Of course, I borrowed that line from Glenn Beck. According to a Kansas judge, an illegal immigrant’s unauthorized entry into this country is illegal, but his continued presence once he’s here isn’t illegal. Huh? Here’s the story:
While unauthorized entry into the United States is illegal, being in the country after having entered illegally is not necessarily a crime, according to a new ruling by the Kansas Court of Appeals.
In a Barton County case, a three-judge panel issued an opinion Friday that a judge could not deny probation and order jail time for convicted drug dealer Nicholas L. Martinez based solely on the grounds that Martinez is an unauthorized immigrant.
“While Congress has criminalized the illegal entry into this country, it has not made the continued presence of an illegal alien in the United States a crime unless the illegal alien has previously been deported and has again entered this country illegally,” Judge Patrick McAnany wrote for the court majority.
Barton County Attorney Douglas Matthews said courts in Oregon and Minnesota have issued similar rulings. But he said, “My research tells me this is the first time this has come up in this state.”
Martinez’s lawyer, Janine Cox of the Kansas appellate defender’s office, declined to comment because prosecutors have not decided whether to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.
The case arose from the sentencing of Martinez, who pleaded guilty to felony possession of cocaine and endangering a child by having his young son deliver drugs to an undercover officer, according to court documents.
This is how the court justified its ruling:
McAnany cited a 1958 U.S. Supreme Court decision and a 1979 ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, both of which separated the act of entering the country from the act of being in the country.
So, as one Freeper noted, by extension, does that mean that a criminal’s breaking into your house is illegal, but his continued presence in your house is not?