“Perfectly Legal”: The Perilous Rhetoric Of Immigration Politics

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Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on continued claims about undocumented immigrants and their legal status.  There is a growing misrepresentation of the status issues that are deeply concerning.  While undocumented status can be treated as a civil matter, it is also a criminal matter when a person enters the country illegally.  Some politicians and commentators have been stating simply that all undocumented persons are non-criminals while others have suggested that persons are “perfectly legal” if they claim asylum even if they entered illegally.  The point is that not all such persons should be treated criminally, but rather these statements can be dangerously misleading for families considering an illegal crossing.  The Trump Administration has shifted enforcement toward greater criminal than civil enforcement.  As for asylum claims, they are not the majority of illegal entries but the numbers are clearly rising.  We are required under international law to consider such applications, but that does not mean that the entry was lawful or that such cases cannot raise risks of criminal enforcement.  With so many lives at risk, we need to be more accurate in how we describe the legal realities of illegal entry.

 

Here is the column:

It sounds like a pitch that only the most craven coyote smuggler would make: If you make it into the United States, you are lawful. Yet, that seems to be the claim by various activists and politicians as our immigration debate continues to divide to the furthest extremes.

The latest iteration came from CNN political analyst and USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers, who insisted on air that people brought by coyotes over the border are doing something perfectly legal under federal law, since most seek asylum. The greatest danger from such statements is not the risk of misleading viewers but misleading immigrants who take such statements as an accurate description of the law.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has repeatedly declared, “An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal.” When asked if she meant everyone here illegally, both those who entered illegally and those who have remained illegally, she replied, “Two obvious points. It is a civil violation, it’s not a crime. Period, full stop. And the second point is that there is a whole community that is being vilified because of this misinformed, misdirected term ’illegal alien’ … It’s actually ignorant and we can’t afford to run our country that way. So they are not criminals.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan similarly stated, “Simply being in this country without documentation is not a crime,” adding that the “Supreme Court has said that.” That representation was declared “mostly true” by Politifact. This growing mantra is often sustained by the careful parsing of terms. For example, Politifact quoted Nancy Morawetz, professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law, as saying, “Being present in the U.S., that status, is not a crime.” However, people do not simply materialize within the United States. There remains the question of entry. Illegal entry into the United States has been prosecuted as a criminal matter for decades, though the percentage of cases handled criminally versus civilly has fluctuated with different administrations.

Indeed, if it were true that illegal entry was not a crime, the entire Trump administration enforcement program, and thousands of such cases under President Obama, would have been struck down months ago. In fact, the government can charge illegal entry, even for first offenders, as a crime under 18 U.S.C. 3559 with up to six months imprisonment. Subsequent offenses or reentries, which are common, can be charged as a felony with up to two years imprisonment under 8 U.S.C. 1325. Nonviolent offenders who were removed before their prison sentences were served can be imprisoned for up to 10 years after a subsequent illegal entry.

It also is not true, as suggested by both Sheehan and Politifact, that the Supreme Court has declared all undocumented status to be a purely civil matter. They are referring to United States v. Arizona, in which the court stated that, “as a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States.” The court, however, was speaking of a state law allowing police to arrest anyone on suspicion that they are “removable from the United States.” That would include people who entered legally but overstayed their visas or their once lawful status.

The court was not saying that someone who enters illegally cannot, by definition, be charged criminally or that illegal entry is not a crime. The court said that it did not have to “address whether reasonable suspicion of illegal entry or another immigration crime would be a legitimate basis” for such arrests by state officers, distinguishing the crime of illegal entry from the removable violations addressed in the decision.

In her exchange with Jake Tapper on CNN, Powers insisted that those who cross illegally with coyotes are, by law, here legally so long as they claim asylum: “It’s not illegal to come to the country to seek asylum, which is what most of these people are doing. A lot of Republicans have [said] it is illegal unless you’re at a port of entry [but] that’s absolutely not true.” She added that the Immigration and Naturalization Act states “quite clearly that you can come anywhere. It specifically says you do not have to come to a port of entry and these people don’t even know where a port of entry is anyway. They’re being brought by coyotes mostly and brought to the border so they’re not doing anything illegal to start with.”

