By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
President Obama unconstitutionally and illegally has forbidden the deportation of up to 1.4 million illegal aliens, who have committed a criminal offense simply be being here.
It is a sham for the administration to say it will only deport illegals who have a criminal record. What part of “illegal” does the administration not understand? The moment illegal aliens are identified and processed, they have a criminal record.
The president is making a shameless appeal to the good-heartedness of the American people by raising the specter of the deportation of children. This is the essence of his appeal, even though his executive order would only apply to adults. The only illegal aliens who would be spared deportation under his decree would be adults over the age of 18.
But he framed the issue to create the picture in the minds of the American people of young, innocent, wide-eyed children torn ruthlessly from the arms of their parents and shipped in containers back to their homelands.
This must be why Marco Rubio, who certainly should know better, said the president’s edict was “welcome news,” and why Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention could say that evangelicals should “applaud” the president for this blatantly illegal move. What part of the “rule of law” do these gentlemen not understand?
The most perverse part of the president’s unabashed commitment to ignore the law and the Constitution is that it rewards those who have broken our immigration laws the longest. If parents can somehow sneak their kids into the U.S. and they can evade detection for five years, they are rewarded with amnesty. The implication, of course, is that if they are busted on the 364th day of the 4th year they’ll get tossed out of the country. Anybody who thinks that has a remote chance of happening should not be trusted with sharp objects.
And the argument that this is not amnesty because illegals will have to “go the back of the line” is absurd. Once this policy is implemented, uber-leftists will argue that that’s no different than blacks being sent to the back of the bus in the 60s. In short order, this will end up being nothing more than an open borders declaration.
But let’s assume for the sake of argument that minors under the age of 18 would be deported. It certainly would be a heart-rending thing to see that happen. No one would take any pleasure in seeing a child removed from the U.S. and sent back to a land of grinding poverty and corruption.
But we must stop and ask the question: whose fault would that be? The fault would lie squarely with the parents who put their own child in that position. The censure and the blame should fall squarely on them. None of the blame in that unfortunate situation should rest on the United States, which would simply be fairly and justly applying public policy established by the people’s elected representatives.
So if we imagine scenes that break our hearts, and we want to hold someone responsible, then let’s blame the parents who shamefully put their own children at risk of that very thing. They know the law, and if they perniciously break that law and their children suffer some unfortunate consequences as a result, that is entirely their fault and no one else’s.
If they are going to be reckless and lawless as parents, they must learn not to complain if their irresponsible parenting results in some painful consequences for their children.
So if we’re going to blame anyone for the deportation of children, let’s be sure we’re blaming the right people. In such a circumstance, we should not say, “What a terrible thing for the U.S. to do to kids,” we should say, “What a terrible thing for parents to do to their own children.”
Gov. Huckabee is famous for saying, with regard to the children of illegal aliens, we shouldn’t punish the children for the sins of the father. Fine. But neither should we reward them. This is apparently what the governor, Sen. Rubio and Richard Land are advocating whether they’ve tumbled to that fact or not.
The evangelical statement of principles for immigration reform stressed the importance of family unity, and indeed that is a sound principle. That means we should repatriate whole families together rather than breaking them up.
If some members of a family are here illegally and others are here legally, then those who are here legally can of course stay, but they certainly can and should be given the option of returning to their homeland with the rest of their family. We will be happy to repatriate them as a whole and entire family at our expense. If they choose to stay while other members are returned to their native country, well, that is their choice, but then they’re the ones breaking up the family, not us.
Supporters of the president’s amnesty declaration fail to appreciate one of the inevitable unintended consequences of this policy: it will induce more parents to put their kids at severe risk by trying sneak their kids across the border unaccompanied. This is an unconscionable risk for minors, but our president has now incentivized it.
Authorities have already told us that they detained 16,067 unaccompanied minors in 2011, and the numbers are running higher in 2012, with an average of 1,917 a month being detained this year. This surge of illegal immigrant children places an enormous burden on U.S. taxpayers to house, feed and care for these children; in other words, to do the job that parents are supposed to do.
So who is contributing to the breakup of intact nuclear families? Those who support the president’s misguided amnesty proclamation, that’s who.
Bottom line: we must dedicate ourselves once again to being a nation of laws and not men, which means we must repudiate the president’s flatly unconstitutional exercise of dictatorial power.
And we must be a nation that prizes family unity, and which therefore places the blame squarely on parents if their lawlessness results in the separation of parent and child.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)