Those who support the wholesale deportation of undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico, who have been in the United States for up to two decades, are simply wrong.
These radical voices who characterize as "amnesty"moderate and sensible proposals to create policy that would acknowledge and account for the presence of these immigrants clearly do not enjoy personal relationships with any of the immigrants in question. And, when did "amnesty" become a four-letter word in our nation?
I know, I know. The law and law and order. I get that.
But, law is never adequate when dealing with the human reality and all of its dilemmas, especially when shaped by market forces and the human spirit.
For over twenty years we have taken advantage of the cheap immigrant labor that we allowed to flow unchecked across our southern border. Now some want to legislate a policy that would ignore this contribution to our national benefit. As a friend said to me recently, "I would assume it is better to keep jobs inside our country, rather than exporting the work overseas or outside our borders." I think he is correct.
Of course, the idea that we could deport millions of people is laughable.
But, let's move beyond politics and public policy.
What happens when people connect as friends? Or does friendship not matter any more in America?
Two weeks ago yesterday, my father was laid to rest. Among the crowd that came to honor his memory and to comfort our family were two bright young people, Monica and Jose. Many readers here will remember their situation and their current standing in federal immigration court in Dallas. [For those who don't, type "Monica" in the Search box above and read the story.]
I can't tell you how much their presence meant to me and my family. They were accompanied by other members of their families. They carried bouquets of flowers to leave at the grave. They came to express their sympathy and their love. They are my dear friends. They love me and my family. We love them.
To send these children back to a country they do not know would be wrong. That judgement is true from a policy standpoint. It is also true from a human and moral standpoint.
Call it "amnesty" or whatever. Finding a way for these bright young people and their families to remain in the United States, continue their education and work to make the nation stronger and more productive is simply right--it is the moral high ground and it is simply common sense.
Friendship changes things. People who do not know undocumented immigrants like these two young people should either make some new friendships or simply be quiet.