Undocumented Leaseholders

I lived and worked overseas for a total of about eighteen years. If I had ever worked illegally in any of those foreign countries and if I’d been discovered, whatever country I was working in would have put me on a plane and sent me home immediately. Same thing would have happened if I were in their country illegally, working or not. I’d be expelled without fanfare. Most foreign countries don’t screw around with this stuff, it’s one and done.

Unfortunately, in this country we have the most bizarre view of what we should do when lawbreakers sneak into the country illegally or do not leave as they have agreed to do. Here’s the clearest picture of it that I’ve seen:

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Now, as the result of a series of misunderstandings and coincidences, I live in the great socialist people’s republic of California. Here we have lots of “sanctuary cities” where the city officials have agreed to break Federal law and shelter illegal aliens, including those foreigners who have committed further crimes while they are here. I discussed how San Francisco’s role as a sanctuary city led to a young woman’s murder in Gimme Shelter.

There’s a local joke among the few realistic residents of the worker’s paradise, goes as follows.

It isn’t politically correct to call the foreigners who are in California illegally “illegal aliens”. That’s a big no-no, it shows you don’t truly care about people and you are a worthless breath-wasting excuse for a human being. 

Instead, the politically correct term is “undocumented Democrats” …

But how we name things is important. It is vital to tell the truth in naming. These are foreigners who have broken American law. The most accurate term for them is “foreign criminals”. For years they were known by a slightly gentler term, “illegal aliens”. But they are not “undocumented” anything. The problem is not that they don’t have documents.

The problem is that they broke the law, and we call people who break the law “criminals”, not “undocumented”. Let me give you an example to make this perfectly clear.

Suppose you’re on vacation and some guy jimmies a door to get into your house and simply moves in, cooks in your kitchen, eats your food, and sleeps on your couch … do you call him an “undocumented leaseholder”?

Telling the truth about this also clarifies the situation of those people brought here as children. Breaking the law requires intention, which they did not have. So they are in another category, because they are clearly not criminals.

You see why telling the truth about this is so important? It assists us in making these important distinctions.

But I digress. As a result of my geographical misfortune, as well as my extremely left-wing youth, I thought I’d seen every kind of uber-socialist madness imaginable. But real life always exceeds paltry human imagination, particularly mine, and this is no exception. From Reuters this AM:

Undocumented worker sues San Francisco for violating sanctuary law

By Alex Dobuzinskis
An undocumented immigrant from El Salvador is suing San Francisco alleging police violated the city’s sanctuary city policy by turning him over to U.S. immigration authorities after he reported his car stolen.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday on behalf of Pedro Figueroa Zarceno, 32, in federal court in San Francisco against the city and its police chief for violating his right to due process and breaking an ordinance barring municipal employees from cooperating with federal immigration authorities seeking to deport a person.

Figueroa walked into a police station in November 2015 to report his car stolen, according to the lawsuit. Two days later, the car was found and when he went to recover it, he was handcuffed and led outside where federal immigration agents were waiting for him, the lawsuit said.

You can’t make this stuff up … and look, just like the joke suggested, we now have a new politically correct term for people who enter the US illegally. Whether or not they are working, they are now “undocumented workers” … I despise this kind of NewSpeak, creating this homey image of young Pedro Zarceno energetically beavering away at some useful job, when the reality may have nothing to do with that at all.

Let’s be clear. Whatever else he may or may not be, young Pedro Zarceno is assuredly a criminal who is wanted by the law. If he is working, he is taking a job away from a citizen. That is the reality.

Now, we can respond to that reality in many ways. We may decide to decree that Mr. Zarceno is not a criminal. We may legally forgive him his crime. On the other hand, we may indeed convict Mr. Zarceno of the crime of entering the country illegally and put him on the next plane back to El Salvador. Or we may kick the can down the road and continue to ignore the fact that he’s a wanted criminal.

But no matter what we do, and no matter whether we call him an “illegal alien” or an “undocumented worker”, Mr. Zarceno has indeed committed a crime. Disguising or minimizing that via bland NewSpeak euphemisms for “foreign criminal” is an attempt to obscure the ugly reality.

On a more serious note, in this discussion we also need to be clear about another name. We see several kinds of arrangements called “sanctuary cities”.

