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The cruelty of treating lawbreakers like criminals

When your opponent resorts to emotion in an argument, you can be fairly certain that you're winning.

Case in point: this sad tale from this morning's Boston Herald.

It's a tragic tale, of families torn asunder, children forcibly separated from parents, relatives forced to try to make up for the absence of others.

The only element missing is the root cause here, the "original sin:" just why did the government come in and take away all those mommies?

Because those mommies chose to break the law.

They chose to break the immigration and labor laws of this country they so loudly proclaim their love for.

Choices have consequences. And when you choose to break the law, you face the possibility of being arrested, detained, tried, incarcerated, and in their case deported back from whence they came.

I don't like the current immigration bill, but I do respect it in one sense -- it's attempting to make the law comply with the wishes of many people. I don't particularly think that it's a majority of the American people, but at least its proponents are working within the system -- and I have to respect that.

But the relatives of the author -- they wanted to cheat the system, to evade the law and live their lives outside of its controls -- and protections.

That was their choice, made freely. And it would be unjust to deny them the right -- the responsibility -- to accept the consequences of that choice.


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Comments (16)

Once again, the logic stipu... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Once again, the logic stipulated is this; we cannot send to jail any person having a family, no matter what the trangression.

Which would be great news for a lot of people who would like to stop paying their taxes.

Think that would fly?

Here's a question: does the... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Here's a question: does the punishment fit the crime?

Being in the country illegally IS a crime; what's the appropriate punishment? Perhaps what is being done now is the best we can do. Perhaps not.

It's a question worth pondering.

What an odd picture. People... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

What an odd picture. People crying like they are being sent to a concentration camp when all that is really being proposed is sending them home.

That is kind of heartless.<... (Below threshold)

That is kind of heartless.

Continuing the Boston Heral... (Below threshold)

Continuing the Boston Herald's suggestion in the excercise of empathy, let's look at this from the point of view of law-abiding immigrants. They're getting a Z-class Visa slap in the face.

This proposed amnesty policy calls for selective empathy.

"I did my best to take care... (Below threshold)

"I did my best to take care of [her daughter] even though I had not changed a diaper in more than 10 years."

Maybe we should only arrest mothers whose family members are used to changing diapers. That would be a logical way to apply the law.

Ah yes, tug at people's hea... (Below threshold)

Ah yes, tug at people's heart strings being careful to leave out any details. Was this mother already warned? Was there already a warrant for her? Did she have a visa and then over-stayed? A work-place raid, eh? Was she being paid under the table? Or did she produce fraudulent documentaton to get the job?

It's one thing to be in a country illegally, but compounding it with false ID or non-payment of taxes or abuse of social services or a combination of all three only adds to the list.

If she was so excited about becoming a citizen, why didn't she start the process legally from the beginning?

Let's say a mother gets caught shoplifting groceries. She gets caught and arrested. But she was stealing to feed her kid. Should she pay the price of committing a crime?

You're about 150 years late... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You're about 150 years late, Oyster, but I can recommend someone to handle your hypothetical.

Publicus, the punishment su... (Below threshold)

Publicus, the punishment suits the crime perfectly: deportation ends the ongoing criminal offense. The moving around the country is simply in the name of "due process" -- letting them have their hearings and the like before being shown the door.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the "punishment" -- in fact, I'd argue it is no punishment at all. It's the process between arrest and deportation that is causing them their heartache.

J.

LOL. Mantis, I had the same... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

LOL. Mantis, I had the same train of thought.

Kinda scary, upon further reflection...

That was the greatest 'Boo ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

That was the greatest 'Boo Freakin Hoo' story ever written. Send her the famous 'fickle finger of fate'.

If the United States really treats everyone equal regardless of 'anything', then the Amesty bill will require that every prisoner in the United States be given Amesty, a clean record, and a monthly welfare check. The prisoners are away from their familes and all they did was commit a crime, same (crime is crime) as 12-20 million criminals who crossed the border. Equal rights, Equal treatment.
A non citizen has no protection under the Constitution of the United States, only under immigration laws. The children of democrat/communist party will live to see the day they regret and hate their ancestors, and what their ancestors, (todays democrat/communist with a bruised ego) did to them.

The working American Citizen who actually pays taxes had better sew their pockets closed. The Amesty sham will cost, not millions, not billions, but Trillions of dollars. Right out of the working 'citizens' pocket.

Mantis, you're right. At s... (Below threshold)

Mantis, you're right. At some point it becomes a moral dilemma. But many of these people are counting on that. It's why so many cross the border to have their babies. They do it with the mind that, morally, we wouldn't separate a child from its mother. That's why we have to revisit the law that says anyone born on American soil is, by default, an American citizen.

Jay Tea --Ok. I go... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Jay Tea --

Ok. I gotta admit that immigration isn't a "hot button" issue for me...but I like the right questions to be asked, and for people to consider their conclusions. I also don't know much about this particular case.

My overall view is that we should, when it can be done reasonably, welcome immigrants. Of course, these days especially, we should be very carefully guarding our borders. But, we are, after all...a nation of immigrants. We can't accept everybody, but we shouldn't be unnecessarily harsh either.

What would have been the legal way for this person to become a citizen? I wonder why she didn't go that route.

That's why we have to re... (Below threshold)
mantis:

That's why we have to revisit the law that says anyone born on American soil is, by default, an American citizen.

I would agree, but it would be a long haul. The impetus for the laws which established that (Civil Rights Act of 1866 & 14th Amend.) was the reality of citizenship being denied to freed slaves, not concern for immigrants per se. Since multiple congresses have declined to push forth bills amending this, in large part because the constitutionality of any such law would likely be successfully challenged, a constitutional amendment seems like the only way of fixing the so-called "anchor baby" problem. I doubt many have the patience for that, but it seems like the only possible way.

Many if not most of the Lib... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Many if not most of the Liberal media is going to continue to push these "empathy/sympathy/families/children/needy illegals" stories. I think most of us U.S. citizens can easily recognize why. It's propoganda.

Same reason they can't use the correct term, "illegal aliens" and instead continue to push "immigrant" and "undocumented immigrant" or similar.

Same reason the Mexican/Hispanic spokespersons continue to smirk and smile and exclaim on television that "most of Americans want amnesty for undocumented workers" (we don't but it doesn't seem to change their declarations to the contrary).

I'm currently listening to the ever weird, Juan Hernandez on FOX exclaim various insincere statistics and call everyone his "friend." No one believes him but that doesn't seem to ever dampen his lunacy.

Maybe this will be interest... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Maybe this will be interesting to some of you. Here's a bunch of polling information, from a variety of organization, regarding public opinion on immigration issues.

http://www.pollingreport.com/immigration.htm




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