This started as a “blast from the past” but I ended up expanding it quite a bit.
Immigration policy is a perennial subject on social media and in politics. I, of course, have my own views. Specifically, I support legal immigration while not supporting illegal immigration. The question often arises of what to do about the children of illegal aliens, brought here through no fault of their own.
In the case of these kids there are two options as I see it. First, either they are still kids in which case the only realistic thing to do with them is send them back with their parent(s). Second, if they are not still kids, then as an adult they chose to stay here illegally and that’s on them.
The above options are for children brought here from out of country. In the case of children born here to illegal alien parents, there are two different options because of “birth citizenship.” The first is that the parents may choose to retain their parental rights, in which case the child goes back with them (As far as I’m concerned amnesty followed by promises of future border enforcement* is a non-starter. “Fool me once….”) but, as a citizen, they may return on reaching adulthood. The second is that the parents may, at their option, give up their parental rights and allow the child to be taken into foster care and possibly adopted by an American family. In neither case do the illegal aliens remain in the US.
“But!” someone will say. “It’s not the child’s fault!”
No. It’s not. But the child does not get to benefit from the illegal actions of the parent any more than a child who, innocent of theft, would be allowed to keep stolen property given to them by a thief parent. The child being deprived of that is on the parents who provided it illegally in the first place.
“But you’re breaking up families!” Someone else says. “You can’t do that.”
It could be if the parents choose that option. But how is that different from any other crime? Entering the US illegally is a crime. (Kind of implicit in that word “illegally”.) Overstaying a VISA is a crime. Working in the US without being here legally with proper authorization to work is a crime. Collecting government benefits without being here legally is a crime. Those latter two illustrate that it’s not just the illegal entry that’s at issue, but that unless they’re independently wealthy and therefore self-supporting (in which case, they should have no problem entering legally) they continue to break the law as they continue to remain here illegally.
So, no, if I had my way, illegal immigrants would not get to stay.
Now, while that would be the base policy I would also agitate for a bit of flexibility to deal with innocent mistakes, paperwork errors, or being misled in procedures that lead to someone through no intent of their own being here illegally. I’ve known people who’ve had that happen, My wife had that happen. (We filled out my wife’s paperwork after our marriage. I sent it off. Only between the time the paperwork sent to us was printed and the time we sent it back, the location to which it was supposed to go changed. After a period of no response, no response, no response, we ended up hiring an attorney who helped us resolve things. And I checked. Our copy of the forms said “send here”. Lawyer said, “No, send there”. And the “there” is what finally got things straightened out.)
Some people do make a good faith effort but, through no fault of their own, things go bad. Judicious people with the ability to make exceptions can handle that when it happens.
Oh, and I would bend. over. backward. to encourage people I think of as “Americans who just happen to be born elsewhere” to come here, people who could read the Constitution (the Bill of Rights in particular) and the Declaration of Independence, and basically say “Duh” (Or call it, oh, say, 85% or more agreement), people like Darryl Hadfield and Sarah A. Hoyt. I don’t much care how they get here, so long as they do get here to counteract the “we’re going to come to America and turn it into a replica of the place we just came from” folk.
That’s the thing. I want people to come to the US. While the lines on the Statue of Liberty are a poem and not US policy (and never have been) the line is “yearning to breath free” not “yearning to bring our tyranny here”.
Which brings up another issue. We could handle quite a few of the latter, immigrants who don’t believe in the American Ideal as laid out in our founding documents. They might not, but their children would–or their children would if we didn’t have educational and media establishments that are actively hostile to those ideals and deliberately work to turn people against them. Instead of focusing on the ideals, on the value of freedom, self-reliance, and the dignity of the individual they focus on the flaws of those individuals and use their shortcomings to denigrate the very ideals themselves. No, we are not, and haven’t been, perfect. But they use that imperfection to tear down the very core ideals of the nation.
And they teach that to the young.
Without that deliberate effort, I would have little concern over immigration even by people who despise everything America stands for. They might hate us, but their children wouldn’t.
And with that, I leave you with this musical interlude: