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Giuliani Says
Illegal Immigrants
Are Not Criminals

Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Friday that illegal immigration is not a crime, prompting immediate criticism from his presidential rivals on an incendiary issue for Republican voters.

Giuliani made the comments during a CNN interview with host Glenn Beck on Headline News, saying that violations of the nation's immigration laws are civil violations, not criminal infractions.

"I know that's very hard for people to understand, but it's not a federal crime," Giuiani said, adding later that "I was U.S. attorney in the Southern district of New York. So believe me, I know this. In fact, when you throw an immigrant out of the country, it's not a criminal proceeding. It's a civil proceeding."

Giuliani's literal definition of illegal immigration gave his rivals a new opportunity to criticize the former mayor on an issue that they have used to raise questions about his conservative credentials.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has been harping on Giuliani's immigration record for weeks, accusing him of, in effect, creating a sanctuary for illegal immigrants in New York City by refusing to enforce immigration rules against everyone.

"Mayor Giuliani has the wrong approach on the issue of illegal immigration," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said. "His advocacy for sanctuary city policies and his troubling lack of interest in making enforcement of our nation's immigration laws a priority puts him at odds with those who want to secure our borders and end illegal immigration."

In recent weeks, Giuliani has defended his actions in New York by saying he focused his efforts on illegal immigrants who committed crimes as part of his overall desire to reduce crime in the city.

Giuliani has also shot back at Romney, accusing the former governor of doing nothing while several cities in his state officially declared themselves "sanctuary cities." Romney says he empowered his state police to enforce immigration laws, but Giuliani notes he did so in the waning days of his administration.

On Friday, a Giuliani spokeswoman shot back, saying, "Mitt Romney's position of the hour probably shouldn't be taken seriously considering he rewarded four Massachusetts sanctuary cities with hundreds of millions of dollars in state aid and allowed the illegal population to skyrocket. We'll wait a minute and see if he changes his mind again."

Immigration has become a hot-button issue in the Republican nominating contest. Mentions of the need for closed borders draw big applause from voters at town hall meetings in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Arizona Sen. John McCain's campaign was derailed this summer in part by his efforts to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress. The bill - which was derided by immigration activists as amnesty - helped dry up fundraising for the border-state senator and incited anger among conservatives.

McCain now supports legislation to secure the border before moving to deal with the 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country.

At a town hall meeting in Sioux City, Iowa, Fred Thompson earned his biggest applause of the morning by declaring that "a government that cannot secure its own borders will not remain a sovereign nation."
Thompson, who began his campaign on the "Tonight Show" Wednesday night, has said that any illegal immigrants who are caught should be deported. He said immigrants should not be prosecuted because that would "clog" the nation's court system with too many "misdemeanor cases."

--Michael D. Shear

By Washington Post editors  |  September 7, 2007; 7:55 PM ET
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To not have our borders secured 6 full years after 9/11/02 is treason by those responsible for doing so.

Now they allow Mexican trucks to accesss all of our roads with their mostly unsafe vehicles that endangers our citizens on the roads and National Security during a time of war.

There will be deaths resulting from this in the form of gruesome accidents, increases in drug and human trafficing, as well as possible terrorism.

I consider all who support this madness traitors.

Vote out as many incumbants as you can to send the message that this is unacceptable.

Call your legislators to oppose the farm bill amnesty program called STRIVE. Now.

Posted by: US-Citizen | September 10, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

To delamama1: You said "I am so glad that Mr. Giuliani has made this clear. I firmly believe that we are all created equal and that our neighbors from south of the border who risk life and limb to come here for a better life should be encouraged". Really? All I have ever asked of a liberal is one thing: simply live what you say you believe in. That being the case I offer you an opportunity to do so in this forum. If you happen to come home one day and you see that you had accidentally left your door open and that a family had ILLEGALLY entered your home (trespassing, breaking and entering) and then demanded that this home was now their home, that it was YOUR personal responsibility to feed that family, house them, pay for their medical care, education, social security, food and any other "entitlements" that they demanded . In addition YOU will be required to speak their language. See it truly is a simple issue once you put it into a PERSONAL perspective. So, here is your opportunity to live what you say you believe in. Oh, and by the way, these "poor people who just want a better life" might even pick the lettuce in your garden!! ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION = LIBERAL INSANITY

Posted by: longgone | September 9, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Illegal Immigration is a Crime
"Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers;... [yada yada]"

Thank for for giving the opportunity to point out (again) that despite the riveting news clips of dirty, desperate people flinging themselves across the border... Illegal Immigration IS NOT LIMITED TO border crossing AND IN FACT is probably more of a National Security risk when folks from... oh I dunno where... get themselves a Visa (tourist, Student, work) and OVERSTAY!

So Freddy-Come-Lately makes a great sound bite with the "Nation who can't secure it's borders..." stuff that we all salivate for and devour... the notion of "securing the borders" DOES NOT address extended, unwelcome visits.

This is where opponents of Immigration show their true colors. If you are concerned about National Security (and who wouldn't be? I'll wager there we more American's killed on 9-11 than by all violent crimes committed by illegals since) you will support legislation that fixes the whole wagon.

If you are just worried about soiling our pretty White nation... then you'll continue to hold our national security hostage with your "secure the borders first" mantra and continuing to stall out immigration reform.

