Making Illegals the Victims

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on August 11, 2011

An Associated Press report is designed to tug at Americans' heartstrings and imply a question: Why is the U.S. so mean to those illegal Mexican aliens, making them leave the country?

The article describes a subset of illegals of the thousands dropped across the border routinely at Tijuana, Mexico. These illegals consist of drug abusers, mental cases, and ne'er-do-wells present in any and every society. But the AP report insinuates that these are particularly needy or unique people. They aren't. They are the victims of their own bad (often law-breaking) choices.

The description says there are "hundreds of deportees who are stuck in Tijuana, which sits across from San Diego, California. Some don't have the money for a bus trip home. Some are waiting to cross the border again. And some have mental problems or addictions."

For those of us who know the meaning of "hootenanny," this story sounds reminiscent of the Kingston Trio's folk song about being stuck in the Tijuana jail, having no friends to make his bail.

Then there's the irony of their situation: Many of these returned illegals likely acquired fake IDs in America or stole or defrauded an innocent American's identity. Yet, "Many left Mexico as children or adolescents and don't have social security numbers or a voter registration card, the document Mexicans use as their general identification, much like driver's licenses in the U.S."

It's also striking that the Mexican authorities get a pass from reporters for their lackadaisical, at best – or cruel and corrupt, at worst – dealings with these, their own people. Bottom line, these people are Mexico's problem, not ours. Why is it our problem just because they spent time unlawfully in this country before being returned to their home nation?

These people indeed face sobering and unfortunate circumstances. But the only person to blame is the one they face in the mirror. They chose to break U.S. immigration (and other U.S.) laws. They took a risk and, fortunately for America, got caught and held to account on our side of the border. Had they stayed here, as open-borders types would prefer, their criminal lives would have continued and their burden would have continued to strain limited American resources (such as medical care, welfare, charity, education) and to fill stolen American jobs.

In the interest of balanced reporting, it would be decent and, indeed, professional, for American reporters to include reportage of how the U.S. benefits from such deportations. Don't stoop to twisting perpetrators into victims. Get some perspective. Recognize who the real victims are – these lawless foreigners' American ID theft victims, those Americans they blocked from landing badly needed work, truly deserving poor Americans who had to forego medical treatment or wait that much longer for it on account of these illegals' pilfering of our safety-net system.