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Jewish World Review April 26, 2001 / 4 Iyar, 5761

Ann Coulter

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'All the news we get from the ACLU' -- IN case you aren't able to read ACLU press releases for yourself, The Associated Press and The New York Times will helpfully restate them for you as important, breaking "news."

Describing the criminal alien provisions being reviewed by the Supreme Court this week, the American Civil Liberties Union's Web site calls them "anti-immigrant laws" that in 1996 "tore down our national welcome sign to immigrants." The New York Times touts the provisions as "actions Congress took against legal aliens at the height of the national anti-immigrant fervor in 1996." The AP says the law was "enacted five years ago amid what critics call an anti-immigrant fervor."

These amazingly similar descriptions wouldn't necessarily be suspicious, except that they are comically false. It is a hard, cold fact that the criminal alien provisions at issue emanated from the most pro-immigrant office on Capitol Hill -- Sen. Spencer Abraham's office. Indeed, it was Sen. Abraham who spearheaded the fight against restrictions on legal immigration that same session.

Evidently, Abraham did not assume "immigrant" was synonymous with "felon." Nor did the Senate Judiciary Committee, which passed Abraham's criminal alien amendments in lopsided votes.

The ACLU claims the change effected by the 1996 law required that immigrants convicted of certain felonies be deported. No longer, the ACLU says, could criminal aliens simply "pay their debt to society" and "go on with their lives." The New York Times repeated the claim, stating: "The legislation Congress approved ... required the deportation of immigrants convicted of certain crimes."

Suppose you were just born yesterday. Would you believe that immigrants who commit felonies in this country were not subject to deportation until the 1996 Congress thought of it? In fact, noncitizens whose conception of the American dream was to come here and commit felonies had always been subject to deportation.

The problem was: Deportable criminal aliens weren't being deported. Legal legerdemain had so bollixed up the system that the Immigration and Naturalization Service was deporting only about 4 percent of convicted criminal aliens per year.

Consequently, by 1996, roughly half a million deportable criminal aliens were happily residing in the United States, committing new crimes and having illegitimate children -- whom the criminals would then cite as "family" to avoid deportation. Just a few years ago, a California congressman stated that "in Los Angeles County, more than half of incarcerated illegal aliens are rearrested within one year."

At the rate the INS was deporting criminal aliens, it would have taken 23 years to deport all the criminal aliens living in the United States -- assuming no immigrant ever committed another felony.

(Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper than reading the ACLU's press release to get the all facts.)

What the 1996 law did was reduce the copious "review" for orders of deportation entered against convicted criminals. The criminal conviction itself was still subject to every pointless, dilatory tactic permitted felons who are U.S. citizens. But the order of deportation could no longer be gamed to avoid deportation without end.

The AP insanely claimed that the "legal question basically boils down to this: Do immigrants living in the United States legally but without citizenship have the same rights in federal courts as U.S. citizens?" Um, actually, we don't need the Supreme Court to answer that. You just need to think about it for two seconds to realize -- the answer is no. Immigrants can be deported. Citizens -- even extremely undesirable citizens like reporters -- can't be.

The only question before the Supreme Court is whether Congress really meant to limit the number of time-consuming administrative and court hearings that could be demanded by criminal aliens before the INS deports them.

Also straight from the ACLU Web site, the Times and AP recount various sob stories about harmless felons about to be deported under a cruel and heartless law. Typically the criminal offense is described as a "minor drug charge" committed many years ago on a dare.

News stories about criminals of any sort always have to be read like Manhattan real estate ads. If an elevator is not mentioned, it's a fifth-floor walk-up. If the ad does not expressly say "grt vu," the apartment looks onto a brick wall. If it doesn't state "bathtub," there isn't one.

The ACLU's lead plaintiff -- the man the ACLU chose for their test case to challenge the law -- is one Enrico St. Cyr. According to the Times, Enrico "entered the United States legally in 1986 but was convicted of a drug charge early in 1996." You can search the entire Lexis-Nexis archive and you won't get more information than that on Enrico's crime.

In fact, despite his notable accomplishment of having "entered the United States legally," Enrico is a major narcotics trafficker. He was already serving time on one drug trafficking charge when he was sentenced to 10 years on another.

But you'd have to look beyond the ACLU press release to know that.

JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. You may visit the Ann Coulter Fan Club by clicking here.


