California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra joined Democratic presidential candidates Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke in asking for the decriminalization of illegal immigration. Beccera says that civil penalties are enough that criminal charges demonize people whose only crime is seeking a better life. Castro had earlier made a policy proposal to eliminate the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 1325 which makes unauthorized entry into the country a federal misdemeanor. Section 1326 asks for further penalties for subsequent reentries. Those are the statutes used by the Trump administration to separate families and prosecute migrants. Becerra, Castro, O’Rourke and others who may subscribe to the idea know that it is not likely to succeed with this administration, that at best it is a good campaign slogan. And it does look like it is emerging as a Democratic Party talking point.
It’s an important
idea, and although it is unlikely to bring relief to those now at the border,
it nevertheless needs to be remembered and talked about so that its future as a
reality can be that much sooner.
As an immigrant I know what it’s like to leave all you know for the unknown. We had visas, we weren’t penniless, we flew to the US and regardless I felt fear. When you emigrate everything familiar is gone and you don’t know how it will be replaced, nor do you know what will happen next. I heard and read about the caravan from Central America and I can’t help thinking about those courageous people who are willing to walk a couple of thousand miles or more in search of some safety, in search for some opportunities out of assured poverty and violence, in search of better lives for their families. They banded together to avoid the criminals who prey on migrants, Continue reading “Hail The Caravan”
There is something ugly, perverse and cruel about separating children from their parents at the border when they try to either cross illegally or seek asylum. Just because there is a law against it does not make them criminals. There is a difference between crossing a border to seek help, escape violence or seek a better life and willfully harming another. Besides some laws as Martin Luther King, Jr. well knew, are unjust. And he as St Augustine before him believed that we have the right to Continue reading “Harming Children at the Border”
At a time when it is so easy to call unwanted facts fake news, it is doubly important to know what is fact and what is not. The administration’s immigration policies–whether building a wall, their stand on sanctuary cities, who can and cannot get a visa, deportations—are all based on the notion—or is it belief—that immigrants bring crimes and that criminals are coming in. Continue reading “Immigrants and Crime”