In fairness to Powers, Section 208 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act allows asylum claims to be made at any time, including as a criminal defendant for illegal entry. That does not mean that anyone claiming asylum automatically has legal status. That deals with your filing of a claim, not the legality of your entry or ultimate status. It is not illegal to seek asylum. It is illegal to do so without entering through a port of entry without documentation. Notably, even when treated through a civil removal proceeding, it remains an unlawful entry.

Coyotes are generally smugglers hired to bring people across the border. While a few people “don’t even know where a point of entry is,” there are more than 300 of them found on all of the main roads leading into the country. In addition, while rising, filings for asylum are not “what most of these people are doing.” There were 408,870 illegal entries in 2016 and 303,910 in 2017. Asylum applications reached 116,000 in 2016. Moreover, the number of accepted asylees tends to run about 20,000 per year. Among those applying, a huge percentage never complete their paperwork and only around 20 percent of applications are granted.

Many people are deported without hearings under a 1996 statute used by the Obama administration and now the Trump administration. These people are captured within 100 miles of the border and within 14 days of entry. If they claim asylum, they can appeal to an immigration judge who must rule within seven days. In 2013, 44 percent of all 438,000 removals from the United States were done through the expedited process. That was before President Trump. Even if a person asserts asylum and completes the application, the government can still pursue criminal charges. If the asylum application is rejected as meritless or unsupported, the person can be prosecuted or deported.

There are good faith positions on both sides of the immigration debate. Whether it is the president or the press, however, it does a disservice to citizens and noncitizens alike to exaggerate or misrepresent the law on illegal entry into this country. The undocumented individuals making this perilous journey should not be misled into believing that just entering the country makes them “perfectly legal,” even if they claim asylum. That does not mean President Trump’s policies are correct or fair. But spinning the law, so popular with some, is downright perilous for others.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

274 thoughts on ““Perfectly Legal”: The Perilous Rhetoric Of Immigration Politics”

  1. and you can blame the same “Deep State” that is attacking the legimate victor in the election Donald Trump, for endless schemes in Latin America, that have perpetually failed to do anything good for America in the long term.

    this goes straight back to JFK properly firing Dulles for Bay of Pigs and Dulles didn’t let that stand, did he? He turned around and fired JFK or so some people believe

    with the help from the CIA agent who overthrew guatemala, e howard hunt. but hunt confessed on his deathbed, “he was only a bagman” for the cabal that removed JFK from power, which operation was greenlighted by that even more odious Democrat, LBJ, another war hawk of the first order

  2. this is a very negative development for genuine asylum seekers.
    the insane leftist posturing is endangering a valuable tool which has been a cornerstone of american immigration law for decades and given us incredible competitive advantage among the nations by taking in all their dissidents.
    a perpetual pool of human resources for american stratetic mischief

    to make matters worse, the administration over-reacts by taking aim at thousands or tens of thousands of legitimate asylum seekers who may be guilty of petty offenses

    https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/08/politics/trump-immigration-crackdown-asylum/index.html

    because of the horrible invasion across our southern border by economic migrants from latin america, our strategic program which has given asylum to countless other legit and worthy people from asia, all the way from the Levant to China, is now undermined.

    this shares a connection to the failed policy of the war on drugs. it’s high time to widely legalize pot, in spite of the fact it makes people lazy and stupid, if only to defund billions from the narcos and try and settle things down south of the border

    1. I’ll bet the Chicoms relish the idea of getting a few tens of thousand Chinese asylees back in their clutches so they can milk them for information about America. ditto that Burma and some other places like that. this has got to be the shittiest idea that the Trump admin has come up with and yet observe that the “Left” has barely mentioned these specifics at all, deciding instead to focus on the sensational claims of the people flooding our country across the Rio Grande. Maybe that’s because they can better rely on uneducated Latin Americans to always vote Democrat and sign up for welfare than the smarter and more highly educated various Asian populations are actually harder for them to milk in their domestic schemes to fleece and weaken the American natives?

      oh sorry did i say asians were smarter than latin americans? oh sorry I know that’s racist except it is generally true according to IQ tests not that anybody cares about that!

      that might make one sound like TRUMP!

