Monday, August 20, 2007

Two Points of View on the Deportation of Elvira Arellano

Here is Gaius, of Blue Crab Boulevard, writing about the deportation of Elvira Arellano to Mexico while her 8-year-old son, who is an American citizen, stays behind:

Want any evidence that the Associated Press is firmly in the tank for illegal immigrants? Look no further. Apparently, they want everyone to feel really bad because a woman who repeatedly broke the laws of this nation is now in custody. We are supposed to be ashamed, for some reason, that a woman who is a convicted felon, who stole an American's identity is now in custody. We are also, apparently, supposed to overlook that the only reason she is in custody is because she left the Chicago church where she claimed "sanctuary" - which is not recognized in American law - and willingly - or willfully traveled to Los Angeles to stage a press conference. And her subsequent arrest.

Wah.
[...]
Arellano stole the identity of a citizen of this nation and she and her supporters want her to be given a free pass. Her son was born in this country only because she came across the border in violation of the laws of this country - and subsequently stole the identity of a citizen to stay here. Then she is talked into a theatrical stunt of leaving the church where authorities had chosen to leave her alone and drive across the country to stage her arrest.

Gee, I'm sorry. I really don't feel bad for Arellano. No, actually, I'm not sorry. I have no sympathy at all for her or for the manipulative AP report that is supposed to jerk at our heartstrings. But I suspect most people will not feel any sympathy, either.

Stephen of The Thinkery, guest-blogging at Ezra Klein's place:
Elvira Arellano was just deported from the United States after more than a year of living in a Chicago church. I wrote about this some time ago, and was surprised even then that she had lasted so long with no more "protection" than a tradition that exists more in vampire fiction than reality. Ms. Arellano was arrested in LA after leaving the church to travel the country speaking about her issue and lobbying members of Congress to reform our immigration laws. Apparently the concept of "sanctuary" is stronger than I thought.

The important part of this story, as Atrios notes, is that there is now an 8-year-old American citizen who is without his mother. The US government, of course, has no ability - yet, at least - to deport an American citizen because of the misdemeanor committed by their relative.
[...]
Saul Arellano is 8 years old, and he is an American citizen. You can call him "anchor baby" if you want, or any other pejorative you can think of that will help to dehumanize him and separate him from the rest of this nation's citizens. But he is, as I said and cannot say enough, an American citizen, due all the rights and privileges that status carries.

Is there any other misdemeanor in our legal system that can deprive an 8-year-old boy of his mother? Should the US Government really be able to separate a child from his mother over this?

Is this who we really want to be?

There is logic and reason in both arguments; nevertheless, I know which one of the two I find more ethically compelling. How about you?

1 comment:

george said...

I view Gaius of Blue Crab Boulevard as a typical conservative. S/he is more concerned with the letter of the law regardless of the consequences.

Stephen of The Thinkery seems to look at the law and tries to use a little humanity while applying the law.

I don’t know of the lady’s situation, stolen identity, son is a U.S. citizen but I tend to side with Stephen.