Friday, September 14, 2007

It's a Crime That's Not a Crime

Rudy Giuliani says "Illegal immigration is not a crime. Crossing the border and being caught is a misdemeanor. Being an illegal immigrant in this country is subject to deportation, but not prosecution. That's just a state of the law and that's what the law of the United States is."

Rudy Giuliani appears to be suggesting that only felonies are crimes and misdemeanors are not. If this had been an isolated statement, I would suggest he was caught responding poorly in a difficult moment. But he's a bright guy who has responded to this question similarly a number of times, so I have to believe he is convinced that not all crimes are really crimes. I wonder what his criteria is if it's not based on what's a law and what isn't. Is it the line between felony and misdemeanor as suggested by his statements?

Not to pick on Rudy, but I think this is a legitimate question someone should ask at the next debate. After all, the executive branch of government is responsible for administering the laws and, I'm sure, many would want to be reassured that the laws would not be selectively enforced with Giuliani as president.

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