  3. bill McWilliams, you’re have some credence. Like when the Obama administration got involved in the Israeli elections to hopefully derail Netanyahu. Yah, we get involved in other people’s business.

      1. David Benson owes me nine citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after two months, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – as someone who owes me citations going back two months, you are the King of Making Stuff Up. Take the log out of your own eye first.

    1. David Benson owes me nine citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after two months, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – you are not the moderator.

  4. “Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has repeatedly declared, “An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal.” When asked if she meant everyone here illegally, both those who entered illegally and those who have remained illegally, she replied, “Two obvious points. It is a civil violation, it’s not a crime. Period, full stop. And the second point is that there is a whole community that is being vilified because of this misinformed, misdirected term ’illegal alien’ … It’s actually ignorant and we can’t afford to run our country that way. So they are not criminals.”

    – Prof Turley
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    For the record: Kamala Harris is out of her —-ing mind. “Illegal entry is the act of foreign nationals arriving in or crossing the borders into a country in violation of its immigration law.” Illegal acts are crimes. Illegally crossing an international border is a crime and constitutes the equivalent of military invasion. The Constitution holds dominion in America, not the Communist Manifesto. Imagine, Kamala Harris is so deluded that she had no compunction running as one of two democrats only and no republicans in the most recent election for U.S. Senate in the one-party communist state of California. Anyone with even a tenuous grasp of the original intent of the Founders would have never participated in an election that had been so corrupted. Obviously, as a zealous, Obamian, anti-American anti-Colonialist, Kamala Harris’ goal is “fundamentally transforming” America and Americans into extinction by opening the border, corrupting the vote and diluting the population. Kamala Harris’ hatred for the Constitution, America and Americans oozes from her pores.

    To the great relief of Americans,however, Kamala Harris is even less eligible for the presidency than Obama will ever be as she had two parents, not the singular one of Obama, who were foreign citizens at the time of her birth. To be sure, Harris is merely a “citizen,” not a “natural born citizen.” Presumably, the revised Supreme Court will impose the “manifest tenor” of the U.S. Constitution to preclude foreign allegiances by the commander-in-chief and accurately perceive the difference between “citizen” and “natural born citizen” by 2020.

    Kamala Harris, as simply a “citizen,” would have been eligible “… at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution…” but she will never be eligible at any time because she is consumed by foreign allegiances and can never be a “natural born citizen.”

    Kamala Harris’ two (2) parents were foreign citizens at the time of her birth.

    – A “citizen” could only have been President at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and never after.

    – The U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5, requires the President to be a “natural born citizen,” which, by definition in the legal text and reference of the era, the Law of Nations, requires “parents who are citizens” at the time of birth of the candidate and must be “…born of a father who is a citizen;…”

    – Ben Franklin thanked Charles Dumas for copies of the Law of Nations which “…has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting,…”

    – The Jay/Washington letter of July, 1787, raised the presidential requirement from citizen to “natural born citizen” to place a “strong
    check” against foreign allegiances by the commander-in-chief.

    – Every American President before Obama had two parents who were American citizens.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Law of Nations, Vattel, 1758
    Book 1, Ch. 19

    § 212. Citizens and natives.

    “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a
    father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Ben Franklin letter December 9, 1775, thanking Charles Dumas for 3 copies of the Law of Nations:

    “…I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…”
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    To George Washington from John Jay, 25 July 1787

    From John Jay

    New York 25 July 1787

    Dear Sir

    I was this morning honored with your Excellency’s Favor of the 22d Inst: & immediately delivered the Letter it enclosed to Commodore
    Jones, who being detained by Business, did not go in the french Packet, which sailed Yesterday.

    Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the
    administration of our national Government, and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolved on, any but a natural born Citizen.

    Mrs Jay is obliged by your attention, and assures You of her perfect

    Esteem & Regard—with similar Sentiments the most cordial and sincere

    I remain Dear Sir Your faithful Friend & Servt

    John Jay

  5. Peter, I agree with you. Again the key phrase is” Unintended”. Through this country’s history, it never set out to be the worlds policeman. Especially in the last quarter of the 20th century, we ended up as the sole super power. From what I understand we have military personnel operating in at least 80 countries throughout the world. Whether we like it or not, we are the worlds policeman. One more thing, I hope we fight these wars over there and not here.

    1. IB

      Police claim to exist to serve and protect. U.S. military exist to undermine democracies, overthrow democratically elected governments and install (and protect) friendly dictators – all to preserve and advance the interests of Big business.

    2. From what I understand we have military personnel operating in at least 80 countries throughout the world.

      You have six people working in the defense attache’s office in Montevideo, you have ‘military personnel operating’. The ’80 countries’ datum is humbug.

      Over the course of the postwar period, between 70% and 87% of American military personnel have been billeted in the United States or its dependencies. In the last decade, the vast majority of the remainder have been billeted in about a half-dozen countries (of which the largest contingents were in Germany and Japan): The entire Southern Command had 2,000 billets last I checked, of which 45% were located at Guantanamo Bay, an American possession since 1902. About 5,000 America troops were billeted in Africa. That amount of manpower might be able to secure one recalcitrant city the size of greater Columbus (if that’s how you deployed them). And so forth and so on.

  6. The inmates have taken over the asylum.

    Parasites in America are issued credit cards to spend their welfare checks. They have payments deducted from their welfare

    checks for their “benefit” packages such as medical and dental coverage.

    End the madness.

    If you demolish it, they will go.

    Eliminate free translators, welfare, public unemployment insurance, public assistance, food stamps, “Affirmative Action Privilege,”

    quotas, Obamacare, Medicaid, WIC, HAMP, HARP and every other form of redistribution of wealth, and the dependents will stop

    coming.

    The asylum crisis is worse than the “opioid crisis.” Every parasite in the world is addicted to free and lucrative “asylum” in America. If

    Mexico or any other nation actually produces this excessive number of “asylum” seekers, it must be corrected through diplomacy or

    war.

    Immigration is familial. The Founders referenced a European “melting pot” not a global cesspool.

    Congress must end the foreign invasion of America.

    Congress must legislate the termination of incongruous and non-familial immigration of unassimilable foreign parasites.

    Congress must end the fraudulent and blatantly abused, “fake” “asylum” laws.

    1. actually they should start with deporting the 13 million or so illegal immigrants that have no problem here with their daily business. before they waste a lot of energy on that. just my stupid opinion i know.

    2. the US dicked up Latin America over a century badly, by constant meddling and making their nations unstable so that our corporations could penetrate and exploit them. now we reap the disgusting whirlwind of that. war will not fix it but a better foreign policy, respecting Latin American sovereignty, and a smarter approach to drug addiction domestically, would actually lessen the invasion from the south.

      i know that sounds like some leftist crap but they are right about aspects of this. the difference between them and me is I don’t see the solution as letting every sad poor latin american migrant take up residence here. I think they should stay home and sort their own countries out there. not import all their problems to here.

      1. the US dicked up Latin America over a century badly, by constant meddling and making their nations unstable so that our corporations could penetrate and exploit them. now we reap the disgusting whirlwind of that.

        Absolute rubbish. Where do you come up with this cr*p? The U.S. fought a war with Mexico for a sparsely settled piece of territory largely populated with aboriginals. That aside, U.S. Government policy was intrusive with regard to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Panama during the period running from about 1898 to about 1935. We had a discrete operation in Guatemala in 1954. These are all among Latin America’s smaller countries. None of these countries had some prelapsarian period of Republican Virtue disrupted by the Navy or the CIA. Haiti was peculiarly troubled before and after the period of American occupation. You can attribute that to who lives there. As for the others, you’d be hard put to demonstrate that they’ve been more or less dysfunctional than Latin American countries which have not seen American intrusions.

        As for their economic situation, the Maddison Project has published some convenient historical reconstructions of per capita product in the western hemisphere. You can examine the ratio of local per capita product to American per capita product in 1895 (at which time Britain was still the most consequential external power), 1941 (after the Depression but before the U.S. government had clandestine services capacity), and in 2016. They have available data on 10 Latin American countries for all three dates. Only Argentina among them has consistently lost ground vis a vis the United States since 1895. Most of these 10 lost ground in the early 20th century which they gained back and then some; Colombia and Peru improved their position in the early 20th century and later. There are eight other countries for which you can compare the situation in 1941 to that of today. Three small Central American republics have lost ground vis a vis the affluent occident since 1941. If you look at the larger economies in Latin America, you find Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Chile, and Peru have all grown more rapidly than has the United States since 1941 and (on balance) since 1895 as well.

        N.B., these are referring to relative values. In absolute terms, all are more affluent, including Argentina (which has had the worst long-term performance in the hemisphere).

        1. haiti. not talking about them. a hellhole since the French were all murdered.

          where do i get my information. many sources. i take it that was just an insult

          you said “U.S. Government policy was intrusive with regard to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Panama during the period running from about 1898 to about 1935. We had a discrete operation in Guatemala in 1954. These are all among Latin America’s smaller countries.”

          not a small list. but, it omits the 80s. a time of signficant US involvement
          the tiny nation which is relevant to this is actually el salvador which had big us military support to “win its civil war”
          then the losers all came here…. “US” won but American natives lost in the long run.
          perhaps, i wonder would we have been better off today perhaps, if they did not “win” ?

          look at the sandanista state….that is, nicaragua. today it is not the source of migration invasion compared to its neighbors honduras (more than one US meddling there including recently) and el salvador (see above)
          ….. compare neighbor nicaragua with its neighbor costa rica. niether is costa rica a migration problem. but very different countries, US has its say in costa but not nicagagua. very different in many ways but simlar in 2 ways that matter here 1) relative political stability past 15 years and 2) narcos do not run wild in either country

          the big dog is mexico. the us has interfered with mexico constantly. i would call nafta an interference and it dislocated many of the milions that tramped on up here. to say nothing of the “liberalization” that dislodged the PRI which lead to a weakening of the state. a weakening the narcos have taken advtange of badly. those are my primary issues with respect to US involvement in mexico and how it has induced northward migration.

          and then the narcos. how did the zetas get their training? how did they magically develop from narco interdiction into narcos so fast? i have hypotheses about that

            1. also US supported the Pinochet coup, not that it matters with respect to migration.

              Define ‘support’. I’m always hearing that word on foreign policy matters from the country’s detractors, notably domestic libtards and libertards. No one defines it even when challenged. I’m sure John Prados fancies he’s found some sort of smoking gun and the Institute for Policy Studies forever pretended that Chile’s political conflicts were an artifact of the CIA, but that’s their fiction. The rest of us aren’t bound by it. Chile was in a state of economic ruin and facing escalating public disorder in 1973. The Chilean chiefs of staff didn’t need the CIA or Henry Kissinger to chart a course for them.

          1. not a small list. but, it omits the 80s. a time of signficant US involvement
            the tiny nation which is relevant to this is actually el salvador which had big us military support to “win its civil war”

            You bob and weave. El Salvador was facing a communist insurrection during the period running from 1979 to 1992. The U.S. Government granted them a modest aid program and a small training and advisory mission which included fewer than 60 American soldiers. This was helpful to El Salvador. Libertarians make a fetish of ‘non-intervention’, damn the consequences. That’s why non-Libertarians cannot take them seriously.

            the big dog is mexico. the us has interfered with mexico constantly.

            This is a completely unserious characterizatoin, which is why you haven’t any specifics.

            to say nothing of the “liberalization” that dislodged the PRI which lead to a weakening of the state.

