Needed: Statute of limitations for illegals

Here’s an amazing young man, caught in a trap manufactured by his parents, and now sprung by the U.S. government.

Clive Thompson Jr. is in limbo. (Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer)

Clive Thompson Jr. is 22 and managed to do something I couldn’t — get accepted by Columbia University. (OK, honestly, I didn’t apply.)

His problem now is coming up with the $75,000 a year the school costs, while hoping not to be deported, as his parents “enjoy” sanctuary in a Germantown church.

All this requires explanation. 

His parents fled to the U.S. in 2004 from their native Jamaica, after their farm was burned by gangs and they were threatened with death, according to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer that does not explain why they were targeted by gangs.

The family applied for asylum status, but were denied by the government, yet they were allowed to stay here, “to hold jobs, pay taxes, buy a home, and raise seven children” in Cumberland County in South Jersey, the Inquirer reported.

The college-bound son is protected, for now, by DACA, which makes him a Dreamer — children brought here by their parents. The children are not responsible for the bad deeds of their parents, and should be allowed to stay.

In this case, the parents should also be allowed to stay, under a policy I wrote about a year ago, in August 2019, reviving an idea I had floated earlier — a statute of limitations on deportation of illegal immigrants. Let’s say a five-year statute. If the government can’t find and expel you in five years, your status becomes “allowed to reside.”

If crimes such as assault and even rape have time limitations on prosecution, “so can this one, but I am not talking about amnesty. The illegals would have to come forward, pay any required fines and taxes, formally apologize, learn English and avoid run-ins with law enforcement,” I wrote. Deportation would be off the table as long as they were law-abiding. Citizenship would be off the table, too.

Those requirements are almost the same as later proposed by President Barack Obama as a solution of what to do with the undocumented. The goal is to be firm, but fair.

My idea is they would get legal status, but not citizenship, because there has to be a price for illegal behavior. This satisfies U.S. law, is compassionate to the law-breakers and gets them back to work. They can resume their lives and breathe easy. 

Currently, Thompson’s mother, father and siblings are in sanctuary in the First United Methodist Church. They are fighting deportation. 

As a Dreamer, the son doesn’t qualify for federal aid for his scholarship tuition, and as a noncitizen there’s no reason why he should. The Inquirer reported Columbia was asked why it couldn’t provide scholarship aid to the deserving young man, and got a lot of Ivy League HR doubletalk in response.

Maybe if this story gets more attention, Columbia might be embarrassed into extending a hand to the student.

And maybe Congress might write a statute of limitations into immgration law.

The government created this mess by allowing the family to settle here and sink roots. They should be allowed to stay. 

14 thoughts on “Needed: Statute of limitations for illegals”

  1. Jeez – here it is 10:30am already, and nary a comment. I think you hit a good one here Stu. LoL.

    Personally, I am in general agreement with you on this one, since it appears to be a great way to do a modified Solomon split without sacrificing the life of the baby, so to speak. I am all for productive immigrant souls in our society. But certainly, a “foot” has to be put down sometimes as well – that is, limitations. And those you have pointed out.

    You are a good person with a very large compassionate heart. As you know, when the government is involved, n-o-t-h-i-n-g is easy. If it was so right and so easy, we could cut the number of government employees in half. At all levels.
    I would say, talk to Legal immigrants, and get their opinion. I already did, many times, over the years. Their basic argument is,”I had to wait …..years to become a citizen. Why should they jump to the head of the line.” There are “quotas” for each country, limiting the number of possible Legal applicants. Then you fudge the game, by declaring some type of persecution, or come here on a “visit” while pregnant and have your American baby. And anything else that can be dreamed up for a buck! I’m sure that almost everyone knows illegals. In construction, food industry and factory work, illegals are ( pardon the pun ) running wild. Why you may ask? Because the system does not provide adequate checks and balances. There was a time when the employer suffered heavy finds for highering illegals. Not so much any more.
    Stu, your plan has merit. It needs work, but it’s a god start.

    1. I have recommended JAILING employers for 1 year. Not a fine that is cost of doing business. Put the CEO in jail and illegal employment stops dead, problem solved.

  3. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    I think we should definitely have some sympathy for Clive Thompson. Likewise, providing refuge for the persecuted, generally, is a worthy American value. People who have been persecuted abroad know the value of freedom and they will defend it. Still, I think you will have difficulty getting people to agree on your “statute of limitations” for immigrants here in this country without benefit of the law.

    More basically, though, the well known problem is that the U.S. immigration system is “broken.” What that means is that people will admit that it is defective and troublesome, but there is no agreement, indeed, we have a dysfunctional standoff in Congress, on how to fix it. There is no general agreement on the purposes of immigration. How does it fit in with the public good? Without agreement on how immigration may serve the common good, there will be no general reform.

    In aiming to evaluate any specific reform proposal, such as your own, the first question to ask is how the proposal serves the common good of the American people. That, after all, is what the government and the law are supposed to be doing. That question in turn may get us to ask what sort of country it is supposed to be. Is it simply a matter of making money? Are we supposed to reflect, internally (somehow) the values of every other society in the world? (Does such a conception of society make sense, anywhere?) Do we really want to increase internal “diversity” without limits, or are there limits to the value of “diversity”?

