Buzzfeed claims to, “break big stories that hold major institutions accountable for their actions, and expose injustices that change people’s lives.” It recently ran opinion column, “The Children of Undocumented Immigrants Live in an Emotional Prison” that clearly demonstrates the fallacious logic regularly employed by open borders advocates. Although we suspect that wasn’t the story Buzzfeed was trying to break.
The column claims to detail the delicate psychological state of Carlos (not his real name), a U.S. citizen child of illegal alien parents. We are told that Carlos sought a psychological evaluation “to identify the hardships and mental health impacts he would likely suffer if his parents were forced to return to their native country.” Apparently, Carlos “has nightmares of immigration raids, panic symptoms, and difficulty concentrating because of fear and lack of sleep.”
According to the authors of the Buzzfeed piece, Carlos and his parents are hapless victims of “an alarming increase in levels of distress and anxiety” among illegal aliens that is attributable to “President Donald Trump’s highly publicized crackdown on illegal immigration.”
If that sounds totally backwards, that’s because it is. One of the primary functions of law is deterrence. If potential lawbreakers are not afraid they will suffer negative consequences upon breaking the law, then they will not be dissuaded from violating it. Therefore, if illegal aliens are experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety, due to fear of prosecution for their trespasses, then, for the first time in decades, our immigration system is working the way it should.
Yet, the Buzzfeed columnists seem to suggest that the United States owes Carlos and his parents an apology, not just for enforcing a distinction between citizens and foreigners, but for having the temerity to call foreigners to account when they trespass in the United States. Therefore, rather than deport them based on their flagrant disregard for our rules, we should reward them for it, and let them stay. The clear implication is that some ill-defined obligation to minimize the distress inflicted on Carlos and his parents outweighs any interest that the United States has in asserting its sovereignty and maintaining public order.
But that’s utterly tortured logic that fails on at least two counts:
- It inverts the legal relationship that exists between the United States and foreigners, making us accountable to illegal aliens, rather than holding illegal aliens accountable to our laws.
- It also grants illegal aliens special treatment of a type that is unavailable to U.S. citizens. We don’t refuse to incarcerate tax evaders, fraudsters, or burglars because their children will be upset when they are hauled away. And we should not let illegal aliens use their kids as human shields that exempt them from the consequences of their crimes.
In any other context, people intuitively accept that letting criminals set the penalty for their own transgressions is a very bad public policy call. The same should hold true for immigration. Americans are in no way obligated to adjust their notions of public order, solely to comfort those who blatantly and unrepentantly disobey our laws.