The ICE roundup of 680 suspected illegals in Mississippi got quite a bit of play, as expected.
When it broke I happened to be watching Shepard Smith on Fox News, who practically came to tears as he described people being “rounded up” and a teenager crying as a parent was put in a bus and driven away. Smith never mentioned they were arrested for breaking the law, he made it seem arbitrary. CNN coverage also focused on the human element rather than the law enforcement aspect.
Since they didn’t, I will. Nation of laws, remember?
It is unlawful to enter the United States without permission. Doing so makes you a candidate for removal, which is called deportation (but I prefer repatriation).
If you take a job while you are here illegally, you are breaking another law.
To get the job you must show ID proving you are legal to work. Falsifying that document is yet another crime committed.
So how many laws are you entitled to break without being punished?
As the AP story says, the last president to employ mass raids was George W. Bush, who deported fewer people than Barack Obama, who preferred low visibility operations.
Those rounded up in Mississippi were processed — tears of teenagers notwithstanding, no one is being deported now — and most likely will be released to await the hearing they will get before possible deportation. You can bet they will have volunteer lawyers.
Interviews with neighbors of those snatched up indicate many of the illegals have been here for a long time — 10, 15, 20 years. Most of them have committed no crimes, other than those around illegal entry and employment fraud.
What do we do now?
My feeling is there should be a statute of limitations on illegal entry, as there is with more serious crimes, even assault and rape.
If those crimes can be time-limited, so can this one, but I am not talking about amnesty. The illegals would have to come forward, pay any required fines and taxes, formally apologize, learn English and avoid run-ins with law enforcement.
They would get legal status, but not citizenship, because there has to be a price for illegal behavior.
This satisfies U.S. law, is compassionate to the law-breakers — and gets them back to work before the chicken plants go broke.