Comment of the Week: Human Beings Are Not Illegal

This week Weekly staffer Keegan Hamilton brought you the story of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's new "Secure Communities" program. The program is designed to deport illegal immigrants who are found to have committed serious crimes. But instead, records show that nearly 80 percent of those deported had either no convictions or only minor traffic offenses.

This post set off the classic argument between the "deport-em-all" crowd and the "it's-more complicated-than-that" crowd.

Here's our favorite response.

Flower Power writes:

The responses are very entertaining. So many people functioning from their reptilian brain. Human beings are not illegal. Aliens are from another planet. What hipocracy . . . keep your heads buried in the sand while some folks do the farm labor, house/hotel cleaning and nanny work and then let's look for a scapegoat. This is about a program from ICE called Secure Communities. Get with the program people and focus on the issues at hand. Civil rights for all. Liberty and justice for all. God bless America.

Normally we'd shy away from highlighting anyone who accuses other commenters of having "reptilian brains," but given the tone of a lot of the previous comments (Yakima's battered-women's groups are "disgusting horny lesbians" wtf?), Flower Power's insult was relatively mild.

The point the commenter makes is nonetheless valid. Human beings are not illegal. Although being in America illegally certainly is.

So how does one bridge the gap between recognizing that laws are laws and also recognizing that (A) undocumented labor plays a huge part in sustaining the country's economy, and (B) breaking up families of hardworking and contributing members of society over a ticket for a broken taillight is neither moral nor productive?

Smarter (and dumber) people than us have been wrangling over that answer for some time now.

But keeping one's "head buried in the sand," as FP puts it, isn't helping anyone.

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