David and Mark: At the risk of beating a dead horse on this, the CNN reporters didn’t know what they were talking about, and simply regurgitated the information provided them by the lobbyist who planted the story. If you read the husband’s congressional testimony from last month (which the reporters either didn’t read or didn’t understand), it’s clear that the wife is indeed an illegal alien; her mother did not receive asylum, but rather applied for asylum and didn’t get it. She later applied for an amnesty as provided under NACARA, the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, which, among other things, allowed certain Guatemalan illegal aliens who had been turned down for asylum, and others who had applied and not yet received an answer, to get amnesty (close to 200,000 illegal aliens have received amnesty under NACARA). What seems to have happened in this case as that the wife was part of her mother’s amnesty application, but once she got married, wasn’t any more. So the plea here is to give her a second shot at amnesty, having messed up the first opportunity because of bad, or no, legal advice.
Maybe that’s an exception worth making in this case; if it were narrowly enough defined (i.e., don’t deport people with pending amnesty applications with spouses on active duty), I’d even go for it. But two things to beware of: First, the implacable nature of immigration lawyers, who almost by definition oppose enforcement of the immigration law, is such that every exception is always pushed to the limit and metastasizes. That’s why we’re still litigating cases from the 1986 amnesty, many of them part of a class action suit by hundreds of thousands of “late amnesty” applicants – they missed the deadline set by Congress, and the courts said, “never mind.” This isn’t a problem with the bureaucrats.
Second, understand that these cases are used to manipulate emotions to promote larger political goals – “human shields” for amnesty, if you will, to borrow the phraseology of House Republicans regarding the children used as props by Democrats to extort votes for SCHIP expansion. Does the president hate little Gemma Frost because he vetoed the SCHIP bill? No – and neither does opposing the DREAM Act mean you hate Mildred Gonzalez.