On Compassion and Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

An analogy:

A man has been stealing from his employer for many years.  He has done so successfully and undetected.  He is so successful that his family enjoys a better lifestyle than they otherwise would- they eat better food and go to a better school and have nice cars and vacations.  The man could never afford these things on his normal salary.

One day the man is caught in his embezzling.  The boss says he’s going to fire the man.  The man’s response is that yes, he’s guilty, but it is not compassionate for the boss to fire him or even to prevent him from continuing to embezzle since if he does, his children will suffer.  They will no longer be able to go to a good school or have nice food to eat.  The children will suffer, and they haven’t done anything wrong.  Therefore, the only compassionate thing to do is to continue to allow the man to embezzle from his employer, or to give him a raise so that he doesn’t need to embezzle any more.

This is the argument which is made in favor of Obama’s amnesty for young illegal immigrants.  They came here as children, they didn’t choose to do so, and therefore they can’t be punished.  The only compassionate thing to do is to give them legal status.

But if we deport these children and minors (up to age 30!), we aren’t punishing them.  We aren’t taking anything from them that they had a right to in the first place.  When they go back to Mexico, they will have the benefit of a good education in America; they will have fluency in English (probably) that will be a great asset to them.  They have not been harmed.  They’re not even being asked to pay back the cost of the benefits they and their families have stolen from the American taxpayer for all these years.  The idea that it is not compassionate to stop someone from stealing from us is just another example of the content-free, emotional thinking that has given us a disintegrating society, a contempt for law and a 16 trillion dollar debt in our country.

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