You can almost hear the Washington Post editorial meeting a few weeks back: “Hey, we haven’t run a tear-jerker pushing the DREAM Act in a while, so assign it to someone!” Thus today’s “Virginia student graduates from high school, braces for deportation.” It’s the usual stuff, but a few points bear repeating:
The very definition of a flight risk: The protagonist, Heydi Mejia, and her mother were smuggled across the Rio Grande, but:
They were caught by the Border Patrol on the other side and ordered to appear in court, but they didn’t show up on the day of their hearing. The United States filed an order for their deportation — if they could be found — on Sept. 21, 1999.
“They didn’t show up” — what, were they washing their hair? Missed the bus? Of course not — the mother incredulously accepted the summons and ran off, with no intention of ever appearing at the hearing. As former immigration judge Mark Metcalf has found, “From 1996 through 2009, the United States allowed 1.9 million aliens to remain free before trial and 770,000 of them — 40 percent of the total — vanished. Nearly one million deportation orders were issued to this group — 78 percent of these orders were handed down for court evasion.” Unless there’s an overwhelming reason not to, every illegal alien apprehended at the border or inside the country must be detained until he is removed. The Obama administration refuses to ask Congress for the resources to increase detention space and continues to desperately search for “alternatives to detention”, which is just a synonym for “catch and release”.
No shame: There is zero evidence of contrition on the part of Mejia’s mother who, after all, knew what she was doing when she smuggled her child across the border. All we hear is this:
Her mother found it cathartic to talk about their upcoming deportation, so she told clients in the hair salon, prayed out loud in their living room and called her family in Guatemala to arrange housing as June neared.
If we do eventually pass an amnesty — once the missing pieces of our enforcement infrastructure are in place and the total illegal population has been significantly reduced through attrition — something that would make it more palatable to Americans would be to make it contingent on a public confession of sin by the beneficiaries. Rather than simply a process of filling out forms (and suing if you’re rejected), the culmination of the journey should be the reading aloud of a statement of contrition (a translation of which has been provided them, so they know what they’re saying). Something like: “I apologize to the American people for violating their laws and their sovereignty; there is no excuse for my behavior. I acknowledge that I deserve no special treatment, but I thank the American people for their extraordinary act of grace in granting me amnesty and permitting me to stay. I pledge to make my future conduct worthy of such a gift.”
Not college material: The story notes:
A salutatorian from Texas was granted a last-minute reprieve after 2,000 people rallied on her behalf. A valedictorian in Miami avoided deportation in March by collecting 100,000 signatures and traveling to Washington for a news conference with a Republican congressman.
But what happens when you’re ranked No. 22 at a suburban high school outside Richmond, where politicians haven’t responded to your calls and school officials aren’t sure whether to spell your name Heydi or Heidi?
One might ask the same thing about the DREAM Act itself — given the requirements of the law, what happens if you’ve lived here since infancy but you’re not bookish and can’t get accepted into the military (which is more selective than most colleges)? The rationale for something like the DREAM Act is that it’s prudent to amnesty young people who’ve spent virtually their entire lives here and are psychologically and culturally American — none of which has anything to do with your performance in school. Given that, the college/military requirement is prima facie evidence that the DREAM Act is a gimmick that was never intended as a stand-alone piece of legislation. It’s nothing more than a marketing tool: “Luis here has lived in the U.S. since he was two months old, he’s the valedictorian at his high school, and, when he finishes at MIT, he will devote his life to hunting down and killing America’s enemies — therefore, all 11 million illegal aliens deserve amnesty.” Ask a DREAM supporter sometime whether they support deportation of those who meet the age requirements but can’t fulfill the college/military requirement — their answer tells you all you need to know about the purpose of the legislation.