Illegal Aliens Are Criminals – Period

by Diane Dimond on September 13, 2008

The Illegal Way To Enter America

The Illegal Way To Enter America


his is the sound of me opening a Pandora’s Box. But crimes are being committed so I must.

Look, I’m a sympathetic person. I openly weep at complete stranger’s misfortunes. But I cannot abide people who break the law and then want sympathy because they get caught and punished.

I’m speaking about those immigrants, in this country illegally, who’ve been recently caught up in a federal sweep of suspect workplaces.

Yeah, yeah – I know all about the Statue of Liberty plaque declaring America welcomes the world’s huddled masses. And I’m all for that – if it is done in an organized, respectful, legal way. Immigrants have to follow the laws – just as we Americans have to – otherwise we stay mired in the immigration chaos we have now.

The illegal immigration problem is like tackling the massive energy supply problem. We have to start somewhere. For years our leaders let the immigration situation get the better of us – through both Democratic and Republican administrations. And, now as steps are being taken to try to get it under control critics scream that America is mean-spirited, inhumane and bigoted.


If America is so cold-hearted then why are some 12 million illegal immigrants already living and working here and enjoying the benefit of our schools, hospitals and welfare programs? And some have been allowed to stay in the United States for decades. That doesn’t sound uncaring to me.

Recently, federal agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) moved in to Laurel, Mississippi and arrested nearly 600 suspected illegal aliens. They were from Brazil, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Peru. Their employer was the Howard Industries electronics factory. After the roundup Howard released a statement declaring that it runs “every check allowed by law to ascertain the immigration status of all applicants. It is company policy (to) hire only U. S. citizens and legal immigrants.”

I don’t know if the company is telling the whole truth there. But I do know that some of those arrested in Mississippi were charged with identity theft. Just like many of the 300 suspects I.C.E. agents arrested back in May at a meat processing plant in Postville, Iowa. And, just like many of 1,297 workers picked up in a six state raid of Swift Meat Packing plants in December 2006. The charge: they stole another person’s identity so they could get work in America.

They compounded their own criminality.

After entering our country illegally many of these people then got work in the United States illegally by using the stolen identities of American citizens. Now that employers are under strict hiring guidelines the feds say immigrants show up to apply for work with original looking U.S. birth certificates, phony-but-authentic looking social security cards and other convincing documents they’ve bought from well established, organized counterfeit rings.

Some of the stolen identities are those of dead Americans, most are still living. Think of the identity theft mess these U.S. citizens will encounter when they are confronted with bills they don’t owe, learn their credit has been ruined or their Social Security retirement fund is in question.

I know, I know … the immigrants buy the identities in an urgent effort to follow a dream, to feed and educate their family and I feel for them. But they can’t be allowed to pursue their dream by victimizing American citizens and committing multiple felonies.

It’s also crystal clear that some greedy companies are guilty of exploiting these desperate people because it provides them with a cheaper workforce. Those companies need to be prosecuted too.
Arizona, the state that endures more illegal entries than any other, has what appears to be an effective law. Any business found employing an illegal immigrant has its license suspended. A second offense and the business’s license is revoked permanently. Two strikes and your out and businesses are said to be taking the new sanctions very seriously.

I feel profoundly sad for the plight of hard working illegal aliens and, especially, the position in which their own bad judgment put their families. But they are the ones who chose to break the law to get here and to stay here.

Some of the family members and supporters of the recently arrested staged protests complete with banners and chants that declare ‘We have a right to be here, too.”

Ummm. Actually, they don’t. Everyone has human rights, but no automatic right to full U.S. protection. First, they’re not Americans. Second, they are accused of committing multiple felonies. Criminals loose their rights – period. This position isn’t cold hearted. It’s firmly grounded in the rule of law on which this country was founded.

As former President Jimmy Carter once famously said, “Life is not fair. Get used to it.”

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

arturo fernandez September 13, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Crossing the border without documents is “criminal” like going over the speed limit makes someone a “criminal”. Calling them “criminals, period” says more about you than about them. It’s for that reason I suspect you insist over and over that you’re kind, generous, and compassionate. Well, it is not kind to invite these people with jobs and for lower prices and than show only derision for them.


Diane September 13, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Yes, you are right. It is a criminal act, Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t make up that designation (and I think its way more aggregious than speeding).
I also take exception with your claim that I’ve invited people to enter our country illegally. Nonsense. And I don’t show “only derision for them” – I just want them to have to obey the laws of our land like everyone else is expected to do.
Doing something honorably is better than doing it by cheating.


Diane September 13, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Mr. Fernandez continues his comments below….Please scroll down.


