Long before there was an organization known as ISIS, I read about the way that people who are adjudicated criminals in the majority of Muslim countries are handled within the Sharia code of justice. Application of this law to offenders of whatever description seems to our Western minds to be harsh. And it certainly is swift.
Caught for stealing … have your hand cut off.
Caught in adultery … get stoned to death.
Caught questioning the religious authority … get 1000 lashes – if you survive for the full term of the punishment.
Caught in a same sex relationship … get thrown from a building, stoned to death or beheaded. (I’m not sure if the soon-to-be-deceased gets to pick which way to make his exit).
I remember thinking to myself, you know, I don’t think I would even consider jaywalking in Riyadh – or most of the rest of the Muslim world. By the way, jaywalking is also a punishable offence – and it is punished through the imposition of fines. Presumably that is an effort to make the streets safer both for drivers and pedestrians. And please, no snarky comments about “women drivers” since Saudi Arabia does not allow women the privilege of being able to obtain a driver’s license.
Beginning this year, King Abdullah has allowed women the right both to vote and to run for minor public office. But if one of the requirements to be able to vote is proving identity by presenting a driver’s license, well the ladies of Saudi Arabia may be back in the same second class status that they’ve had bestowed on them for over a millennium.
Singapore has an even higher rate of executions than Saudi Arabia – most of which were effected through hanging – and the majority of those for what the authorities define as drug trafficking. (The typical person who patronizes his neighborhood Colorado pot shop would be able to buy a sufficient quantity of marijuana to qualify them as traffickers under Singapore’s definition). But there are also lesser offenses which we would consider trivial – such as failure to flush a toilet (who would do that) and chewing gum subjects the chewer to a fine of five hundred dollars. Sorry about that Mr. Wrigley.
I realize that laws, by whomever and wherever they are made, are designed to be punitive. That is, to my mind a fundamental flaw – offering only the meting out of punishment rather than a reward for good behavior. As an example that I’ve proposed in the past, rather than simply fining the driver who breaks the law by giving him a ticket, how about providing an incentive to the good driver who does not weigh on the local police’s time and never gets a ticket by reducing the cost of annually registering his vehicle. That might, I can’t say with certainty as it’s never been tried and is unlikely ever to be tried, encourage and incentivize each of us who drives to follow the rules. Over many years of running my own business, I always found that the carrot rather than the stick approach did more to motivate my employees.
But returning to Saudi Arabia and the punishments which that government feels merits the death penalty is one with which we are becoming all too familiar. And that crime is called “terrorism.” Although Bo(Peep)Bama has officially referred to ISIS (ISIL by the administration’s terminology) as a terrorist organization, he and his mouthpieces still refuse to label it for what it is – Islamic terrorism. But if we play along with BoBama’s definition, anyone who engages in terroristic activity which is the “use of force to achieve political or social ends” is therefore a terrorist. Whether they are an avowed ISIS member or not. And clearly it would be in the interest of all the residents of the United States to be certain that before a person gains entry into the country we make sure that person has come here with no ill intention.
The oath of allegiance which is required to be sworn to by naturalized citizens is as follows (my bolding):
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
Liberal pundits like Geraldo Rivera and Juan Williams have tried to make the argument that illegals in the United States actually commit crime at a lower rate than American citizens. That argument is, of course, poppycock since by the very act of being here illegally in the first place, each and every one of them has already broken the law. That is, by my math, a rate of one hundred percent who are lawbreakers.
Certainly there are extreme cases where people are fearful of threats to their lives in their countries of origin – and we ought to treat those exceptional cases with both expediency and compassion and waive our rules. Strangely, I have not heard of calls from either side of the aisle offering the Yazidis of Iraq who were driven from their home’s by ISIS a sanctuary in the United States.
It would be hard for anyone to argue that of the estimated twelve million illegal aliens in the United States the majority of these were people who would qualify for a compassionate exception to our present immigration policy. That doesn’t mean that they are bad people. Perhaps they didn’t understand the process – or perhaps the process, mired as it is in bureaucratic red tape – was just too onerous for them to feel the need to wait. And without a doubt, many of these people and their children would be excellent additions to the populace and citizenry of the United States. Personally, I would support a long term path to citizenship for these people. After all, by one means or another, most of us are the children of people who either immigrated here of their own free will – or were imported in the slave trade.
But it is equally clear, the shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco last week by an illegal who had been five times deported is not an isolated incident. There is an element of our illegal population that is criminal and has a background in illicit behavior not only in their home countries but here as well. And there are a significant number of these criminals who have been deported multiple times and have found a way to return. In my view, by placing economic duress on our economy, diverting our law enforcement people to devote resources to dealing with them and in many cases incarcerating them, they are engaging in economic terrorism as well as violent crime.
Do we have the right to protect the nation, by any means possible, from those who would attack us in acts of terror? No. We have that as a responsibility. So here’s a rather draconian but potentially effective way of dealing with this issue.
If we apprehend a person who enters the country illegally and deport that person, we should give him or her a warning that if that person returns to the country, other than through legal means, that person will, if apprehended a second time, be summarily executed as a foreign combatant and terrorist. No trials. No appeals. No exceptions.
One of my former employees came from Polish immigrant stock. She was a no nonsense kind of person who worked hard and expected to be paid for her efforts – and she was. And when she opened her own office for me she had no compunction about dismissing an employee who did not perform to the standards which we and she had set and to which they had agreed before being hired. As she put it, “When you play – you pay.”
Maybe it’s time we applied that same standard to illegal immigration.