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Mon, Oct. 21

Friday Catchall: Should criminal illegals be ‘removable’?

The Friday Catchall:

• CLARIFICATION — Congressman Paul Gosar has reintroduced the Criminal Alien Removal Clarification Act, saying that non-citizens, convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors, are “removable.”

What this means is people here illegally can be deported if they are convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors.

Makes perfect sense.

The language, Gosar’s office says, avoids loopholes, simplifies the code (making it clear who does or doesn’t qualify) and gives codified guidance to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

“I support putting the safety of American citizens first,” Gosar stated in a news release. “The lack of clarification in our laws regarding criminal alien eligibility for removal cripples the ability to keep our communities safe.”

The challenge is that last year, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a similar measure that was part of the aggravated felony definition of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The court ruling created a loophole where criminal aliens, including felons, would be allowed to stay and could even be allowed to come back after deportation.

So — no offense to Gosar, who should be applauded for his legislation — we have laws that are broken, and illegals who are convicted of them are “unclear” on this and not removed or can come back?

< Shakes head in disbelief. >

• OTHER NONSENSICAL THINGS — From time to time, we see stories that defy logic.

For instance, the AP has reported the state of Arizona wants a judge to hold off on her threat to order $1.6 million in additional contempt-of-court fines against the state for failing to adequately follow through on its promises to improve health care for its 33,000 prisoners.

Basically, the government needs to improve health care for its prisoners, but that has not happened, and a U.S. District judge may order contempt penalties (the fines).

The state’s lawyers say Arizona would be forced to “unnecessarily undergo extensive contempt proceedings and undertake payment of exorbitant contempt” if the judge denies the request.

Shouldn’t the state improve its compliance? Still, if you’re found in contempt (for not doing what you’re ordered to do) you should face fines.

Any one of us would have to pay. Oh, wait, this is taxpayer money the state would pay. It’s our money.

Now that is a Catch-22.

• DROUGHT — I just heard from family in Colorado that they are not considered in “drought conditions” for the first time since 2000.

Here’s how I look at it: It all depends on how they figure it.

The Prescott area’s annual precipitation level is supposed to be about 15 inches or so. If one year we receive 10, we have a deficit of 5 inches. The next year, let’s say we get 12; deficit is now 8 inches (the 5 plus 3 more).

That means we need 15 inches plus the 8 to catch up. But we never do, and “experts” say we are only in a “moderate” drought here.

But the deficit in Yavapai County is about 30 inches over the past 20 years of an expected 25-year drought!

Even with a great year in 2018 and a nice winter of 2018-19, I say it is all hogwash. Colorado not in a drought? Tell that to the plants and trees that are stunted or just hanging on because of prior low-level precipitation years.

Wonder what they will say when the next wildfire rips through the forest.

• QUOTE — “The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.” — Joseph Heller, “Catch-22.”

• PICK OF THE WEEK(Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): The Prescott Film Festival is presenting “Wish Man,” the movie about Prescott’s own Frank Shankwitz, founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, at 7 p.m. Friday, June 7, at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St. I’m told it will also be showing at Harkins next week!

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.

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