In the simplest one, the cop on the street and the detectives investigating crimes are told NOT to ask people about their immigration status. This is claimed by some people, including policemen and various Police Chiefs, to make the investigation of crime easier. I find this somewhat hard to believe. I don’t like talking to cops and I’m a citizen, albeit with a … well … checkered past. I don’t see illegal aliens suddenly changing their tune and becoming talkative about say the murderous Zeta drug cartel just because of some police promise that they won’t be asked about their immigration status.

And despite looking, I can’t find any actual observational data that says that not asking about immigration status helps prevent crime. Might be there, I’d be happy to see it, but I didn’t find it.

Next up the sanctuary city ladder is where every municipal worker, not just cops, is instructed not to ask about immigration status. This one is bizarre, because it means that the city registrar of voters may be barred from determining if the person wanting to vote is a citizen …

From there the sanctuary city issue gets serious. Those “sanctuary cities” listed above are street legal, they don’t involve breaking Federal law at all. No law says cops have to ask about your immigration status. But then you get to cities like San Francisco, where all city employees are not just barred from asking, but are specifically barred from cooperating with the Federal Government. How can that possibly be legal?

Finally, the most serious are the cities like San Francisco where they will not honor a “Detainer” from the Immigration Department. A detainer is a notice to all cities that someone is wanted by the Immigration Department. Often these people have committed serious crimes. San Francisco refuses to hold someone who is wanted by the Immigration Department. Doesn’t matter if they’re murderers. San Francisco sets them free.

The most bizarre part? If a US citizen is wanted for seven felonies and gets arrested in San Francisco, he doesn’t get out of jail …  but if he is an illegal alien, they give him the keys to the city. And if they don’t give him the keys to the city, well … as today’s news shows, then he sues San Francisco for not giving him the keys.

The sad news in all of this is that our immigration system is broken from top to bottom. Everything needs fixing—physical and electronic barriers at the border, visa controls, vetting, underage border crossers, clogged immigration courts, sanctuary cities, overstayers, computer systems, insanely complex regulations, refugees, fake refugees, terrible communications both inter- and intra-agency and with the public, the list goes on and on.

And while I likely will not like some of the new policies and rules that will need to be put into place to solve all of this, at least we have people coming into power who are taking the problem seriously, rather than trying to peanut butter over the cracks in the system by pretending that foreign criminals are just undocumented leaseholders …

Best wishes to all, whether they are legally in their country of residence or not. Karma is like hitting a golf ball in a tiled bathroom, so I have great faith that the universe is unfolding as it should.


As always, I ask that commenters QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS THAT YOU ARE DISCUSSING, so we can all have clarity about your subject.


36 thoughts on “Undocumented Leaseholders

  1. W.E. says: “The most accurate term for them is ‘foreign criminals’. For years they were known by a slightly gentler term, ‘illegal aliens’.”

    I like the terms “scabs”, “squatters”, “trespassers”, and “home-invaders”.

    It’s useful to recall that in the 1840s or so the Oregon territory was BRITISH. But British citizens had to pay for passage and wait for a vessel to convey them to the perceived land of plenty. U.S. citizens could, and did, walk there. Thousands of miles, and lots of hardships, but the pedestrians outnumbered the riders. And rather than start up another war, the British handed over the territory to the newcomers.

    The group, La Raza, seems to expect that organized pedestrians in the 21st century can accomplish a similar handover of national territory.


    • 1840 or so .. you probably refer to Sir Francis Drake, ca 1540-1596. The Oregon Territory was the whole area west of Rockies. It was about as much British as Russian and Spanish.


  2. Willis wrote, ” Here we have lots of “sanctuary cities” … ”

    Sort of like “nuclear free zones.”

    A number of towns, cities and counties in the United States established themselves as Nuclear-Free Zones in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The first was Missoula, Montana. In the November 1978 general election, Missoula voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative in the form of a land-use ordinance establishing the entirety of Missoula County as a “‘nuclear free’ zoning district” banning all nuclear facilities except those for medical purposes.


    • Considering that at one time (and may still have) two 25 megaton dirt diggers aimed at each under ground silo, being FAR away from those and similar sites wouldn’t be a bad idea, as long as one is up wind. Try and imagine the hole and radioactive debris from a 25M ton ground burst and then multiply that by the number of silos in that field. Wouldn’t be much left of most of that state.


  3. Interesting that when Tom Lehre wrote the songs for the TV program “That Was The Week That Was”, he included in a song about the CA Senator George Murphy a lyric “should an American pick crops, George says No, cause only a Mexican would stoop so low.” At that time, later ’60s, the Democrats were driving hard to eliminate the Bracero program which allowed Mexicans who wanted to work in the agricultural industry, to enter the US on a defined Visa.


