Immigration and Trespass

If I invite an illegal immigrant to come stay in my house, is he trespassing?  My Arizona legislators think so:

State Representative Jonathan Paton, a Republican, ... added that he
would prefer to detain smuggled immigrants under trespassing laws, a
move lawmakers are considering under a package of bills intended to
crack down on illegal immigration.

Wikipedia describes trespass as "criminal act of going into somebody else's land or property without permission of the owner or lessee." 

The only way one can define an illegal immigrant at my house as "trespassing" is if one accepts some kind of statist-socialist view of property, that the state has effective ownership of my property.  I have asked this before, but do Republicans, who once upon a time were at least nominally the defenders of private property, have any idea what they are doing?


  1. Craig:

    Your property is your property, but if the illegal immigrant uses a public road to get there, or crosses public land, I think that should give the state the right to invoke the trespassing law.

  2. Jussi Hämäläinen:

    OT, but since you've been following the global warming issue, Der Spiegel has just published three articles on the matter in its online version.Instapundit also linked to Der Spiegel, but missed this must-read interview
    with one of Germany's top biologists, Josef Reichholf, on why he likes global warming:


    "SPIEGEL: And what is your view of the prognoses that global warming will cause up to 30 percent of all animal species to become extinct?

    Reichholf: It's nothing but fear-mongering, for which there is no concrete evidence. On the contrary, there is much to be said for the argument that warming temperatures promote biodiversity. There is a clear relationship between biodiversity and temperature. The number of species increases exponentially from the regions near the poles across the moderate latitudes and to the equator. To put it succinctly, the warmer a region is, the more diverse are its species..."

    "..SPIEGEL: But aren't you underestimating the rapid pace of the current warming? Many animals and plants are unable to adapt quickly enough to a changing climate.

    Reichholf: This claim is already contradicted by the fact that there have been much faster climate fluctuations in the past, which did not automatically lead to a global extinction of species. As a biologist, I can tell you that only the fewest animals and plants are accustomed to rigid climate conditions..."

    Read the whole thing.

  3. Highway:

    I'm trying to figure out which is the cynical view: That the legislators who are pushing this don't know what they're doing, because they're ignorant idiots, or that they DO know what they're doing, because they're statist power grabbers.

    Aw, heck, let's say that there's some of both, and they're both cynical, and probably both right, sadly.

  4. Mesa EconoGuy:


    Section 158, Restatement, states:

    “One is subject to liability to another for trespass, irrespective of whether he thereby causes harm to any legally protected interest of the other if he intentionally
    (a) enters land in possession of the other, or causes a thing or third person to do so, or
    (b) remains on the land, or
    (c) fails to remove from the land a thing which he is under duty to remove.”

    [Richard A. Mann, Barry S. Roberts, Smith and Roberson’s Business Law, 9th Ed., p. 149-150]

    Further, Section 164 states that it is no defense that the intruder acted upon the mistaken belief (e.g. that we aren’t enforcing immigration law) of law or fact that he was not trespassing.

    Land Possession:

    “The right of possessors of land to use that land for their own benefit and enjoyment is limited by their duty to do so in a reasonable manner; that is, by their use of their land, they cannot cause unreasonable risks of harm to others.” (Ibid., p. 178)

    In other words, I can’t put up a toxic waste dump on my property to generate income for me, ignoring the consequences to you, my neighbor Coyote. Likewise, you can’t harbor trespassing illegals on your property (or, presumably, place of employment) because their high propensity to drive and get into accidents while uninsured constitutes an infringement on my rights as a legal citizen and a danger to me and my family.

    These stipulations are very specific in their recognition of 1) private property rights, and 2) limitations thereof, in limited mitigating circumstances. It is perfectly legal for the AZ Legislature to enact supports to this extant legislation, especially when the federal laws aren’t currently being enforced.

  5. BobH:

    I don't think trespass laws are a particularly effective way to address the immigration issue, but the law is intended to deal with their trespass in Arizona generally, not in Coyote Manor.

  6. Global Warming:


    You're kidding, right? You really mean that public space should be considered the private realm of the police? Effectively meaning that I must ask permission in order to go to the store? You do realize that if you take away anyone's right to free movement you take away all of our rights, don't you? And you're ok with that?

  7. Craig:


    I think public space is the "private realm" of those legally in this country.

  8. amy:

    I rent a space in an RV park. If someone walks across the space (in front of or in back of the RV) without warning and without permission, is he trespassing?