Technically, Rudy Giuliani was being accurate on Glen Beck when he said that illegal immigration is not a crime in that illegal immigrants are deported, not imprisoned, and deportation proceedings are civil, not criminal. And let’s face it, in reality, immigration hawks do not want to add 12 million people to the prison system, which would compound the financial cost of illegal immigration–they just want them kicked out of the country. The problem for Rudy is that while what he said was legally accurate, it was rhetorically explosive in the context of a Republican primary. People who are fired up about illegal immigration do not want to hear hair splitting over the difference between illegal and criminal. The NY Sun offers a defense of Rudy here.
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