  4. With regard to the children — whether birthright citizens or not — of criminal foreigners, I get tired of progressives, and even some conservatives, making the ridiculous claim about the horror of “breaking up families”. Last time I checked, it is common practice for children — especially minor children — to go wherever their parents go. My oldest daughter moved to China in 2009, along with her six-year-old daughter. I don’t remember anyone at the airport taking custody of her daughter preventing her from going with her mother. It’s really simple. Non-citizen children of criminal foreigners will go with their parents when they are deported. As for citizen children of said foreigners, if they’re legal adults, then they should have the choice of whether or not to go with their parents. Minor citizen children of course will go with their parents, unless the parents choose to let them stay here with trusted friends or relatives. But in no case does anyone have to “break up families”. That’s a consequence that the criminal foreigners implicitly accepted the moment they decided to enter this country illegally. If the kids don’t like it, they can take it up with their criminal-foreigner parent(s).


  5. And by extension of this subject comes voter ID issues. The Dem’s master plan has been working for a while, and it is basic bribery.


  6. BTW, I’m planning to move to Thailand now that I’m retired. Never been there (yet — going for a month-long exploratory trip with my 88-year-old father in a couple months), but I’ve been researching the country for several years now. Entering the country illegally or overstaying a visa will most likely get you thrown in jail so fast you won’t know what hit you. And you’ll stay there until you can come up with the cash to pay the fine (good luck doing that from inside a Thai prison), whereupon you’ll be deported immediately, and very likely become persona non grata, unable to ever enter the country again.


    • If you have not yet looked into Thai income tax regulations on foreigners living in the country (not visiting as a tourist) may I suggest you consider checking into that. I am not up to date on any new changes & have not kept up with which website an internet search pulls up that is recent. Used to be if spend 180 days in country during the year then the money you brought into Thailland is considered income they can assess tax on.


  7. BTW2, back in the 80’s (IIRC), there was a very popular BBC show on PBS called “Connections”, hosted by James Burke. In the program he goes on a journey through history, connecting the dots between events and discoveries that led to the great things we enjoy in modern life. In that vein, a modern “connection” goes something like this:

    When I was in college, student loans were relatively rare. Few people that I knew had them. At the school I attended (University of Utah — Go Utes!), it cost about $400 per quarter (UofU was one of the few schools still on the quarter system, instead of semester). At that time I was in the National Guard, had survived Officer Candidate School, and became an Officer. My National Guard paycheck was just enough to all of my college expenses — tuition, books, fees. (My father graciously let my new bride and me live rent-free in an apartment he owned that was near the campus.) Other students worked as painters, roofers, landscapers and similar seasonal work during the summer to earn enough money for the upcoming year of college. Somewhere along the line the federal government decided to get into the student-loan business in a big way. It didn’t take long for people to decide that it was a heck of a lot easier to sign student loan papers than to do the heavy labor during the summer. Of course, that created a vacuum that nature abhors. That vacuum was filled with foreign labor, much/most of it consisting of criminal foreigners. When was the last time you saw anyone working as roofers, painters or landscapers whose first language is English? Sure, the owners of the business, maybe, but the vast majority of the people who actually do the work speak very little English. I bought carpet for a couple rooms at Lowe’s a couple years ago. The installer showed up with two of his kids in tow to help him. All three of them from El Salvador. Criminal or not? Didn’t ask, but it pissed me off. Like you said, it is likely that they were taking jobs away from citizens.


    • D’oh, sometimes evey multiple proofreadings fail you. I left the word “cover” out of the sentence, “My National Guard paycheck was just enough to *cover* all of my college expenses — tuition, books, fees.”


    • Lynn – “All three of them from El Salvador. Criminal or not? Didn’t ask, but it pissed me off.” Why? Are you a Native American? I came here in 1985. I am grateful to my new compatriots, who accepted me very nicely and heartily. Our nation is composed mostly of immigrants. So far it is the best nation I ever saw.

      I don’t condone people coming illegally. I read somewhere that to move from Mexico legally you have to be put on a list and your turn would come in about ten years. If true, no wonder they come illegally. We have to fix the system – the right way. We don’t want to reproduce Germany’s disastrous “refugee” policy.


      • George,
        I am not sure which special interest group currently owns which congressmen now but I do remember that several decades ago there was and attempt to fix immigration buy both increasing the quotas and fixing the guest worker program. At that time the unions shot it down because they didn’t want competition from the guest workers.