So either put your money where your mouth is... admit the system needs an overhaul and get it done... or shut up and let someone who "gets it" drive the bus.

Go get 'em Rudy!

Posted by: Beth6 | September 8, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

as an immigration lawyer, i can advise you that while illegal entry is a "crime," simply being out of status or "illegal" is not. for example, someone who overstayed their visa has committed no crime. plus, illegal entry (crossing some man made line in the sand) is not morally wrong in and of itself, like most "crimes," a distinction most people fail to acknoledge. that's what Giuliani was getting at.

Posted by: recordsbuyer | September 8, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Come on Rudy.... Mexicans love America because we have laws that created this country and make it a great place to live!

I have an idea, lets deport Rudy and Senator Kennedy..... They need to experience what it is like to live in a lawless nation. Never mind, Senator Kennedy already has had his brush with lawlessness. Wasn't her name Mary Jo?

Posted by: mlimberg | September 8, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Mexico is ethnically diverse, and the constitution defines the country to be a "pluricultural nation".

Mestizos (those of European and Amerindian ancestry) form the largest group, making up to 60%-75% of the total population. The percentage of Amerindians, called indigenous peoples (indígenas) in Mexico, is estimated to be between 12% (pure Amerindian)[47] or 30% (predominantly Amerindian).[18] Indigenous peoples are considered the foundation of the Mexican pluricultural nation and therefore enjoy self-determination in certain areas. Indigenous languages are also considered "national languages" and are protected by law.

Ethnic Europeans make up 9%[18] and 15%[48] of the population, mostly descendants of the first Spanish settlers, although many have German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Polish, Romanian, Russian and British ancestry; many are found in major cities[49][50] after the waves of immigration that brought many Europeans at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, along with some Canadians and Euro-Americans from the United States.

Mexico also received a number of Lebanese, Turkish, [51] Chinese, Japanese[49], Koreans[52] and Filipinos.[53]

Afro-Mexicans, mostly of mixed ancestry, live in the coastal areas of Veracruz, Tabasco and Guerrero.

Posted by: worried | September 8, 2007 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Diehard39... when you cite statutes, please goto the source, and not the Rocky Mountain News...

See ----


Section 1325. Improper entry by alien

(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who
(1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
(2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
(3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

(b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of--
(1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or
(2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.

Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.

Posted by: john_h_yoo | September 8, 2007 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Rudolph Giuliani said Friday that illegal immigration is not a crime, But yet he
never mentioned identity theft i guess thats
not a crime either

Posted by: worried | September 7, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani is a man who can't even keep a wife
hes had many affairs in the past why would
anyone in there right mind want a man like
this as president? lets not forget right
after he exploded the dead of 9/11 he went
to work for the president of Mexico then
last year he was hired by the Mexican
Government to improve relations with the US
on illegal immigration Rudy is nothing more
then a puppet Candidate of the Mexican Government

Posted by: worried | September 7, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Illegal Immigration is a Crime

Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or

Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or

Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact;
has committed a federal crime.

Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

See: Unlawful entry a crime since '29 - Rocky Mountain News -- June 11, 2006

Posted by: dyehard39 | September 7, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but who do you favor for Republican nomination? Who will win, Rudy, Mitt, Ron Paul, Fred? Vote today at

Posted by: JengoPop | September 7, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Bravo Giuliani! Please keep on educating the ignorant who are being deceived by the degrading speech and hate messages of the likes of Lou Dobbs, Michael Savage, etc. Thanks

Posted by: jrcardona1 | September 7, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad that Mr. Giuliani has made this clear. I firmly believe that we are all created equal and that our neighbors from south of the border who risk life and limb to come here for a better life should be encouraged. I am also a fiscal conservative who doesn't believe we should allow government assistance programs for our new friends either (hopefully we can wean many of already on welfare programs off of them also). I pray that he will keep on with this line of intelligent talk about immigration. WHile I know that there are many on both sides of the aisle that want to believe that there is a black/white, right/wrong answer on this. It isn't that simple. Keep highlighting this for Giuliani and maybe Romney will go away soon. I tend to vote republican, but vote democrat when that candidate is best. I love Harold Ford and see a huge future for him. For now though Rudy is the one I am backing this season because of his willingness to not be pigeon-holed.

Posted by: delamama1 | September 7, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Legally, he is correct (rare for a Republican candidate), a civil violation is not the same as a criminal violation. This is precisely why there are separate detention facilities for illegal immigrants, rather than hold them in jails. However, knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant is a crime--one that is barely enforced, and then only selectively. Just like the failed war on drugs, must cut off the demand to cut off the supply. And since elites of both parties are enriching themselves by outsouring their domestic chores to illegal immigrants, who then go "home" to what were once decent working class neigborhoods, as well as driving down wages in the process for these same working class folks, the losers are the majority of Americans. Brave new world indeed.

Posted by: merganser | September 7, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani's true colors come out from hiding, just another Bush/Pelosi/Mccain/Kennedy/Reid anti American.

You have lost my vote, and will never get it back.

When I find a candidate that will put AMERICA first, the welfare of the NATION first, and who doesn't want the standard of living and wages to continue going down the toilette.

That person will get my vote

Posted by: SpacePirate | September 7, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Giuliani's correct.

Posted by: FedupwithPolitics | September 7, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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