The media coverage of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) arrest of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez has been utterly disturbing. And it is unsettling not due to the mind-boggling quantity of sappy pseudo-journalism, nor because of the wild inaccuracies in most of the pieces. It is shocking because nearly all of the coverage has missed the key point: Avelica-Gonzalez is unlawfully present in the United States. In plain English, he’s an illegal alien. And that’s why he’s been ordered deported. Yet, that fact that is barely mentioned in the majority of the reportage.
The LA Times informs us that his criminal convictions are nearly two decades old. NBC News notes that those convictions were plea-bargained down to misdemeanors. Other outlets have bemoaned the fact that Avelica-Gonzalez is a father of four and that he lived in the U.S. for nearly 25 years before ICE arrested him. Still others have wailed that the Big Blue Meanies at ICE arrested him – gasp and swoon – right after he dropped his daughter off at middle school.
All of those details are irrelevant. Working, paying taxes, staying out of trouble and supporting one’s family are baseline obligations in the United States. They are what is expected of functioning members of society. They aren’t the sort of “above and beyond the call of duty” behavior that qualifies an illegal alien for a rare grant of relief from removal.
But these red herrings are brought into immigration news coverage in a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. The mainstream media wants news consumers to believe that that ICE is doing something immoral and un-American. Why? Because the cultural elites who write for big box media outlets don’t like the idea of borders. It interferes with their utopian, internationalist fantasies.
The real story in this case is significantly less sympathetic than the LA Times, NBC News and their cohorts would have us believe. Avelica-Gonzalez didn’t want to wait in line to come to the United States, so he broke the law and snuck in. He wanted to drive but, because he was unlawfully present in the United States, he couldn’t register his car. So he broke the law again and obtained stolen license plates. Then, disregarding the safety of everyone else on the road, he broke the law and drove drunk. One wonders, at what point did Avelica-Gonzalez plan on obeying laws that stood in the way of his personal desires?
Most of us – at least those of us who don’t work in mainstream journalism – understand that immigration enforcement isn’t based on any xenophobic impulse to ostracize the “other.” Rather, it is a logical attempt to avoid the type of chaos that occurs in a world without limits. Think of the utter pandemonium that would result if everyone chose to disregard every inconvenient law with the frequency that Avelica-Gonzalez did.
So, while Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez might not want to leave the United States, he is certainly not the victim of any injustice. Actions have consequences. His deliberate and consistent disregard for American law are what led to his deportation. Neither U.S. immigration law, nor the hard-working men and women of ICE are to blame.