Friday, January 3, 2014

Children brought here illegally are already citizens

In the comment thread to a talk show on children brought here illegally, one commentor said:

"An adult should not be punished for a crime his parents committed while he was a minor. We need amnesty and a path to citizenship for people who were brought into this country illegally as children and raised as Americans."

 My response:

How is returning someone to the nation they're a citizen of "punishment" ? It seems remarkably jingoistic to assume that living in any nation on Earth other than America is an awful fate.

And while a child is not responsible for crimes his parents committed, neither is a nation of which the child is not a citizen. If a child is, say, a citizen of Jamaica, then Jamaica is responsible for that child--just as Jamaica is not responsible for you and me.

There is much injustice in this world. The plight of illegal aliens brought here as children is one of them, but it's minor compared to the injustices inflicted on a billion humans every day by their own nations.

Today there are many thousands of children and teens being held as slaves in America, right under our middle class noses. Juveniles being trafficked sexually, who can't even go to the police, who generally arrest them instead of their captors.

That's the kind of injustice we should be focusing on. Citizens of other countries brought here illegally as children can do very well in the tourist trade of their home country, since they speak English idiomatically and understand our culture.

I've seen this personally in many 3rd world nations I've traveled in, from Indonesia to Mexico. Repatriating such people is not throwing them under the bus--and like the other 6.8 billion people on Earth who are also not American citizens, they are not our direct responsibility, though we should of course hope for the best for them.

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