    • I remember the James Burke series you mentioned. Also worth mentioning is his show “The Day the Universe Changed” highlighting scientific discoveries through history and their impact on life from that point.


    • “Somewhere along the line the federal government decided to get into the student-loan business in a big way. It didn’t take long for people to decide that it was a heck of a lot easier to sign student loan papers than to do the heavy labor during the summer.”
      It also didn’t take long for the college administrators to realize that since the government had now disconnected the costs of advanced education from the benefits there of, they were now free to increase those costs independent of any normal controls.


  8. Willis

    I read the same article you did and, a little further down, the article said that Mr. Figueroa had a conviction for DUI; that is: DRIVING under the influence, presumably alcohol.

    A couple of issues came to my mind: he was driving a vehicle in a fashion that attracted the constable’s eye. As an “undocumented person” did he have a valid California driver’s license? did he have auto insurance to protect others he may injure in an MVA? was the vehicle he was driving registered with the California DMV? and, at his court appearance for the DUI was he identified as having all the above. Did Mr. Figueroa use a vehicle he describes as his own but registered to someone else and using the vehicle under false pretenses as far as the California DMV is concerned?

    A driver’s license is required as proof of identification to pass security at airports as well as proof of who you are when presented to a voting precinct. Obtaining a drivers license can become a big deal and once secured, opens many vistas.

    It seems that being an undocumented person is more than just hanging out someplace you are not supposed to be. If you don’t have a work permit, then you end up doing…well, somethings that there may be laws against; ie, buying and selling an assortment of non-proprietary pharmaceuticals.

    My guess is that there will be some push back against tightening our Southern border by people legally living here in USA who have family members living here but are undocumented, and, as most other places in the world, family comes before anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • California will issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, they have a small section of text that says something like “federal restrictions apply” which is supposed to mean that it’s not counted as a legal id for flying (but for that they can use their foreign IDs)


  9. “I have lived and worked overseas for about eighteen years”. Hits home. For three decades, I spent 6 months a year on planes in and out of foreign countries. Let’s be right up front about it. In some of those countries, mostly in hard-line religious countries like Saudi and Iran and other toughies like the Balkan third worlds, it was almost impossible to get a visa. Illegal entry? Never heard of. I once got talked into making a connection out of Kuwait to New Delhi by making a connection – an airline connection ONLY – in Jeddah as it would have saved me half a day. Trouble is “making connnections” in Saudi Arabia is a no go, a non integer. You either fly in or you fly out. Notning else. I caused a near international catastrophe when I got off the Kuwaiti flight and asked for the Saudia gate. Enveloped by maching gun toting guards, I was told no such connection nonsense happens there. And since I had no visa, I was there illegally and likely to be put into jail.Through all sorts of good luck some Sauida official got them to frisk me, take my passport (later found out they put a full court investigation press on me) and locked me into the first class lounge in the waiting area. Yes, locked in. No way in, no way out.

    So when I read how incredibly fouled up our system is, the truth shines through. We do not have the guts to back up our laws. The liberals infect almost every law with increasingly giveaway acceptances, not only let them stay, but provide all the folderall that the article points out. It is egregious that an undocumented illegal immigrant receives ANYTHING – schooling, hospital, food stamps, voting rights, driver’s licenses, ANYTHING here. “Sanctuary cities” are the end result of the laughable giveaways the liberal bleeding hearts have attained.

    It’s time to revisit and set clearly understandable and enforceable laws, and obey them or suffer.


  10. WE says “Now, as the result of a series of misunderstandings and coincidences, I live in the great socialist people’s republic of California.”

    It is a choice. There are alternatives. Sequoia sempervirens will grow many places with a bit of water and a mild winter temperature, sort of an artificial fog belt The Pacific touches other shores. I often hear it from the porch just in from Rialto Beach. It is not clear weather you are bragging or complaining, but as the proprietor I trust you are aware that this place is a no sniveling zone.

    Carry on. Terry, Humboldt ’67


  11. “The sad news in all of this is that our immigration system is broken from top to bottom. ”

    That’s what I hear too. All the talk of DIY immigration ignores the “fact” that there is no other way, no real way to legally immigrate. One story was a Norwegian woman who married an American man and although they allowed her to live in the US, after eight years of trying she still didn’t have a green card, so they moved to Norway. The exception seems to be that Silicon Valley can get whoever they want in. I don’t complain about that because they are no doubt super qualified. Does anyone have the stats about immigration applications by the book and acceptance rates?


