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Greg Siskind compares illegal alien harborers to Dutch in WWII, underground railroad

Greg Siskind [1] is a leading immigration lawyer (and AILA member). For someone who appears to be bright he writes some awfully stupid blog posts, such as the latest called "Hero or Harborer?" [2]:

[...discusses a Dutch woman who sheltered Jews during World War II as well as the Underground Railroad...] So what does this have to do with immigration? Because a lot of anti-immigrants are totally focused on the fact that unauthorized immigrants have broken the law and are also going after anyone who tries to help them. In the last Congress, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would have imprisoned people acting in a humanitarian capacity. Feeding or giving water to someone who has just walked through the desert - jail. Giving them a ride to the hospital? That would be unlawful transportation. Providing housing to a homeless unauthorized immigrant - that's illegal harboring. You get the picture.

Obviously, comparing those who are at the most economic refugees and who've paid smugglers to bring themselves here - or who've ignored the terms of their visas to stay here - to slaves and Jews during WWII should be beyond the pale. Just as obviously, for Siskind it isn't.

I'd also like to assume that he knows the details of HR4437 better than I do, however:
DNC radio ad lies about HR4437
Cardinal Roger Mahony admits to exaggerating about HR4437
Sensenbrenner to Catholic Bishops: please stop lying
CNN immigration poll misleads about HR4437
The Catholic Church's anti-HR4437 smokescreen (no soup kitchens here)
Soup Kitchen Watch
Churchmen, coyotes, and HR 4437
Will HR 4437 cause humanitarian groups to be prosecuted for giving emergency aid to illegal aliens?

UPDATE: Siskind himself leaves a comment. First, the part he quotes seems highly similar to current law, although there are probably differences. Second, Cardinal Roger Mahony said that under HR 4437 he might require documentation before giving Communion. However, he also said that was only "if you tease it out to its extreme". Indeed. In fact, I'm absolutely positive that about the only cases in which those who gave emergency aid would be charged would be if they did something else (like gave someone a lift to Chicago afterwards) or if an official was looking for a sneaky way to scuttle the law by creating public outrage against its application (see Chertoff's comments implying he would enrage the left.) Third, Sensenbrenner told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that he would work with them to mitigate their concerns (of course, I'm assuming they were just being disingenuous). Fourth, there's the matter of always asking for more than you want in negotiations: the final bill would have almost certainly have looked different from the original version. Fifth, a recent case that comes close to the scare tactics employed by Mahoney was thrown out, and in that case they appeared to go beyond just offering someone a glass of water:


And, finally, if the law were applied to innocent religious leaders who were only providing humanitarian aid, there would be so much public outcry that the law would be repealed. Concerns about this are completely baseless.

[1] visalaw.com/gsiskind.html
[2] blogs.ilw.com/gregsiskind/2007/11/hero-or-harbore.html

Immigration2007b · Sun, 11/04/2007 - 12:11 · Importance: 1

Mon, 11/05/2007 - 04:00

Stupid posts, but primarily self-interested. His bio: 'Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries.' People who rebut his nonsensical hits are just dismissed as 'antis'. As in 'anti-immigrant'. Like Murguia just did, these types NEVER differentiate between legal and illegal and never use the detached sounding form of a policy (-ation) but always the form of a person (-ant). If you dare propose anything less than unfettered immigration (both legal and illegal), you will get tagged with their all-purpose slur 'anti-immigrant'. If you want any enforcement of immigration law or oppose giving illegals any right (e.g., driving license) you are presumed to be racist/xenophobic. I am never sure if they actually believe that or just use race baiting because they think it's an effective tactic to chill opposition speech. Also, there is no point in trying to prove your non-racist bona fides, however obvious. They'll just say, 'We know what your motivation is REALLY about.' Jim Geraghty at NRO: IMMIGRATION “REFORM” Democratic Strategists Concede 'Many' Illegal Immigration Opponents Not Racist, While Many Are Periodically I'll note that one of the factors that makes immigration such a hot-button issue is the fact that a large swath of the pro-amnesty, pro-in-state-tuition, pro-driver’s licenses, pro-open-borders advocates refuse to grant any legitimacy to their opponents. Time and again, they insist that the motivation of the pro-border security crowd must be xenophobia and racism. Here's a gem in that memo from Democratic pollsters/strategists Stan Greenberg, Al Quinlan, and James Carville: The centrality of illegal immigration to the current discontent about the direction of the country may be taking us back again to a welfare moment. Just as many workers with moderate incomes, uncertain employment and health insurance could not understand why they were being taxed to subsidize the long-term idleness of those on welfare, many Americans are just perplexed that this country has lost control of the borders and winks at illegal employment, taxing the resources of local schools and hospitals and much more. Many of the voter responses to welfare were racist to be sure, as now with the response to illegal immigration, but many are not. How big and generous of them! Many of our opponents are racist, but many aren't! http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjIwZWZiMmZlYjI1ZmEwOTk0ZmFiYTk0ZGMyMzA3NmI=

