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In the present debate over what to do with illegal immigrants and their children, there seem to be two main camps:
Those who see innocent people in a desperate situation, who deserve to be treated with as much kindness and help as possible.
Law-breakers - Albeit - Situation - Criminals - Consequences
Those who see law-breakers, albeit in a desperate situation, who must be dealt with firmly, no differently that native-born criminals must often face harsh consequences.
Call it: Why do you hate families? vs. Why do you hate law and order?
Law - Order - Position - Position - Law
I’m going to argue that it is possible to take a “law and order” position that is both just and merciful — a position that upholds the law without becoming a slave to it.
What Kind of Lawbreakers are These?
Border - Number - Immigrants - Terrorists - Drug
Who is crossing the border illegally? Well, we know that a certain number of illegal immigrants are terrorists, drug dealers, or gangsters. (So are a certain number of legal immigrants, and quite a few locals as well.) No sane debate about immigration can doubt that such persons should be prosecuted as criminals.
In contrast, there is a much larger number of illegal immigrants who are not seeking admission into the country in order to commit any kind of crime. Given (or taking) the opportunity, they go on to hold down jobs, rent a home, put their children in school, pay taxes if possible, patronize local businesses, mow the lawn and paint the shutters. They do all the things that make up the life of a decent, peaceable citizen.
Things - Activities - Approval
Because they cannot do these things legally, however, they are going about their ordinary, honest activities without regulatory approval.
A few months ago my teenage daughter called me in a panic. She’d gone into the city to run some errands, alone. She doesn’t ordinarily check in with me while she’s out for the day, except maybe to get...
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