Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: More mandatory minimums, this time for immigrants

Yet another immigration-related bill comes from Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California. In January, Mr. Issa filed H.R. 45 to “impose mandatory sentencing ranges with respect to aliens who reenter the United States after having been removed …”

Didn’t we learn from the (failed) Drug War that mandatory minimums do not deter lawbreakers and only take power from judges?

Mr. Issa’s bill mandates a year in jail for an illegal immigrant with a clean record who re-enters the U.S. illegally. Currently, the law only provides a maximum penalty of 2 years in jail. The bill would also impose much higher mandatory minimums on immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S.

The parallels to the failed mandatory minimum policies for drug offenses are not unnoticed by criminal justice activists. The Families Against Mandatory Minimums looked up some recent statistics on immigration offenses and found that of the 73,277 people sentenced in 2009, over 90 percent were for illegally entering the U.S. and/or helping others across. Most had no prior criminal record.

FAMM also found that judges already gave most offenders close to maximum sentences. Is there really a need for mandatory minimums?

Rating: 3 teabags

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A shout-out to Help With CSS

I really don’t pimp too many blogs on here, but I had to give a public thank you to “Halluke” over at Help With CSS blog.

As you can see, I’ve done some re-painting on the blog here. Some of the redesign required changing this theme’s CSS code — yeah, I know, I’ve already lost you. Me, too. After hours of looking for some sort of answer to my blog woes, I posted my problem on the WordPress.com CSS forums and — wallah — this helpful blogger gave me all the info I needed.

So, please, hop on over to Help With CSS and give this guy some hits.