  12. You said, “… would have put me on a plane and sent me home immediately”. But we know how old you are. More likely it would have been a bus or a boat.


  13. IMHO all the discussions I’ve heard on illegal immigration are severely hampered because they start with the implicit assumption that it is our problem to solve. It isn’t our problem because we didn’t create it. “Our” immigration problem is caused by other countries which offer their people no hope of achieving the life they want, or indeed any life at all. A significant portion of the world’s population will wake up on any given day realizing quite correctly that leaving wherever they are and getting to the US increases their odds of a decent life. This is not a problem we can fix with our immigration laws. It can only be fixed by improving conditions in those places people are currently willing to risk their lives to escape.

    “Build the Wall” is neither a principle nor a policy, it’s an implementation plan. Before we pick an implementation plan we should be clear on what out policies are and the principles behind them. To me there are two critical principles we need to accept:

    (1) As stated very clearly by candidate Trump: if you don’t have a border you don’t have a country. People may be tempted to dismiss this as a red meat line to his followers but it exposes a fundamental reason why the immigration debate in the US is so rancorous: some in the pro-immigration camp really want to eliminate nations and national sovereignty altogether. They view unlimited immigration not as something that will benefit the US, but something that will contribute to eroding it away, to be replaced somehow by something that will turn out to be better. How this transformation is supposed to occur they either do not know or do not wish to discuss. You cannot discuss immigration policy with people who want the entire concept of immigration to become moot.

    (2) Not stated as far as I know during the campaign, but it should have been: If you reward people for breaking the law, you will get more lawbreakers. This truth applies not just to immigration but to every activity which becomes the subject of legislation. If you have a law but you reward people for breaking it, it is the same as punishing people who obey. This is clearly insane.

    People who come here illegally make a decision that getting what they want is more important than following our laws. Every day they remain they reaffirm the decision to be a lawbreaker. To stay here they decide to break more laws by working or obtaining public assistance illegally. Once you decide to be a lawbreaker for personal gain, what additional laws to break becomes a simple risk/reward calculation. This is not, I submit, a desirable pool from which to draw prospective future citizens.

    Back in 1986 during the Regan Administration we had “immigration reform” consisting of three parts: a “path to citizenship” for those currently in the country illegally, expanded guest worker programs, and a crackdown on people who hire illegals. At the time IIRC we had an estimated 8 million illegals. This three-part plan should sound familiar because it is the same as what was offered several years back by the “Gang of 8” in Congress and pretty much everyone else offering “comprehensive immigration reform”. The plan didn’t work 30 years ago and it won’t work now partly because we wimped out on actually enforcing hiring restrictions, but mostly because we rewarded the people who broke our law. Which is why we have probably 20 million illegals today instead of just 8. “Path to citizenship” sounds compassionate, but it is just rewarding people for their crimes and is guaranteed to make the problem bigger.

    Any immigration solution which does not derive from these two principles will fail. We also need to provide every assistance we can to people trying to improve their own countries so people want to stay. Building a wall by itself does not solve the problem; it just slows the rate at which it gets worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. What stands out here is the obvious willingness of some American citizens to contribute to the destruction of their own way of life, many of whom have no apparent grip on how complex and rule dependent modern life has become. They are so used to food, energy and other essentials being permanently available that they simply do not have the capacity to conceive of a time when this would not be so. This ignorance has emboldened some to believe they can challenge whatever they like because it will always be so.

    As Congressman Trey Gowdy often points out, the United States is a nation of laws, you may not like some of them, if so campaign to change them legally, but you cannot expect things to remain able to deliver all that makes your life what it is if you take it upon yourself to believe that you can ignore those laws you do not agree with.

    The truth inherent in his comment is this, it is not the system that is rotten, but rather a percentage of the people, and these are found at every level of American life, who have become willfully blind to the dangers and risks of being contemptuous of the law. This foolishness is a recipe for national decay into something a lot less agreeable. Should you dispute the chances of this happening then consider the recent experiences of Venezuela, where enough people lost connection with the facts of life until all that sustains life itself largely vanished. Hopefully the election of Donald Trump confirms that enough are still able to recognise reality, but as attitudes in the coastal states shows, many remain unconvinced that their life can be destroyed. People of America, oh yes it can!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The immigration system isn’t broken. The border is. 😦
    The immigration system is just fine. It actually works the way it’s supposed to.


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