One of the recent search terms entered in a search engine which took someone to this site was “how do I tell my 5-year-old that his father is getting deported?”
So another father is getting sent away from his family because he got a ticket for driving without a license. For the white family, dad enjoys the forgiveness and opportunity inherent in our culture and invests in the next generation. For the brown family, the kid is an orphan.
The other day I talked to a Game and Wildlife Officer who told me that he has written many tickets for fishing in a posted area without a license. He said that he always treats as a non-jailable misdemeanor, although it could be charged under a different statute which could bring jail time.
When I brought up the variable that the fishermen were not documented citizens, he said, “well I’d put them in jail and ship their asses back to where they came from.” Same charge; fishing without a license. For the white guy its a fine and for the brown guy its a broken family.
One of my law partners went to a “Hispanic Heroes” conference for Hispanic teenagers who excel in school – top 10%. He estimated that over 1/2 of them were “illegal” as they had been brought here as small children and have no realistic way to be naturalized. Even though they are bright and talented and full of hope and promise, they likely won’t be able to accept the scholarships they will qualify for. They were brought here as small children; they call themselves “dreamers.” For the white kid, it’s an education, for the brown kid, it’s rejection by the only nation they’ve ever really known.
The borders need to be secured but we don’t need to disenfranchise an entire generation of a group of people. The ramifications of cutting off a generation of people who are already here are disastrous for the individuals impacted as well as for our culture. Political parties and candidates that criminalize these people are doing so with short-sighted perspective for the demographic trends in our nation.
It’s time to stop the racist, hateful rhetoric of “go home and get at the end of the line” of so-called leaders and start making a reasonable way for legal status to the millions that are here. We are not a heartless, redneck nation and should stop over-simplifying this problem which is complex if for no other reason because real people are at the other end of our policies.