The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

“But they broke the law”

with 3 comments

mexicans.jpgYou hear it everywhere in the American immigration debate these days. Sometimes it's whispered in reverential awe, as if this blasphemy awaits fire from heaven. Other times, it's said with resignation, or a wise nod: Everyone knows those who break the law must pay. It is simply so.

When I hear "They broke the law," I think "You mean you didn't?"

You didn't speed on the way to work? Smoke pot in college? Drink under-age in high school? Fudge your tax return? Neglect the seat-belt? Not once?

Or, at another level: Governments – who write those laws – are also in the business of breaking them. For instance, is spying legal? Is there anything the CIA does in foreign lands that is legal there?

Or how about the American-sponsored state, Israel? Far as I know, every nation in the world except the U.S. agrees that Israel's occupation of West Bank lands is in violation of international law. Yet Israel protects its border-busting with tanks, gunships, and encouragement provided by American politicians, some of whom think it time to get tough on poor Mexicans … because they broke the law.

The word hypocrisy comes to mind.

Contrast that with the dilemma of many Mexican parents. Shall they raise their children in poverty, or shall they "break the law?" Which is the moral course?

Whose sin – that of the law-breaker or that of the law-maker – more egregious? Whose motive more noble?

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Written by Monte

May 19, 2006 at 12:32 am

Posted in Immigration

3 Responses

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  1. SB: I appreciate your thoughts very much. Much of the debate is simply selfishness and paranoia. You have seen into the hearts of those who come. Thank you – you will improve the quality of the debate.

    I’d urge you to recall that the facts are not in yet about whether illegal immigration has been a net gain or a net loss for the US. Millions of them have social security and state and federal taxes withheld from their paychecks, like you and I do, but will be too afraid to ever try to claim a tax refund or social security benefits.

    Some say their presence is a huge loss. Others say their presence is actually a net gain to the US taxpayer. It’s impossible to really know.

    Given the confusion, I think compassion is the answer. It seems like it would be a mistake to harass people desperately trying to provide for their families, when we don’t really even know if we’re losing anything to do so.


    May 3, 2007 at 9:53 am

  2. I don’t blame the poor for jumping our border; I know I’d do the same to try to get a better life for my kids. Our country is responsible for maintaining our borders, so we CAN provide services to the poor. The flooding of untenable numbers of the poor and unskilled is the issue.

    It’s one thing to voluntarily hand a dollar to a few people at a time. It’s another to be told I MUST give to the point where I can no longer sustain my own situation. And being told that everyone who came here deserves a chunk of mytax money just for being here is just plain wrong.

    I think the overwhelming number of Latin alien immigrants is beginning to bankrupt the region’s ability to sustain itself at normal functional levels. We would then be in a position where the very qualities these people seek would no longer exist.

    It’s the sheer numbers that are the problem….

    Suzanne Bailey

    May 2, 2007 at 10:29 pm

  3. Who cares if someone breaks the law? The Bush Administration Justice Department won’t prosecute it anyway.

    Lack of prosecutions demoralizing Border Patrol

    Oh, yes, Bush takes border security seriously!

    W.C. Varones

    May 19, 2006 at 8:42 am

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