            What ”liberalization’? The PRI’s position began eroding ca. 1983 in response to economic distress. The most salient event in that process was when Cuahtemoc Cardenas organized the secession of the PRI’s red haze wing in 1988. You’ve been reading inane articles in Harper’s and then adding your own misconceptions.

            1. nah i think you bob and weave. you called me and i raised you.

              but now let me add to discounting this prados thing, i never heard of him until you named him, i would add that i dont care about liberterians, i know a lot about them by contrast, but dont count myself in their number.

              I also havent read any articles in harper’s ever except for the one entitled “the phony church of morris dees” or something like that. has nothing to do with this topic.

              thirdly the military personnel that were involved in el salvador was a lot more than 60 guys. a lot more. here’s an article i just pulled up that talks about it in specifics. but i originally formed my opinion based on various guys who said they had personally been there and not for human rights missions either. who knows maybe they were all just joking.

              https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1991/01/04/death-toll-of-us-military-personnel-in-el-salvador-since-1980-stands-at-15/4cdee71d-18fc-4426-9e0a-173fb022c35d/?utm_term=.3b2103a126f1

              i don’t really care if you dig it or not, or anybody else,

              but there is a big history of US meddling in other countries and then getting a really crappy result. as if vietnam were not an obvious example

              1. Nope, fewer than 60 military advisers were sent, and the annual aid allocations were an 8-digit sum.

                1. you can ignore that credible article in the wapo i linked and keep on believing that.
                  i’ll believe what some jarheads told me who said they were there

              2. but there is a big history of US meddling in other countries and then getting a really crappy result.

                No, there is a small history of people who know little uttering canned phrases about Latin America and American foreign policy. They haven’t a clue what any actual historical referent to such phrases really is. There is also a current within the intellectual life in the Untied States and Latin America which tries to construct elaborate systems to justify sticking the blame for Latin America’s dysfunction with the United States. See the work of Andre Gunder Frank. It was largely rubbish.

          2. then the losers all came here…. “US” won but American natives lost in the long run.

            What are you talking about? The political order in Central America is as congenial as it ever has been. The natives have lost nothing. Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have a problem with street crime. Latin American countries vary in this regard, but elevated crime rates are the mode and peculiarly elevated rates can be found in Brazil, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Only the last pair had an insurrection during the period in question. El Salvador had little or nothing in the way of a formal legal system prior to the civil war. It had a vendetta culture.

            What happens in regard to migration is that you have an environmental or political shock which generates some pioneering migration. You have chain migration after that. The shocks were generated by Central America’s own deficiencies as political societies, not by anything we did. If there was an external agent, it was Cuba (which organized El Salvador’s communist factions into a co-operative alliance).

            1. OUR NATIVES not theirs. Native born Americans have lost. Maybe you never heard the word used in this context but I use it that way. We lost from all the internventions because they made a mess and all these migrants now come here.

              1. None of the interventions ‘made a mess’. Latin America has messes, but we didn’t make them. John Prados and the Institute for Policy Studies have been upset, because they wanted the Castro regime replicated and it wasn’t.

                The impetus for Central American migration was the breakdown of order in three countries. No American policy generated that.

                1. oh, i think it was a factor alright. but inherent in the caste society structure is the possibility of guerra des las castas. and that’s what a lot of those dustups were in reality, just campesino revolts.

                  we didn’t need to intervene in a lot of those, they would have resolved themselves one way or another, instead we got too involved and now look at all these migrants with a grievance who come here. it’s not unlike vietnam in that respect. you can keep apologizing for what seem to be mistakes, arguing against these intellectuals you cite i have never heard of, I am just a bumpkin from flyover with my own opinions on why the hell all these foreigners from every third world hellhole the US has intervened in over the decades always show up here

                2. Yes, we did. And there were three civil wars in Central America. We intervened in two with successful results.

                3. Whether you’re a ‘bumpkin’ or not, you’re running off at the mouth and don’t know what you’re talking about.

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