Sunday, July 06, 2008

What an example

The Arizona Republic has another front-page story about an illegal immigrant with U.S.-born children, Ismael Valeriano, who is facing deportation. The story attempts to generate some hand-wringing sympathy for the man, but doesn't exactly succeed, since most of the circumstances Valeriano finds himself in were of his own doing. It tends to be difficult for the law-abiding masses to come up with a lot of caring for someone who put themselves behind the eight-ball in the first place.

You see, Mr. Valeriano had been arrested for DUI back in 2006. He served a day in jail and went to driving school, but never paid the $1700 fine he was assessed. Even then, he wasn't reported to ICE for deportation, but merely had a misdemeanor warrant issued for his arrest for non-payment of the fine. How did the local cops finally catch up to him?

"Valeriano said he was arrested on the warrant in March when he went to claim his car from Phoenix police. The car had been impounded in February after Valeriano said he was charged with driving without a license and without insurance."

This is the best candidate that the Republic could find to portray a model illegal immigrant who deserves to stay in the country? We need the Count from Sesame Street to total up the laws that Mr. Valeriano seems to feel don't apply to him. (One, two, three, four laws ignored, ah, ah, ah!) The unlucky person who gets into a car accident with a drunk Valeriano driving without a license or insurance sure wouldn't care much about the pickle he's in, that's for sure.

The main thrust of the story is how Valeriano's three teenage boys fared by themselves after he was put into the pokey on a deportation hold, since he is a single father. Even this situation seems to be the fault of Valeriano. ICE maintains that every detainee is asked whether minor children are at home or under the person's care. Valerian says that didn't happen in his case:

"Valeriano said no one asked him after his arrest whether he had any children at home"

Well, how about volunteering that information, then? Surely ICE isn't so heartless as to ignore a person's request for a welfare check on their minor children. The same way that bank robbers and burglars aren't quizzed about their home lives, the burden should be on the arrestee to let CPS or a similar agency know about the left-behind kids.

Predictably, Valeriano's attorney is using the "anchor baby" defense to argue why he should be allowed to remain in the country despite his continued lawbreaking, ahead of the thousands of other people waiting patiently to come here legally:

"His lawyer, Maria Jones, plans to ask a judge to throw out the deportation case and grant Valeriano a green card so that he can stay in the country with his three children. She will argue that Valeriano has lived in the U.S. for nearly 20 years and his removal would place an extreme hardship on his three U.S.-citizen children."

A hardship that is all Mr. Valeriano's fault, unfortunately for his children. They are free to accompany him back to Mexico, and then return here once they reach the age of majority, as they are legally allowed to do. Since Valeriano himself holds such low regard for our laws, he should be deported and not allowed to return.

1 comment:

SJ in Mesa said...

If I could make the rules, a person would not automatically be a United States citizen just for being born on American soil. If the mother was on American soil legally, then sure, the kid is an American citizen. If the mother was here illegally, her kid is a citizen of whichever country the mother is a citizen of, and that's that.