Could Anti-Immigrant Bloggers Be Any More Ignorant?

It's a rhetorical question.

Last week, in a post about right-wingers having one of their trademark fainting spells over a minor aside made by Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano while discussing immigration enforcement, I pointed out that they were wrong on the facts and Napolitano had been correct: being in this country without papers is a civil violation, not a crime (frankly, I'm not sure why this matters, but they take these things really seriously).

I made clear that entering the country illegally is a crime (a federal misdemeanor for a first offense, and a felony for subsequent violations). But Napolitano had been correct, if unnecessarily vague, in saying that many immigration violations were "civil," because "crossing a border isn't a crime per se." What she should have spelled out more clearly was that many unauthorized immigrants -- as many as half -- entered the country legally and then overstayed their visas. Doing so doesn't violate any criminal statute, but it can get you deported. This is fairly straightforward.

Enter the blog 24 Ahead, with a post entitled, "Seth Hoy /IPC, Joshua Holland outrageously mislead about Napolitano border comments." If you define "outrageously misleading" as getting the basic facts of U.S. immigration law straight, then the anonymous blogger ar 24 Ahead is correct. Otherwise, not so much.


Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.