The Latest Immigration Balloon

May 25, 2010

The latest proposal for immigration legislation stresses border security.  As an indicator in how far the immigration debate has moved, it is New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer who is one of the sponsors of this latest proposal. It calls for more federal agents and other enforcement at the border with benchmarks before illegal residents can become American citizens.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, Senate Majority Leader, Senator Schumer of New York, and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, all Democrats, are sponsoring the legislation.  The benchmarks they proposed are: a) more ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) inspectors at work sites; b) more ICE officers assigned to investigate fraudulent documents and better means to spot fake documents; c) more personnel assigned to find contraband at ports; d) additional resources to prosecute drug and human smugglers, for illegal border crossings, and deportations.

The legislation does not specify the number of agents to be added or the exact increase in resources. It would create a two-tier system for granting citizenship to those here illegally, but before the benchmarks are met, the Department of Homeland Security could begin registering and screening illegal immigrants and considering them for an interim legal status.  These people could begin to apply for legal permanent residence, eight years after backlogs of visas have been cleared for those who have come to the U.S.

The State of Arizona’s new immigration law has prompted new demands that Congress pass a comprehensive immigration bill.  Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that the drug violence along the Mexico-American border is evidence that the border is not secure.  He said there would be no comprehensive immigration bill this year.

Democrats have been unable so far to lasso a second Republican, in addition to Graham, to join writing a bi-partisan immigration bill.  The Democrat’s proposal floated yesterday appears to be an attempt to invite more Republicans to join them.

Larceny in Oklahoma instead of Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers

May 15, 2009

When you find apparently abandoned property, you may think it’s “finders keepers.”  But in Oklahoma, if you find it and keep it, you could be prosecuted.

Larceny – Lost Property

One who finds lost property under circumstances which gives him knowledge or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person who is not entitled thereto, without having first made such effort to find the owner and restore the property to him as the circumstances render reasonable and just, is guilty of larceny.
Oklahoma Statutes, Title 21, Section 1702 (Supp: 2009)

Interestingly, this statute which was enacted in 1910, has not one court decision construing it.

What is the penalty for such larceny?  That depends on the “degree” of the larceny, which in turn is defined by the value of the item found:

Degrees of Larceny

Larceny is divided into two degrees; the first of which is termed grand larceny, the second petit larceny.  Title 21, Section 1703 (Supp: 2009)

Grand Larceny and Petit Larceny – Definitions

Grand larceny is larceny committed in either of the following cases:

1. When the property taken is of value exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).

2. When such property, although not of value exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), is taken from the person of another.

Larceny in other cases is petit larceny.
Oklahoma Statutes, Title 21, Section 1704 (Supp: 2009)

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