without knowing what the facts are.
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#387443 - 03/20/08 07:38 AM Re: Posse Comitatus [Re: laf7773]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Thanks for the detail, Lane.
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#387444 - 03/20/08 09:12 AM Re: Posse Comitatus [Re: MattJ]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Your tax dollars at work, can't say i didn't learn anything in the Navy.

One mistake...the Coast Guard originally was under the Department of Treasury prior to the Department of Transportation and finally the Department of Homeland Security.
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#387445 - 03/20/08 11:21 AM Re: Posse Comitatus [Re: laf7773]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
And just to be a stickler on fine details, the CG does have offices at the Pentagon, Does have a Chief of Staff who sits with the Joint Chiefs, do conduct communications and training with other military branches (Primarily those that fall under the Dep. of the Navy) and your service in the CG does qualify as military service. There is in fact some Coast Guardsmen in Iraq right now (these assets are considered to have been transferred to the DN). The only reason they don't fall fully under DoD is because their primary mission is coastal and waterway defense, and search and rescue at sea.

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#387446 - 03/20/08 11:29 AM Re: Posse Comitatus [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Well during times of war the Coast Guard as a whole falls under the DON. I remember a few years ago the Coast Guard was offering sailors in my previous job $30K to transfer to the Coast Guard when there term in the Navy was up. I almost took them up on it but i wasn't tall enough... they require you be tall enough to walk back to shore if your boat sinks.
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#387447 - 03/21/08 02:35 AM Re: Posse Comitatus [Re: laf7773]
fileboy2002 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
Being in the US without proper documentation is a civil offense, not a criminal one. About 50% of immigrants now living in the US illegally entered via legal channels and overstayed their visas. This is a civil offense, not a crime.

Even in the case of illegal entry, the usual punishment--deportation--is also a civil, rather than a criminal, proceeding.

So yes, in theory, illegal border crossing can be a criminal offense. However, this only occurs in an particular (and atypical) set of circumstances.

As much as restrictionists would like to have illegal border crossers put in the same category as rapists, murderers, and child molesters (as the Sensenbrenner bill would have done), it ain't the case today.

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#387448 - 03/21/08 09:29 AM Re: Posse Comitatus [Re: fileboy2002]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
Regardless of what "punishment" is given entering this country through any means other than designated immigration check points is a FEDERAL OFFENSE. Just because they don't receive the maximum punishment for illegal entry doesn't mean it's not a criminal offense.

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

I'm pretty sure i stated specifically that those attempting ENTRY into the U.S. were committing a federal crime, not those who have outstayed their legal amount of time. So your arguing with a wall as that wasn't my point. But just for giggles, this "50%" you’re talking about, were did you get that percentage? Is it just pulled from your imagination, something you heard or do you have a legitimate, reliable source where you got this information? If it's true and you can prove it...outstanding. If you’re just spouting your opinion then do so as an opinion and not disguised as a fact.

Before you start throwing the race card around i'm all for over looking illegal entry and those who over stayed their legal time to be here and make them legal citizens as long as they are going to contribute like everyone else.

By the way, YOU never said anything about immigrants who "over stayed" their legal time here. You said, and i quote...
Quote:

Actually, illegal immigrants are NOT criminals. As former Republican Rudolph Guiliani recently pointed out, unauthorized border corssing is a civil offense, not a criminal one.




Its one thing to be passionate about your beliefs but you can't believe everything you hear just because it supports your beliefs.

By the way the U.S. does have a national/official language and it is English.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SP4064:
Basically English is the only language the U.S. or it's entities are required to use.

Quote:

`The Government of the United States shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language of the United States of America. Unless otherwise authorized or provided by law, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English. If exceptions are made, that does not create a legal entitlement to additional services in that language or any language other than English. If any forms are issued by the Federal Government in a language other than English (or such forms are completed in a language other than English), the English language version of the form is the sole authority for all legal purposes.'.



http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SP4064

and yes it is still required that immigrants seeking naturalization have a working understanding of English.
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Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

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#387449 - 03/21/08 10:02 AM Re: Posse Comitatus [Re: laf7773]
fileboy2002 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
Accussing people of "throwing around the race card"--especially when I have not mentioned race--is exactly why threads degenerate into bickering, laf7773. Let's be civil, shall we?

I conceded that illegal border crossing CAN be treated as a criminal offense in some circumstances. If you want to count that as a "gotcha" against me, please do. But the fact remains it is rarely treated as such.

But I am sorry, the US does NOT have an official language. The bill you cited affirmed the status of English as the language of the federal government--something that was true already. It did not make English the official language of the US.

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#387450 - 03/21/08 10:44 AM Re: Posse Comitatus [Re: fileboy2002]
fileboy2002 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
Whoops, forget something. Here is a source about the percentage of undocumented immigrants who overstay visas:
http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14221609

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#387451 - 03/23/08 03:22 PM Re: Posse Comitatus [Re: fileboy2002]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4064
Loc: Limbo
I didn't "accuse" you of pulling the race card; i was just stating my position before you did. You know before you threw out another comment like this one...
Quote:

And I am sick and tired of how every time anyone dares to mention race or racism they are shot down for "playing the race card."

Look at this way: all over the US, Russians speak Russian, Greeks speal Greek, Poles speak Polish AND NOBODY CARES. Why not? Because Russians, Greeks, and Poles are all white people. And white people are not afraid of other white people. There is no "English Only" movement; it is really a "No Spanish" movement.




Here is the point you don't seem to get. It's not that illegal border crossing "can" be a criminal offense it IS a criminal offense. The punishment handed down doesn't change the legal status of a crime. The fact is you made an untrue statement, was called on it and are now back peddling.

As for the "about 50%" bit, i actually agree to some extent although it's hard to gauge since none of the sources calculating this data can agree. The "official" number in January 2000 was 2.3 million out of 7 million or about 1/3 of the total while three other sources put the percentages at 27%, 31% and 57%. This of course was ALL illegal immigrants not just Hispanics.
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0482.pdf

I hate to be the one to tell you this but that is what a national language is. The language to be used in official and legal matters within the U.S. is English and the government NOW has no obligation to provide documentation in any other language. Just because the national language is English doesn't mean people can't speak their native language, but in order to be a naturalized citizen of the U.S. a working knowledge of the English language is mandatory. Additionally it wasn't "true already", it wasn't voted on and approved until 2006.
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