Illegal Immigration – A Teachable Moment
Not to long ago there was a story in the local paper about three sisters who were facing the possibility of deportation. There was a great hue and outcry locally about how unfair this was. They were brought here by their parents some thirty years ago. It wasn’t their fault. They had jobs and children. They paid their taxes and were responsible people. This just wasn’t fair.
Some days later Barrack Hussien Obama declared that he would simply ignore Federal law and unilaterally choose not to enforce federal immigration law for an entire class of people. There was much relief, delight and indeed celebration throughout the illegal immigrant community and their supporters.
I on the other hand, was sick.
This story is a magnificent teachable moment. That is if you are willing to be objective. Most people today have swallowed in their entirety all the false premises embodied by this unfolding “tragedy”. To simplify things I will use these sisters to illustrate my points. Lets start at the beginning.
These sisters were indeed brought into the country by parents who became illegal in their status and made the choice not to become legal. That was clearly not the sisters fault and until they reached the age of majority I would certainly not hold them accountable for their parents actions.
However, buried deep in the story was this interesting little tidbit. These sisters, now adults, were made aware of their status at least once by the Immigration dept nearly a dozen years ago when their case was brought up. The fact that they choose not to go through the process to become legal reveals more about them than they or their supporters care to admit. Can anyone say entitlement mentality? The sisters most decidedly can and did.
Now, let’s address calmly a couple of the more “emotional” aspects of this incident to see where the application of reason leads us in this example. Let’s find out.
“But the children, but the children, its not their fault.” It’s not fair to the children of these sisters if we send their parents back to Mexico. Really? It has been well established that having children in this country does not confer upon you citizenship. There is an established, and yes its cumbersome, process for that. A nation that allows anyone to waltz in and claim citizenship at the drop of a hat is not a nation for long.
Answer me this, why does the fact that you have children exclude you from the consequences of the law?
Further, why would you use your children as an excuse to continue violating the law? Even worse in my mind, why would you use your children as an excuse to avoid responsibility for your choices?
What if we applied this twisted sort of logic to identity thieves? I can hear it now. “Well, my kids needed food and clothing so I stole someone’s identity. I just took all their money, their retirement funds and took out a few loans. Hey, we deserved that big screen TV and Hawaiian vacation. I was just taking care of my family. You can’t punish me for that.” The sad thing is this actually happens, although you will never hear about it.
“But they have jobs and pay taxes!” I see. I don’t like to be redundant but, really? Being illegal they are not allowed to have jobs in this country. I wonder whose social security numbers were hijacked to allow these sisters to “have jobs and pay taxes.” Can someone explain to me the legal principle that allows one to violate some laws without penalty because you follow other laws? That level of intellectual flexibility eludes me.
To those who say we would be punishing unfairly the children of these sisters I would offer the following. Yes, it would be hard on them. I don’t doubt that they would be sad to see their parents return to Mexico. They might even go with them. This however is not our fault. It is merely a natural consequence of the decisions these sisters have made. All of this stems from two factors, their choice to ignore the law after being made aware of it officially and their belief that they are entitled to remain here in violation of the law.
I cannot help but compare the situation to that of a friend of mine. Her and her husband have spent well over a year and at last count nearly $12,000 to get her husbands legal status. How is it that these sisters are more deserving of legal status than my friends husband? If the law remains un-enforced just what message is being sent? Hide out long enough and the law will look the other way?
It is time for someone to be the adult in this situation. Since the sisters and their parents chose to abdicate that role the state should step in. That there are laws and that these laws have consequences is a lesson that these sisters chose to ignore or gloss over.
Life has a way of teaching us important lessons in ways that stick with us. These sisters and their children, by undergoing this experience would be learning a valuable and yes uncomfortable lesson about consequences and the law. I believe though it is a lesson, long in coming, that needs to taught.