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Old 01-10-2018, 10:03 AM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 18,183
This question raises the difference between legal and equitable concerns.

Certainly, at law, in most jurisdictions it doesn't matter how long a person residing in a country illegally has been there.

The question though is whether it should matter - because after a certain point, it may be more disruptive to society as a whole to have a person residing illegally deported, than to somehow regularize their situation.

Problem is the concern that such a rule would basically encourage law-breaking. A similar concern is raised by limitation periods - that if you 'get away' with an offence for so long, you effectively 'get away' with it forever.

Limitation periods raise other, different concerns as well (fading memories, disappearing evidence).