Denise Niemann September 14, 2008 at 10:32 am

I did my thesis on illegal immigration and it is something that every citizen should be concerned about. It costs us billions every year in health, education, crime, jobs and our country’s security. It is ridiculous to compare entering our country to a speeding ticket. One is a felony and the other is a misdemeanor. Would you feel the same way if someone came into your house and helped themselves to your valuables? It is really the same thing. They are breaking into our country.


Diane September 13, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Sent by B.B. California
On behalf of every American that has served to protect this country, I want to thank you for writing this article. Your are so right on. My grandparents were immigrants and they did it legally. Please keep singing this song until everyone in Washington, every American citizen hears it loud and clear. It is the truth.


Diane September 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Sent by Ed Lozzi, Beverly Hills

Diane………Pulitzer deserved for you on this one. Excellent.


Dave, Salisbury, MD September 13, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Crime is crime regardless of how we want to rationalize it. You want to come to this country, do it as the many immigrates did in the past ( legally ). However, if you’re here illegally and using our welfare, medical and other means of social support you are robbing from the hard working individuals who also have a dream of being able to retire one day and enjoying what they worked so hard for. Great story Diane and one that will be reported on for years to come.


Jamie August 15, 2009 at 10:26 pm

You people seriously have no idea! Taxes get taken out of their paychecks as well and it is so much harder to get citizenship than people realize. Americans are ignorant and blind to why they come here in the first place. There are barely any jobs available where they come from and even those that are, don't pay near enough to support yourself, let alone a family. They come here to give their families a good life and if you could go and see how these people live, I think you would think twice before saying the dick headed things that you know nothing about. Families are ripped apart because of people like you. People that have no idea what they're talking about. Because if something like that happened in your family, I am sure you would tell a completely story.


arturo fernandez September 13, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Diane, speeding can kill someone. That’s more egregious than crossing the border without documents. We set speed limits like we set limits on immigration. Obviously, we’ve needed more workers than what we’ve allowed legally. It’s like lowering the speed limit to 10 mph on a highway. The solution would be to increase the speed limit allowed, not deride drivers as “criminals”.

We most certainly invite them with jobs and for lower prices. Businesses respond to what’s valuable to the consumer, so they’ve hired 12 million undocumented workers, or illegal immigrants, to give us what we want. That counts as an invitation to me. “Invasion” would be the word used to deride them.


Diane September 13, 2008 at 10:35 pm

From Marty in New Jersey

Diane – Just read your most recent article…its great that we have illegals supporting the work of global organized crime by purchasing the stoleb identities to further support their fraud against the citizens of the good old USA. We are in deep trouble. We need to interogate these squaters to pursue prosecution of the crime groups selling stolen identities.


arturo fernandez September 13, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Marty, the use of fraudulent documents has increased as government has made it more difficult to hire these people. So just leaving workers alone, and letting businesses decide what makes businesses prosper (which makes the USA prosper), is the way to solve the fraudulent document problem.


Shelley September 13, 2008 at 11:38 pm

Arturo needs to stuff a sock in it and knock it off with the strawman argument. Illegal aliens are here illegally and they were not invited here. No one gets invited here. You have to go through a lot of paperwork and follow the laws just like my Aussie sister-in-law did and she’s not too happy that some think they can just skip all that and waltz right in. My husband works at the second largest not-for-profit hospital in this state. They are HURTING to keep their costs down and their doors open because of all the indigent patients they are required by law to treat. If this hospital goes down it hurts the entire
community. That’s not a sacrifice we should have to make and I don’t want to
travel a hundred miles if I need an ER in a hurry. What gets me is the large
crowds of illegal aliens demonstrating and demanding that we hand over our
rights to them! Why don’t they take that energy and march on the Mexican
government or wherever they come from and demand that THEIR OWN
government provide them with all the services that they’re stealing from the
citizens of this country. Make your own government clean itself up and
provide you with an economy that can support it’s citizens. Quit dumping the problems on this side of the border.


Shelley September 13, 2008 at 11:56 pm

PS- By the way, Arturo, Diane is absolutely a nice person. I’ve known her for a few years and there were times when I wish she’d get mean and spill some of the juicy things she knows about some people but she won’t. She’s just too nice.


arturo fernandez September 14, 2008 at 12:26 am

Shelley, I don’t doubt she’s nice to many people in many different ways.


arturo fernandez September 14, 2008 at 12:12 am

Shelly, they didn’t “waltz right in”. Their entry, as their life here in general, is more difficult than the rest of us. They sacrifice more and get less. Now that they’re here because Americans gave them jobs to give American consumers what they want, amnesty is only fair.

