Opponents of enforcing U.S. immigration laws have lately been using the canard that deporting illegal aliens caught in workplace raids is inhumane because it separates families. This is obvious nonsense on its face, since no one suggests those deported should be forced to leave their families in the United States. If a citizen of Mexico, or France, Britain, wherever, is sent back to his own country, he is free to take his wife and kids with him. If he decides it’s best to leave them here, that is his choice, not a penalty imposed by the government. Although it’s true many of the children of illegals are citizens and have every right to live in the U.S., they also have every right to go live in the home country of their parents.
But it turns out that, according to an AP story about illegal aliens’ reactions to the proposed Senate amnesty bill, it may be just as likely that a deportation will reunite a family as separate one. Via Yahoo News:
David Guerra wants to be legal, but he says the path to citizenship offered by the Senate on Thursday would be too risky and too expensive, and could end up driving him deeper into the shadows.
Guerra’s wife and children in El Salvador depend on the $300 he sends home each month from his job as a day laborer. Key provisions of the legislation would require him to return home to apply for residency, pay a $5,000 fine and spend thousands more in application fees.
Amy Ndour, a 23-year-old illegal immigrant from Senegal who lives in New York, said she would be willing to pay the $5,000 fine, but not return home because her family there depends on what she earns as a hair braider.
Many illegal immigrants said they had little incentive to apply for residency because the process was long and did not offer much hope of bringing their families.
“If I’ll never be able to bring my family, why should I apply?” said Jose Monson, a 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Guatemala who has lived in Los Angeles for four years. “I prefer to just stay here illegally.”
In Houston, Marco Antonio Rodiguez, said he would be happy with a permit that would allow him to work legally and return to Mexico twice a year to see his wife and three children.
We’d be happy to see Mr. Rodiguez live in Mexico with his wife and three kids full time, so he can see them every day. After all, family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande. So we should all support strong border enforcement – for the rule of law, for national security, and most of all, for the children.