Mon, 11/05/2007 - 08:29

You know, having our country flooded against our will with strange aliens whose medicals bills we have to pay, whose children we have to educate, and who are pretty damn racist themselves, don't you think it would be pretty inhuman if us natives did NOT respond with racism and xenophobia? Show me someone who likes their country being turned into a Turd World banana republic and I'll show you a moron.

Mon, 11/05/2007 - 10:43
Greg Siskind

Not sure how this will format, but here goes. By the way, I read 4437 and wrote a section by section summary. Have you actually read the bill or just news accounts of a press release where supporters of the bill tried to downplay the impact. Read this language and tell me where the exceptions are. They're not there and that's because the drafters only promised changes later on if the Senate took the bill up (they did not, thank goodness). So tell me again whether you're in favor of imprisoning people who give a lift to a hospital or provide water to a person about to die of dehydration. 6 SEC. 202. ALIEN SMUGGLING AND RELATED OFFENSES. 7 (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 274 of the Immigration 8 and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324) is amended to read 9 as follows: 10 ‘‘ALIEN SMUGGLING AND RELATED OFFENSES 11 ‘‘SEC. 274. (a) CRIMINAL OFFENSES AND PEN12 ALTIES.— 13 ‘‘(1) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.—Whoever— 14 ‘‘(A) assists, encourages, directs, or induces 15 a person to come to or enter the United States, 16 or to attempt to come to or enter the United 17 States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the 18 fact that such person is an alien who lacks law19 ful authority to come to or enter the United 20 States; 21 ‘‘(B) assists, encourages, directs, or induces 22 a person to come to or enter the United States 23 at a place other than a designated port of entry 24 or place other than as designated by the Sec25 retary of Homeland Security, regardless of 26 whether such person has official permission or 27 •HR 4437 RH 1 lawful authority to be in the United States, 2 knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that 3 such person is an alien; 4 ‘‘(C) assists, encourages, directs, or induces 5 a person to reside in or remain in the United 6 States, or to attempt to reside in or remain in 7 the United States, knowing or in reckless dis8 regard of the fact that such person is an alien 9 who lacks lawful authority to reside in or re10 main in the United States; 11 ‘‘(D) transports or moves a person in the 12 United States, knowing or in reckless disregard 13 of the fact that such person is an alien who lacks 14 lawful authority to enter or be in the United 15 States, where the transportation or movement 16 will aid or further in any manner the person’s 17 illegal entry into or illegal presence in the 18 United States; 19 ‘‘(E) harbors, conceals, or shields from de20 tection a person in the United States knowing or 21 in reckless disregard of the fact that such person 22 is an alien who lacks lawful authority to be in 23 the United States; 24 ‘‘(F) transports, moves, harbors, conceals, or 25 shields from detection a person outside of the 28 •HR 4437 RH 1 United States knowing or in reckless disregard of 2 the fact that such person is an alien in unlawful 3 transit from one country to another or on the 4 high seas, under circumstances in which the per5 son is in fact seeking to enter the United States 6 without o

Mon, 11/05/2007 - 22:26

The provision was clearly directed against smugglers. I don't know if it's possible to draft a law that would account for every conceivable contingency. _ So tell me again whether you're in favor of imprisoning people who give a lift to a hospital or provide water to a person about to die of dehydration._ Not a single prosecutor in the US would have interpreted the law in such a way. If the law had passed I would have committed the above acts(as an individual) that you claim would send me to prison just to prove what an ass you are. If you are talking about an organized criminal conspiracy to subvert the immigration laws now that's something else again.

Wed, 11/07/2007 - 01:56

My reply is in the UPDATE.