Those whom you think are illegal immigrants demonstrating and demanding are actually Americans defending these people being viciously attacked by the anti-illegal-immigrants fanatics. We happen to believe that these fanatics are the real danger to our country, the USA.


Shelley September 14, 2008 at 1:37 am

Arturo, don’t blame me as a consumer for the plight of illegal aliens. I do not want corporate america to give them jobs. I would rather pay a little more for the things I consume than support low-wage slavery. If I knew exactly what companies employ illegal aliens I would not buy their products. No one forces them to risk their lives coming here. That’s their choice. They know they’re breaking our laws when they cross our borders. I can’t muster up any sympathy for anyone who then commits another crime by stealing social security numbers. I work hard for what I have and I obey the laws of this country. I am no anti-illegal-immigrant fanatic. I am against people who are not here legally,
who steal social security numbers, who stress our services until they break, and generally bring down what little quailty of life we have left. Most illegal aliens
are hard working people with families to support. I want them to stay in their
own country and use that work ethic to improve the conditions there. Mexico is
a beautiful country and I love the culture and customs and it’s sad to me that so
many have to risk their lives and break laws to come here to support themselves and their families. The Americans who support illegal aliens need to
put pressure on the countries whose citizens can’t make a living wage and force
them to quit dumping their problems on us. We can’t save the entire world.
They need to start saving themselves. It’s a complex problem, no easy solutions but the way things are now isn’t working for illegals or legals.


arturo fernandez September 14, 2008 at 11:14 am

Shelly, don’t try to take the consumer out of the equation, who is actually the most important part of it. Ours is a consumer-driven economy. When we go to the grocery store, we seek out low prices for what we buy. Growers and everyone else involved in getting us those products need to cut costs to give the consumer the lowest possible price. With illegal immigrants is how they do it. It’s very typical to say “if I knew which companies do this I wouldn’t shop there”, but that’s nonsense. Here in Southern California you can get a carwash for ten dollars ($6.99 on weekdays before 10:00 a.m.) and it doesn’t take a genius to know that the guys in front of you cleaning your car are illegal immigrants. No one says anything. In my middleclass neighborhood, every hot afternoon on almost every house, you see illegal immigrants mowing the lawns. These houses are owned by regular Americans not “greedy corporations”.

You might say you’d be willing to pay more, but so far the only message going out to corporate American is that you want to pay less. If the message was going out to growers that you want to pay more so they can double of triple their workers’ pay, they’d do it.

No one is asking for sympathy, just not vicious attacks. Don’t confuse fairness and respect for others as generosity and kindness on your part. Illegal immigrants sacrifice more and get less, but they’re better off here than where they came from. And Americans are better off too. Over the past 30 years, with 12 million illegal immigrants coming in, we’ve seen great economic expansion, low levels of unemployment, a decline in crime rates, etc. Things are much better than 30 years ago.

It is true that we’re having to spend more on education and health care. But we should again blame anti-illegal-immigrant hysteria for that. Once upon a time, when crossing the border was easy, workers would come to work, go back with family, come back to work, etc. It’s now more difficult to cross the border, so those coming are coming to stay and bringing their families when they can. Greater enforcement and the fence have been a very bad idea, and a big waste of money.


Diane September 14, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Arturo –
I’ve read all your many comments and I find them to be very well thought out even though I disagree with them. Until you got to this:

“… it doesn’t take a genius to know that the guys in front of you cleaning your car are illegal immigrants. No one says anything. In my middleclass neighborhood, every hot afternoon on almost every house, you see illegal immigrants mowing the lawns…”

I consider that to be the most blantant form of profiling! If a gringo (like myself, raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico) made a blanket statement like that we’d be slapped down with cries of, “Bigot – Racist!” I don’t think everyone who looks Hispanic who’s washing a car or cutting a lawn in this country is an illegal. In fact I know for sure that Alex Flores who brings his crew to my house every Wednesday to trim the lawn is a full fledged American citizen. ~ DD


arturo fernandez September 14, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Diane, I won’t accuse you of profiling, just common sense. I’ve talked to the guys who mow lawns in my neighborhood and they’re never asked for documents. Homeowners don’t care, because they’re getting a good deal. In California over half of foreign-born legal residents started out as illegal immigrants. I don’t know if Alex Flores and his crew started out as illegal immigrants, but chances are they did, or their parents did. So being aware that the people cleaning our homes and cleaning our tables when we enjoy a fine dinner at restaurant are illegal immigrants won’t get you accused of being a racist, unless you start looking down on them. But I myself wouldn’t accuse you of racism necessarily, just elitism.


