The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the arrogance of some of the people who enter our nation illegally and then demand that we meet their ultimatums. They protest in our streets, refuse to assimilate by learning our language and customs, and take offense at our flag and national anthem.
Recently Fox News host Tucker Carlson debated journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, an illegal immigrant from the Philippines, on the issues of immigration reform and the violent May Day protests. Carlson was curious about why liberals in America embrace violence so readily.
Vargas refused to answer the direct question and went on the attack: “I don’t know if we’ve talked to all of those people protesting and asked them if all of them are `from the left.’” He continued, “How do you know that? Did you talk to all of those people?”
The arrogance of Vargas continued to be obvious when he turned the debate to immigration. “What I can tell you is that for many of us this issue is, not just political, it’s personal… We’re talking about millions of people who are related to undocumented immigrants that you call criminal every day. I, as a person, am not illegal.”
Vargas, like so many people that enter our nation illegally does not appreciate the terms “illegal” and “alien.” Vargas is extremely open about the fact that he is illegal and even flaunts his illegal status. Why is he still here? Why hasn’t he been picked up by immigration authorities and deported?
Another case in the news is about Silvia Avelar-Flores. An ICE spokesman told Deseret News that Avelar-Flores came to the United States when she was seven years old. She came legally “as a visitor for pleasure” with her parents in April 1993 and was supposed to leave within six months. She did not leave.
In December 1995 Avelar-Flores, then ten years old, was ordered to leave the United States before the end of March 1996 or be removed. She did not leave. She is married to Juarez, a legal resident of the U.S., and has at least three children born in the U.S. Her parents were deported several years ago.
Avelar-Flores was arrested recently and detained “pending her removal to Mexico.” Her “final orders of removal” are at least 20 years old. Why was she allowed to stay here so long? Why wasn’t she picked up and deported in April 1996 before she married and had children?
I feel a lot of compassion for families that are separated or are threatened with separation or live under the fear of being separated. I cannot even imagine how terrible it must be. However, my compassion for the families of illegal immigrants does not satisfy the justice required for breaking the law of the land.
The United States is a nation of laws, and every person within the boundaries of the United States is subject to those laws. It goes without saying that any person who is in the United States illegally does not belong here and should be deported as quickly as possible. If they are a one-time offender, I believe they should be given an opportunity to return legally and eventually become an American citizen; all others should be denied American citizenship forever.