Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's wrong to deport children

marjorie says...

I'm often struck by the degree to which legalism permeates the way some people approach life. We are incredibly fortunate as a society to be so oriented toward the rule of law. It provides us a lot of protection. Nonetheless, our laws are simply man-made rules, not mandates from God. This is why we are always passing new ones to provide more nuance, or simply eliminate old ones. And this is why we have a long-standing tradition of civil disobedience in this country as well. To change the law often requires we change public perception first.

I don't always understand at first why a particular law may be harmful, because it doesn't affect me. I need people to point things out much of the time. Then there are other times when I have what I call my legal gut check. You know, everyone experiences it I think: "This is just wrong."

Which gets me back to the beginning. It's odd to me that some people are so wedded to the refrain "It's the law." As with the fellow in Roswell who referred an 18-year old pregnant high school student to the Feds, who then deported her.

Asked if he thought school-based officer Charlie Corn acted appropriately when he checked Karina Acosta's immigration status during a minor traffic stop, and subsequently referred her to immigration authorities, Roswell Police Chief John Balderston said:

"Does it matter— an 18-year-old? Where do we say no, that we are not going to enforce the laws of our land?"

Well, I say this is just wrong. Not to mention, it's racist also.

It's wrong because children grow up here without papers. Regardless of what you think about their parents, they had no choice in the matter and this is their home. Borders and laws be damned.

It's racist because it's easy for many white people to think this way when these immigration laws will never come close to affecting them or their families. I can see that some people enshrine legalism as their point of reference regardless of the outcome, which is problematic enough. But Balderston exposes himself when he goes on to say:

"It's not just people coming from Mexico, we have concerns about Middle Eastern men," Balderston said. "If we don't check (immigration status), if we turn our back, we are doing our country a disservice."

No, Balderston, your attitude does us a great disservice.

It's reported in the article that no one seems to know where Karina is at the moment. Well we need to find out. She deserves better, and so does her baby.