Warning: There Is No Invasion by Illegal Immigrants!

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For many years, conservative commentators in the mainstream press have declaimed against the “invasion” of the United States by Latin American immigrants seeking to enter the United States without the official permission of the U.S. government. Over the years, I have received emails from right-wingers saying the same thing — that we are being “invaded” by the “illegals.”

Both as a libertarian and as a former trial attorney who practiced law for many years along the border in Texas, I respond to such emails by advising these conservatives and right-wingers to not shoot and kill these undocumented immigrants. I emphasize to them that if they disregard my advice and instead shoot these immigrants as “invaders,” they will find themselves indicted, convicted, and incarcerated for murder. Moreover, no judge is ever going to permit them to defend against the murder charge by claiming that they had the right to kill “invaders” of our country.

Unfortunately, 73-year-old Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly never contacted me and received my advice. Today, Kelly is sitting in an Arizona jail. He is accused of murdering 48-year old Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, a Mexican citizen from Nogales, Mexico, who illegally crossed the border and and trespassed onto Kelly’s ranch. Cuen-Butimea’s body was found about 100-150 yards from Kelly’s ranch house.

Mind you, it’s not clear yet that Kelly did, in fact, commit the shooting. But the authorities are, so far, convinced that he did. He’s being held in jail on a $1 million bond.

The fact that large numbers of immigrants, including refugees, seek to enter the United States or do illegally enter the United States does not convert this process into an “invasion.”

An invasion is what the U.S. government did to Iraq in 2003. Think back to that time. The Pentagon was dropping an untold number of bombs on people, buildings, and infrastructure. Large numbers of U.S. missiles were being fired across the country. U.S. soldiers were shooting large numbers of Iraqis. Iraqis were being taken into custody and tortured, abused, and executed at the Pentagon’s Abu Ghraib prison. There was massive violence, death, and destruction at the hands of the all-powerful U.S. war machine against the people of this Third World country.

There is something important to note about the Pentagon’s invasion of Iraq. The U.S. government was the aggressor in the conflict and Iraq was the defender. That made the U.S. invasion of Iraq illegal under international law, specifically under the principles set forth by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal as well as by the UN charter. 

Moreover, the U.S. government invaded Iraq without the congressional declaration of war required by the U.S. Constitution. That meant that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was illegal under our own form of government. 

Thus, given that the U.S. government had illegally invaded Iraq, the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people had the right to defend themselves from the invaders. Thus, if an Iraqi citizen were to shoot and kill an American soldier, under international law he could not be tried for murder. People who are illegally invaded by a foreign power have the right to shoot and kill the forces that have illegally invaded their country and that are waging an illegal war of aggression against them.

The situation with immigrants who illegally enter the United States is totally different. Immigrants are not coming with bombs, missiles, or guns. Usually, they are coming with just a few personal belongings. Their actions are entirely peaceful. Many of them are are just trying to survive. Others are trying to improve their economic well-being through labor.

Thus, despite all the rhetoric from right-wingers, no one has the right to kill an immigrant who has illegally entered the United States. Shooting an illegal immigrant is subject to the same laws as killing anyone else. 

The general rule is that one can use deadly force against someone who is threatening deadly force against the shooter. The issue of the use of deadly force revolves around the concept of self-defense. But simply because someone is trespassing onto your ranch does not permit you to shoot and kill the trespasser. 

There is something else to note about this shooting in Arizona. It is a direct consequence of the socialist immigration-control system that both right-wingers and left-wingers have foisted upon our land. 

With the libertarian concept of open borders — genuine open borders — people would be free to cross back and forth between nations without any restrictions. Thus, Mexican citizens would be crossing the border by simply driving on a public road and entering the United States. In other words, there wouldn’t be any need to trespass onto people’s property as a way to avoid getting caught by the Border Patrol. 

Such being the case, under a system of genuine open borders, Gabriel Cuen-Butimea would be alive today, no doubt working peacefully for an American employer wishing to hire him. 

Moreover, George Alan Kelly wouldn’t be in jail today and charged with murder. He also would not be facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in jail. 

It’s just one more tragic consequence of the socialist system of immigration controls that both right-wingers and left-wingers have foisted upon our land.

The post Warning: There Is No Invasion by Illegal Immigrants! appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

* This article was originally published here


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