MORE ON IMMIGRATION RANT
CNN contributor Ruben Navarette wrote about the 4-year-old American-born Emily Ruiz (with a US passport) who got sent back to Guatemala after vacationing there with her grandfather. He wasn't allowed to re-enter the country on his expired visa. Emily spent several hours in detention while grandpa had a panic attack over what should not have been a surprise to him. Emily's dad gave the officials permission to have Emily go back to Guatemala with grandpa who was being denied entry to the US .
Emily's parents admit to being in the United States for years illegally. While Mr. Navarette insists on the politically correct silliness of the term "undocumented,” they’re in fact here illegally, because they are here in the United States in violation of federal and local law. That's what makes them "illegal" aliens. And they've been here for at least 4 years illegally, because that's when little Emily was born here in the US . So Emily's parents have had at least 4 years (and probably more) to get down to the closest Immigration Office and get started on legalizing their immigration status.
Apparently, Emily's parents weren't totally confident that the Federal Government wasn't going to do anything about their violation of the law, and they were cognizant of their illegal status, or they'd have accompanied their four-year-old daughter to visit with family in Guatemala . So rather than taking a chance on being caught at the airport by ICE, they sent Emily with her grandfather -- who couldn't get back into the country because of an expired visa and a previous illegal entry into the U.S. back in the 90's. In other words, grandpa was a repeat offender who got caught and deported.
Mr. Navarette takes exception to little Emily being labeled as an "anchor baby," a child born of illegal parents in the United States who serves to be the excuse to keep illegal parents and other family in the country. He seems to believe that officials were wrong to give Emily's parents the choice of sending their 4-year-old daughter back to Guatemala with her grandfather or being put in government-sponsored care. Emily's dad says authorities didn't give him the third option of coming personally to get his daughter; the authorities say they did.
I don't care. Dad got a choice he didn't merit to say where this minor child went. I think the authorities did the nice thing and not the correct and legal thing they should have done.
Mr. Navarette thinks what happened to Emily was tantamount to being "deported." Actually what should have happened was, in point of law, Emily should have been handed over to the local social services, grandpa and parents immediately arrested and deported. But because our legislators and courts are hell-bent on respecting parental rights of parents who put their children in jeopardy, legally and physically, law enforcement puts apocryphal parental rights ahead of international and federal law.
This idiot situation of Emily and others is being played out all over the country because our local and federal legislators have failed to take a definitive stand on "anchor babies" and the disposition of their parents. Was Emily placed in jeopardy? Indeed she was -- not by ICE, but by her parents. They decided to enter the country illegally (apparently it’s a family tradition if you look at grandpa's deportation record). Her parents chose not to seek legal residential status at any time between the time they entered the country and the date of the incident Mr. Navarette decries. Her parents then decided to send their 4-year-old to another country with an adult with questionable re-entry status. And Mr. Navarette thinks this is the government's fault. Where, in all of this was basic parental, commonsense responsibility?
And we have so many attorneys who smell money and are willing to assist illegals, not in establishing legal residential status, but in cashing in on frivolous law suits for self-generated slights of their purported "civil rights." Illegal immigrants don't have civil rights. Emily has a citizen’s civil rights. Her scoff-law parents don’t. We need to follow Japan 's lead and give the parents a choice: Your citizen child can stay here with a legal relative or in foster care or your child can go home with you to Guatemala and return when she's ready. But you parents are going to Guatemala , on the plane, tonight. Will Emily suffer? Possibly. But her parents put her in that position; the US government did not.
Our malfunction as a nation is that we let lawyers re-interpret the law when it becomes a personal inconvenience instead of enforcing it uniformly. We never draw a line in the sand that we're not willing to keep re-drawing until we back ourselves off a cliff. We don't consistently make decisive public examples of non-compliant people who have to have the obvious spelled out for them or they simply will not comply.
Mr. Navarette seems to think that America needs to re-write the rules for Latinos; somehow because there are so many more of them here illegally, he feels they're being singled out. What all immigrants need to do is follow the law. What all attorneys should be doing is pushing their clients into compliance with the law -- not helping them evade responsibility for their actions. What all law enforcement needs to do is enforce the laws. And what our legislators need to do is lock in the policy for dealing with "anchor babies" and their dereliction of duty non-citizen parents so there's no more wiggle-room for these hand-wringing, whiny criminals.
Mr. Navarette needs to take off his Latino hair shirt and think like a tax-paying American who's looking for policies to bring the best and brightest of other countries to come on, join us and make us a stronger nation -- instead of extorting us to embrace a tsunami of two-legged, self-victimizing economic and social liabilities, whatever language or culture produced them.
Best of luck, Emily. With your family’s history of really dumb decisions, you’ll need it.