Lyn September 14, 2008 at 11:27 am

Hey Diane, firstly I want to say great job for doing Nancy’s show on Friday evening.

Totally agree with all your comments. I am a Permanent Resident (the word alien does not sit well with me for some reason) and I did it legally.

I beleive that companies that employ “illegal immigrants” deserve to be punished. When I got my job I had to prove that I was legally allowed to work in this country . However, there are alot of good “counterfeit” document providors out there. I would never have considered that…I would have been too nervous and would not have been able to live with myself. Alot of these workers and employers (wanting cheap labor of course) don;t seem to give a toss unfortunately. I am all for legal immigrants doing this the right way but those who break the law deserve to be punished.

Great article Diane, hope to see you back on Nancy’s show soon.
Lyn in Minneapolis


arturo fernandez September 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Lyn, I disagree with you. Companies that create more jobs than there are workers for should be congratulated, not punished.


Diane September 14, 2008 at 12:22 pm

So interesting to hear from someone who actually has gone through the LEGAL process! Thanks for writing, Lyn. ~ DD


Diane September 14, 2008 at 12:22 pm

From Laura S. in Gallup, New Mexico
Hi There:
Really agree with your synopsis on immigration. Great article, because it did not ignore compassion … but acknowledges problem and only possible resolution. Thanks. L


Diane September 14, 2008 at 12:43 pm

From Don D. in Albuquerque, New Mexico

I liked the editorial. I continue to be amazed that city, state and local governments, not to mention our do nothing Congress, still look the other way at illegal immigration. They’re breaking the law, violating the border of this nation and cheating to get jobs. I’ve had people say “You mean to tell me you’ve never hired some unknown hanging around at Home Depot or Lowe’s?” My answer is no, I have never done so.
It’s pure insanity. UNM gives known illegals in state tuition but if you’re a US citizen and a resident of TX, they charge you out of state tuition. Give a criminal a better deal than the US citizen. Simply staggering. Our delightful mayor wants us to be another enabler of illegals, another sanctuary city. Shameful.
The other chant of the “lets not sweat illegals crowd” is “are you willing to pay for more expensive produce and other things?” Yes I am. I’d also enjoy being able to converse with the room service at hotels when I travel, not hearing “no comprende.”

Keep up the good work. Don


arturo fernandez September 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Don, it’s very easy for a TX resident to get in-state tuition in NM. Just become a NM resident. Easy and it takes very little time. It’s an impossibility for illegal immigrants to do so, so in-state tuition for them is the right thing to do. Better, we should give them legal residents. These are people seeking a college education, who more often started their education in this country, with other Americans so they’re no different than Americans. They’re Americans and should be recognized legally that way.


Jean Smillie September 14, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Saw you last Friday night on the Nancy Grace hour,did a great job as usual! Read all the remarks above and you would be surprised how a lot of same things are going on in ND.


Lyn September 14, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Arturo…my God….you certainly do take this extremely seriously – I do too but not to the degree you do. Dare I ask…….are you an illegal immigrant by chance? Or…………your views indicate some sort of “feel sorry ” for them scenario. I actually do not agree with some of your points but I know what it;s not easy – I got married and had to stay in the UK for one year before I got my visa at the US Embassy in London. Anyway, I am not one to argue..I will just go on reading everyone’s “two cents worth”. This is obviously a topic that alot of people do not agree on…Diane..I am with you girl! Cheers.
Lyn in MN


arturo fernandez September 14, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Lyn, of course I take it seriously. We’re talking about 12 million people. One doesn’t have to “feel sorry” for them, but simply respect them as human beings.


Lyn September 14, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Arturo – are you superglued to your seat?


arturo fernandez September 14, 2008 at 6:54 pm

I’m waiting for reasonable arguments from your side. Nothing comes.


Diane September 14, 2008 at 7:25 pm

From Dave M.

Hi Diane,
I read your article about the illegal immigration problems.

Jimmy Carter isn’t the only one who said that life is not fair. Bill Gates said it, and John F. Kennedy said that life is unfair. Maybe it’s that life isn’t ALWAYS fair. One way that life isn’t especially fair is that it is difficult to analyze it and describe it.

We should start right here at home to make America a more livable country for Americans first. It will help to stop equating socialism with communism. It will help to give welfare to all who need it, not just to obvious single-parents and semi-invalids. It will help to upgrade the education system so that EVERYONE EVERYWHERE has guidance counselors in middle school and high school, to help them get the best idea of what line of work to go into.