    Without getting down to basics, I think we will have no meaningful reform. In any case, you pose an interesting question. Would that our political candidates and parties would take a clear stand on immigration. Do we really want to return to high levels of immigration (after the epidemic?) in the style of go-go globalization? Is that the aim of the proposed Biden administration and the National Democratic party? Do they want ever more “diversity” and ever more “protected” groups (and constituencies) in the population? It would be nice to know.

    H.G. Callaway

    1. My case was made: If rape has a statute of limitations, what is the legal or moral argument against illegal immigrants? Since USA will NOT deport 11 million illegals, my plan acknowledges reality and attempts to get “something” in return, and reserves citizenship for citizens and not residents, to acknowledge your earlier comment.

  4. I think we should do what the Democrats want: do away with borders, grant immediate citizenship to anyone who is here, no matter how they got here, give the vote to whomever wants it — no I.D. necessary, etc. I figure if we do any with rules, then no once can be accused of breaking them. No rules, no rule breakers, no more problems. I’m shocked no one has made this brilliant suggestion before.

    1. Hey, Vince, I’m note sure why you would be shocked that no one has made this brilliant suggestion before. It’s already been made and discussed already, in certain circles, and it’s been around since 2008.

  5. a little left of HAPPY MONDAY nite !!!
    I sure am glad that we still have some humor left. We might as well laugh,’cause immigration, like most laws are past broke with no fix in sight.
    We had this conversation several times . Most, if not all civilized countries, don’t open up their hearts to immigrants. You must have a skill that is needed, and does not displace a legal resident of that particular nation. ( we get around that one ). You can’t just plead persecution, either ( yep. we get around that one too )
    As was pointed out earlier. This immigration law is inconsistent and very broken. In short, money talks. With the right powerful attorney or firm, we can get anyone into this country.
    Silly me. One of my many favorite say’n’sis,”consistency is everything”.

    1. My daughter-in-law from Austria studied for a year to become an American citizen. She says with a smile, “I should have simply gone to Mexico and crossed the border into the USA.” She holds dual citizenship (as do two of my three grandchildren by her) and refuses to give up her Austrian citizenship (as do my grown grandchildren) just in case (as they tell me) they want to move to Austria when America gets crazier. I have no rebuttal to their argument any more.

      1. HAPPY TUESDAY Donald Duck !!!
        I hear ya brother. I know quite a few people with duals. “Sometimes, it’s easier to travel as a Austrian, Egyptian, etc “.
        I also know quite a few Mexican Nationals that are “guests” of our country. As in, “guess where I am ?”.
        I definitely understand why people come here – both legally and illegally. Vince, as you know, mos people are clueless as to what really happens in these third world countries.
        I made suggestions. If the powers to be won’t sit down and sincerely discuss immigratio, I don’t have any answers.

  6. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu and readers,

    Not only is is very difficult, complicated and costly for ordinary people to immigrate legally, but there are large companies which bring in people in large numbers to suit their particular business purposes. This is pretty highly organized. You will notice, for instance, that there are few young guys from New Jersey, pumping gas along the roads. Or again, you may have noticed that the small motels up and down the East Coast are often owned by new comers.

    It has often been easier in recent years to come here illegally and afterwards become regularized. I’ve met people who did this and who laugh at the regular, legal route. There are teams of volunteers to help you become legal and fight the immigration service. Again, there are people who just see any restrictions of immigration as inevitably motivated by xenophobia and will be unwilling to discuss the matter. It is curious how these “anti-racist” arguments fits together so neatly with an apparent business-interest “capture” of immigration policy. To be sure, big business likes cheap, pliant labor: people with few local connections, who don’t know the local laws or customs and who are more inclined to do what they are told.

    So again, what is the legitimate purpose of immigration? How does it serve the common good of American citizens or the American public? (Notice that the usage of this word “citizen” has much declined in favor of “resident.”) Is the purpose merely to promote American economic interests of large corporations? There is hardly a country in the world, mind you, that does not limit immigration with one eye on the unemployment figures. On the other hand, are there no legitimate public purposes for the limitation, or restriction of immigration–or for “preferences”? I don’t believe for a moment that any country can be run and organized on the basis of economic considerations alone. What, then are the plausible social and political purposes of immigration–with an eye toward the constitutional purposes of the republic?

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    H.G. Callaway

    1. H.G.,
      In regards to foreign”documented” workers. The famous Asian pipe line feeds the gas stations, convenience stores and motels to name a few. It’s all legal. Someone from the village brings workers over here for 6 months. Presumably, all taxes are paid and minimum wage is paid. Presumably. Sounds good until you ask, “what does is the cost of food and lodging for these workers”? Does anyone remember Tennessee Ernie Ford singing, “I owe my soul to the company store”.? That ain’t make believe, my friends .
      As for corporations bringing in workers. They have to prove that the company can not find suitable U.S.citizens qualified to perform the duties of that particular. When #2 wife worked for an international law firm, she refused to work in the immigration section. Hmmm.
      Of course, I’ve been retired for quite some time. Which reminds me. The state of New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as the City of Philadelphia were big on hiring “legal” immigrants. Probably still are.

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