04/19/01: The abortion exception to the Flynt Amendment
04/12/01: Tell him there's a stopover in Bangkok
03/29/01: Racial profiling in university admissions
03/29/01: Bizarre political sect ousted from nomination process
03/22/01: The trillion-dollar loophole in 'campaign finance reform'
03/15/01: The liar is gone but the lying continues
03/08/01: More facts, fewer liberals
03/01/01: Mary Jo White-wash
02/22/01: How to talk to a liberal
02/15/01: Bill Clinton does the Harlem shuffle
02/08/01: Eight more Clarence Thomases
02/01/01: This just in: Price controls cause shortages
01/25/01: People United for Swindles and Hucksterism
01/18/01: Ashcroft and the blowhard discuss desegregation
01/04/01: Liberal pimps for Clintonism
01/02/01: Kwanzaa: Holiday from the FBI
12/28/00: If Americans support abortion, let's vote
12/26/00: Gore, him and her
12/21/00: Channeling Jackie O
12/14/00: My Court is bigger than your Court
12/11/00: HANG IN THERE, AL!
12/07/00: National Lampoon's Florida Supreme Court Vacation
12/04/00: It's past time for GOPers to quit being good at losing
11/30/00: Things only a Dem will say with a straight face
11/27/00: Certify the electors, then the judges
11/23/00: Kangaroo coup
11/20/00: This is what the Electoral College is supposed to prevent
11/16/00: The liar next time
11/09/00: JUST GO!
11/06/00: Hail Mary past
11/02/00: As the nose grows: The scripture according to Gore
10/30/00: Clinton sure can pick 'em
10/26/00: Gore's 'Nam flashbacks
10/23/00: Courting George Orwell
10/20/00: The three faces of Al
10/17/00: Must Christian conservatives be fascists?
10/13/00: Oil good; Dems bad
10/10/00: Al Gore: Serial fibber
10/06/00: Sigh of the crook
10/03/00: So who's the 'dumb guy' now?
09/29/00: Don't do drug legalization
09/26/00: I'd burn down my neighbor's house
09/22/00: Democrats worship the money shot
09/19/00: Other film footage we'd like to see
09/15/00: Bush can name the **^%*
09/12/00: The Supreme Court ratchet
09/08/00: Our mistake -- keep polluting
09/05/00: Bubba protects and serves
09/01/00: AlGore's 'going out of business!' tax plan
08/29/00: Bush's compassionate conservatism
08/25/00: Space alien tells funny jokes in bathtub
08/22/00: Dems view world only in black and white, not in color
08/18/00: Another Damascus Road conversion
08/15/00: The viagra cotillion
08/11/00: The hand-wringing Hamlet from Hartford
08/07/00: The Democratic party's white face
08/04/00: Hillary's potty mouth
08/01/00: The hole in the story
07/28/00: Cheney's detractors can't get their story straight
07/25/00: AlGore: Elmer Blandry
07/21/00: The tyranny of non-objectivity
07/18/00: The state's religion
07/14/00: Reform it back
07/11/00: Keating for veep
07/07/00: Gore invented 'Clueless'
07/04/00: The stupidity litmus test
06/30/00: O.J. was 'proved innocent' too
06/27/00: The last guys 'proved innocent'
06/23/00: Serious Republican candidates don't get serious press
06/19/00: They weren't overzealous this time
06/16/00: Evolution of the strumpet
06/13/00: Actual journalistic malpractice
06/09/00: I did not have sexual
relations with that ... man!
06/06/00: IRS turns Bubba's screw
05/30/00: Too corrupt to be an Arkansas lawyer
05/26/00: Choose liberalism
05/24/00: Violence against coherence
05/22/00: Developmentally disabled Republicans
05/16/00: For womb the bell tolls
05/12/00: Asylum from Georgetown
05/10/00: The truth is out there, even for the clueless
05/08/00: Barbie is a liberal Democrat
05/02/00: Moving the goalpost
04/28/00: The bastardization of justice
04/25/00: How Monica Lewinsky saved the constitution
04/24/00: It's sunny today, so we need gun control
04/19/00: No shadow of a doubt -- liberal women are worthless
04/14/00: It takes a Communist dictator to raise a child
04/11/00: The verdict is in on Hillary
04/07/00: Vast Concoctions III
04/04/00: 'Horrifying' free speech in New York
03/31/00: Check-Off Box For Pimp Suits
03/28/00: All the news that fits -- we print!
03/24/00: Net losses all around
03/20/00: To protect, serve --- and be spat on
03/16/00: Thank Heaven for the consigliere
03/13/00: Vast concoctions II
03/09/00: The bluebloods voted against you
03/07/00: The Tower of Babble
03/03/00: Vast concoction
03/02/00: Hillary's sartorial lies
02/28/00: You have to break a few eggs to make a joke
02/22/00: I've seen enough killing to support abortion
02/18/00: A liberal lynching
02/15/00: McCain and the flag
02/11/00: The Shakedown Express
02/08/00: To mock a mockingbird
02/05/00: Summing up Campaign 2000: 'Oh, puh-leeze!'
02/01/00: A Confederacy of Dunces
01/28/00: Dollar Bill's racist smear
01/24/00: How high is your freedom quotient?
01/21/00: Numismadness
01/18/00: How dare you attack my wife!
01/14/00: The Gore Buggernaut
01/10/00: The paradox of discrimination law

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