Unauthorized Immigrants: Lawbreakers or Broken by the Law?

Don’t forget:  Jeffrey and I speak for ourselves, not for Human Rights First. -Joey

Just because something is legal, doesn’t make it right.  Think about American slavery.

Just because the law prohibits something, doesn’t make it wrong.  It used to be illegal to kiss one’s child on Sunday.

Socrates was wrong to equate morality with obedience to law.  (He obeyed and committed suicide.)  When laws are unjust, conscience and common sense should trump conformity.

Which brings us to immigration.

You hear people say about unauthorized immigrants, “Those foreigners should obey the law and wait in line!”  But for most people, there’s no “line,” no means to immigrate.  For the rest, it’s a long, hard road.

Our immigration laws interfere with citizens’ business decisions and personal lives. You can hire or host a foreigner, even your mother, only with federal permission.  Fail to get it, welcome her into your home or business, and you’re “harboring” an alien, a federal crime.

If you commit real crimes – bank robbery, for example – there’s a statute of limitations, so after a number of years, you can’t be prosecuted.  But there’s no statute of limitations for many immigration violations.  A harmless innocent technical error can haunt you forever.

The taxpayer pays twice: once for the government personnel and infrastructure to enforce absurd laws, and a second time for the financial and human costs to immigrants, their American families, and our country.

In the coming days, we’ll discuss various aspects of U.S. immigration law.   It won’t be legal advice.  It’ll be a look at how things really are, and at what Human Rights First is up against, no matter what you read on the op-ed pages.

Come back again soon!