The case for exempting certain kinds of illegal immigrants from being deported
In National Review Online, Mark Krikorian, the outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, comments on the case of a talented newspaper journalist who recently wrote an article acknowledging that he is in the United States illegally:
Jose Antonio Vargas has had his fraudulently acquired Washington State driver's license cancelled -- so far the only legal consequence of his revelation that he's here illegally. Interestingly, Peter Perl, the head of personnel for the Washington Post who covered up Vargas's illegal status for five years, told an interviewer that he's suffered no consequences and has no regrets. So, let me get this straight -- there are some crimes that the Washington Post disapproves of, like, say, breaking into a riverfront hotel/office complex and then covering it up, whereas others, like harboring an illegal alien, document fraud, perjury, and false claims of U.S. citizenship committed by their own employees, are okay. Good to know.
If it is hypocrisy to assert that some lawbreaking warrants disapproval, and to believe that other lawbreaking doesn't, I am guilty of it, both personally and journalistically. If I discovered that people working on behalf of President Obama were breaking into Mitt Romney's campaign offices, for example, I'd expose them. But if I discovered that a fellow citizen was smoking marijuana in his basement, or illegally mailing alcohol across state lines, or adding a recording studio to the family garage without getting a permit from the city, or canoeing across the lake without a life jacket?
I'd hope they'd get away with it.
Illegal immigration and the rule of law are complicated matters. If it were up to me, the United States would permit more people to come here legally, as we did for decades on end when we were a much poorer country, and the cultural differences between immigrants and citizens were more pronounced than they are in today's globalized world. I must concede, however, that my fellow citizens don't share my point of view, and that a polity has the legal right to enact immigration restrictions. I am all for deporting illegal immigrants who commit crimes that harm people, and although I wish workplace enforcement was unnecessary I don't object to it happening.