The Issue of Illegal Entry

Posted May 20, 2011

I know I said I won't comment much on the news, however, there have been a few situations recently that I've noticed that seem to be hinging on the same discussion, and the worst part is that many folks (including those heavily involved in the issues) don't seem to realize it.

While there are many reports in the news about these, I've tried to link to the main article from the main city/state/location the issue arose from.

In Indiana, the state Supreme Court recently had a 3-2 ruling stating, essentially, that people are not allowed to resist the entry of police officers, even when they do not have search warrants nor legal sanction to come into the house.

That last part is very important. It is not police coming into a home that is the issue, it is the fact that in some cases, police are entering homes without the proper legal balances in check.

If a police officer has probable cause, search warrant, etc. then they have complied with the laws in place for the protection of private citizens. Under those conditions, they have the authority to come in whether I like it or not. That's fine and how it should work.

However, just being a police officer does not give someone the right to enter any home they choose for any reason they claim, especially when they have been denied permission by the home owners, or those empowered to give consent.

It is the word illegal I am focusing on here, in the phrase Illegal Entry. IL, meaning not, attached to the word legal, together meaning NOT legal. Synonymous with or similar to unlawful, illicit, illegitimate, etc.

Meaning it is not allowed within the laws. Meaning punishment if you are caught and convicted of breaking those laws. In this case those laws pertaining to the legal requirements police need to lawfully gain entry into a home and perform their duties.

Police are not above the law. They are beholden to it just like all citizens are. There are certain allowances, such as them making a U-turn in a no-U-turn location in order to effect a proper car chase of a suspect. However, illegally entering a house when legal permission is not given is NOT one of those allowances.

How anyone can argue that someone, even an officer, has the legal right to do something illegal is beyond me.

And this brings me to my second point about illegal entry.

The state of Arizona has tried to strengthen its laws regarding illegal entry by non-US citizens. In a strange rebuttal, the federal government has sued Arizona.

Again, we need to focus on the word illegal in the phrase illegal entry.

If a person, any person, from any country, goes through the proper channels, has their passport stamped, gets a work visa, whatever, then great. Welcome to the USA and I hope you enjoy it here.

However, if any person tries to circumvent those legal channels for any reason, they are, by definition, breaking the law and should be dealt with.

Arguing about the speed or quality of the various methods of gaining legal entry into a country is not valid for this debate. Yes any system can be improved, and many of the USA's immigration procedures are no exception. However, a poor system is NOT sanction enough to break it.

If I were to take a boat or plane from China and illegally sneak into Japan, then I would be a criminal. It's simple. The same case is true here as well.

In both cases we have IL-legal entry.

In both cases some folks are trying to argue in favor of them.

In both cases, the debate is nullified if we simply pay attention to the language.

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