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Opening Arguments

Law-abiding criminals

I missed this the first time around in late July, but somebody else in the blogosphere linked to it, an editorial in the Indianapolis Star, which, once upon a time, was honestly conservative. These days, it is all over the map:

Last week's arrest of 14 illegal immigrants for their alleged ties to two notorious gangs might provide interesting insights into how those groups operate.

But the arrests should not strengthen stereotypes that paint immigrants as law-breaking desperados who came to the United States to expand their criminal activities. 

The editorial is under the headline, "Illegal doesn't make them criminals." What's the converse, "Legal doesn't make them law-abiding"? In all fairness, the editorial later acknowledges, rather weakly, that of course "entering the country without documentation is illegal," but the damage to logic, syntax and common sense has already been done by the headline and first two paragraphs.