US treatment of ‘‘illegals’’ better than most

US treatment of ‘illegals’ better than most

What’s with you guys and the illegals anyway? Are we supposed to feel sorry for the line-up of dirtballs you pictured in this week’s issue? [“Misdemeanor offenders among Guilford County deportees”; May 20, 2009; by Jordan Green] Time to get some facts straight on this: First, these guys (and all the rest of them) are here in violation of our laws. They know this and purposely commit this violation for their own personal reasons. The United States, just like every other country in the world, including Mexico and El Salvador, has the sovereign right to determine who will be allowed into the country and under what conditions. Under current (and traditional) law, only US citizens and legal permanent aliens have a “right” to enter the country, and in the case of the latter there are certain restrictions, which do not apply to citizens. (FYI: I worked in immigration investigations in the US Embassy in Mexico City for three years recently and before that in the same position in El Salvador for four years, during which time I dealt with literally thousands intending immigration to the US.) Second point: Since when is it a tragedy according to YES! Weekly, to be returned to one’s own country? To be returned to Mexico or El Salvador is not by any means to be equated with being sent back to North Korea or Cuba. None of these people are political asylees, they are all here because the living is a lot easier or they are family members moving in with the original immigrant.

They choose to come here, in full knowledge of the risk of deportation. Third point: Is it your contention that because these individuals are here illegally they should be permitted to commit petty criminal offenses without fear of sanction? That only when they move on up the crime ladder to rape, murder, etc. should they be in danger of deportation? Is the US experiencing a shortage of home-grown bad guys which requires us to import them from Mexico and El Salvador? Why should we as a society tolerate criminal activity of any sort by people who are here in violation of our laws to begin with? Deportation is far cheaper and more humane then stashing them in US prisons for extended stays, and why should the American taxpayer foot the bill for the care and upkeep of criminals who are not even supposed to be here? Last point: Let me tell you what happens to Americans, regardless of their immigration status, who commit crimes in Mexico and El Salvador (for that matter Ecuador too, where I also served for two years). If the offense is minor, say a traffic violation, and the American has a goodly sum of cash available, he can usually buy his way out of trouble. If he cannot, or if the offense is serious, or if a local citizen has made a complaint, guess what: Under the modified Napoleonic Code in those countries, he is guilty as charged and he is going to jail. Now, if a US consular officer can get there quickly and has good contacts with the authorities, they might let him be removed from the country on his own (or the embassy’s) expense. This removal will be immediate, as in, “Take him to the airport now and he gets on the next flight out of here, no importa where it goes.” There are occasions, however, when consular rapid response is impossible and the American is sentenced and goes to prison. Having spent many hours/days visiting incarcerated Americans in all three countries, I can tell you and your sob-sister readers that a sentence in the worst American prison is a vacation compared to a sentence in any prison in Mexico or El Salvador, especially for an American. Further, I have witnessed Salvadoran police shove US backpackers into their cruisers and personally drive them to the Honduran or Guatemalan border and physically kick them out of El Salvador at gunpoint! Compare this with the gentle, kid-glove treatment these guys in your article get in this country. They are arrested, jailed, fed three meals (in Mexican prisons you have to somehow provide your own food), put on a comfortable bus, taken to a comfortable plane and flown to their homelands, where their families await them with warm embraces. All at US taxpayer expense! And you want us to feel sorry for them? No way!

Don Miller lives in Greensboro..