Once America is more livable for its own people, then possibly we might consider how to make America a heaven on earth for those from other countries.

Certainly, I have seen more than one documentation which stated that illegal immigrants have gotten as many privileges as (or more privileges than) the Americans who are paying the taxes for these privileges. I do understand the function of your article.

Stay surefooted!

Dave Maclay


Nancy Robel September 17, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I agree with your commentary regarding illegal immigrants. We are now experiencing the widespread repurcussions of our lax application of enforcing immigration laws. Having worked in law enforcement for many years, I have witnessed a fluctutaion in the way the immigration laws are enforced depending on the federal budget and the prevailing political popularity of making illegal immigration a priority. I do know this, I store in my property and evidence unit, countless forged social security cards, alien resident cards and driver’s licenses, seized from undocumented aliens who commit various violations. When the cases are over, I take a stack of forged social security cards to the Social Security office hoping they have the staff to track the numbers and see if the illegal use has impacted the person the number actually belonged to. Many of their cars are towed for committing vehicle code violations because they never learned our laws for driving and they obtained a forged license. I look at the various criminal charges being brought against this population and realize they don’t even know what the law is in this country. Illegal sex with a minor is with any person under the age of 18 years, in America. Wherever they are from, it is obvious that the cultural differences put them at an extreme disadvantage. Still, ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. And to be honest, they are many times victims as much as they are suspects. Because of the language barriers, fear of getting deported and not knowing what resources are available to them, many of the crimes against them go unreported. Still, our criminal justice system is being inundated with this population of people. And I haven’t even digressed to the impact on our school systems and medical care. Arizona seems to be “taking the bull by the horns” and applying a no nonsense approach to correcting the problems. Good for them. We should all look to their example and start implementing our own policies for bringing this problem under control. We have created this monster and the time is now to start somewhere and begin implementing and enforcing fair, consistent immigration laws.


ENFORCER December 23, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Hey Arturo, you are full of it. The illegal Aliens are criminals period. Crossing the border illegally is a crime plain and simple. You can try to justify it all you want. No one is inviting them here. The small business owners are hiring them once they are already here. I am sick of Mexicans being allowed to just sneak into the country as they please and nothing is done about it while other immigrants from almost every other country in the world must wait years and go through a vigorous process to come here and live here. It is a myth that illegal aliens are only here to work. many of them are here committing crimes, are incarcerated, stealing social security numbers, and in gangs. Furthermore, no one is telling these people to have 40 kids when they don’t have the ability to take care of them. How about some accountability being placed on the individual for making poor choices and quit you whining about the plight of the illegal Aliens already. It is not the USA’s responsibility to clean up other countries’ messes. So Adios Amigo.


akemma April 13, 2009 at 6:12 am

I think that is deplorable that anyone would say that people who come this country to better themselves are criminals and they deserve punishment. I don't how anyone American citizen or not can sit on a high and mighty horse and say that illegal immigrants are criminal and horrible. Did americans forget that the first americans the pilgrims can over to this new land illegal no one invited them, they did not get documentation or anything like that. and then to make it worse they killed the people who actually there. so we all are immigrants in some aspect. So all u people who are basicially saying stone them, look at yourself and your past history and then let me see u cast the first stone. it is easy to speak about something that you have never gone through, but i want to see anyone who has commented negatively, go to mexico or any other third world country and live how illegal immigrants live and tell me how you like it and if u would wait years to get out of poverty and death. It is very sad to see that the human race has no more empathy.


thgirbla July 2, 2009 at 8:18 am

ANYTHING after the words "ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS RIGHTS", fall on these deaf ears !!!

BTW" Diane Diamond is still one HOT Babe !!!


drybackhere July 13, 2009 at 7:59 pm

It is the group of right wing extreemists that push the ideals of heartless hate. Miss Diamond is only a flash in the pan when you consider many of the republicans and democrats on the forefront of immigration reform are in reality blaming the victim (poor brown folks) here. Immigrants don't steal jobs, identities or create much crime. All theses crimes come to them. I'd like to see White America exist without Mexicans and other Latinos doing the hard labor in agriculture such as picking fruit. Where is America during harvest time? On vacation? Don't believe politicians have your best interest in mind when they push for immigration reform. They are just going along with the flow. In reality they are more concerned about making money and lots of it through banking and other investments abroad. Don't be dumb America Immigratrion reform is just a tactic to make you happy for the moment. Will getting rid of immigrants get you a job? Of course not.


Jon October 2, 2009 at 1:11 am

“Criminals loose their rights – period.”

I agree. No one wants criminals with tightened rights.


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