This may be blasphemy, but there is an eerie resemblance between the egocentric arguments of illegal aliens and the tweets of our egocentric president.
This thought crossed my mind when I read the latest defiant statement of an illegal alien who faces deportation, and deserves it: Jeanette Vizguerra, a multiple law violator whose op-ed piece appeared in the February 25 New York Times. The article was titled "Why I Will Not Leave"; had she or her copy editor been a little more familiar with this country and its traditions she would have written the more compelling "Why I Shall Not Be Moved," as in the Pete Seeger song.
Vizguerra's screed includes confessions that she has entered the country without inspection at least twice and has used a phony Social Security number. She says that she has three U.S. citizen children, the oldest of these being 12, and a DACA daughter. Her frequently postponed deportation, to quote a subhead "will break up American families like mine."
Let's note that her deportation would not necessarily "break up" the family; it would do so only if the family did not opt to follow her back to Mexico. The article called her husband a "noncitizen" and he might well be another illegal alien from Mexico.
Another omission: The author failed to point out that the 12-year-old daughter could, within nine years, file a petition for an immediate relative visa for her mother who would be admitted free of any country-of-origin ceilings. Scores of millions of people outside the United States would love to have that privilege.
The most revealing aspect of Vizguerra's article, however, was the singularly narrow point of view she expressed; it is all about me and my family. I can understand her focus, and it may be hard-hearted of me to say so, but you cannot construct public policy on how it plays out (for those who have broken our laws) in individual cases and ignore the broader consequences.
As is almost always the case in these stories, there is no thought that the logical extension of her argument is that no illegal aliens should be deported at all. Though she seemingly wants only legal status for herself, she is setting a precedent that no alien should ever be deported, and logically there should be no immigration laws, and anyone who wants to do so should be able to move to the United States when it meets his or her own personal needs (Me! Me! Me!).
Since a huge portion of the world's population wants to come to the United States, the lack of an immigration system would mean an explosion in our population, the total collapse of our social insurance and welfare programs, a massive attack on our environment and our infrastructure, and the like. Vizguerra would presumably not like that result.
It strikes me that the German philosopher Immanuel Kant had a sound idea that would demolish her argument: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."
There are those who say that Kant's categorical imperative is another way of saying "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Those who want to discourage the enforcement of the immigration law ignore Kant's advice, and all other rational approaches, as they only pay attention to the egocentric pleas of the law-breakers.
Should we build our immigration policy on the shaky and narrow foundation of what some aliens say they need, and what they want, a foundation sure to crumble under the pressure of multiple me-firsters?
I don't think so.