Reader: Anti-immigrant "law is the law" views recall days when slavery was the law, too

Melanie Asmar's post about the "Unification Not Deportation" campaign shared the story of Jenny, who spent 34 days in detention for having expired license tags due to her immigration status -- and she could be deported next month. Her tale inspired a patient back-and-forth in the comments section.

Here's a Jenny defender responding to two critics, Big Fella and Bilbo.

ELH writes:

My heart goes out to these individuals and the many others in our communities who are facing the same situation. The reality is that our system of laws is broken, outdated, and unjust.

Big fella -- do you realize what "becoming legal" really entails? The way our naturalization process is now it can take up to 20+ years to become a citizen unless you are famous, have tons of money, or have a PhD.

I'm so sick of hearing those with anti-immigrant views make the "law is the law" argument. Slavery was also the law in this country at this point -- laws can be and are inhumane. Our country has a history of opening up its borders when it's advantageous for us to get cheap labor and enacting laws and foreign policies that take away options from small businesses and agricultural workers. Then later we criminalize those folks for coming here to work to provide for their families. This isn't a secret, all we have to do is look at the U.S.'s immigration laws throughout history.

Bilbo -- Actually, it is not a felony to be in the United States without documents. It is a civil matter.

If it was your family who was being torn apart, would you feel the same? I was born in this country but support this cause because I believe in a country that's based on freedom and respect (as we claim). It sickens me that corporations, legislators, and private prisons are actively collaborating to capitalize on the suffering of humans.

Please take a second to think about this on a human level. If you haven't made the effort to get to know (or even have a conversation with) an immigrant who is undocumented, please do so. There may even be people in your life who you don't even know they are undocumented. You'll find that the great majority of immigrants all want to contribute to this country (and already are)and share the same values we all do.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.


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