New York Times Op-Ed Argues Against Deportations of Illegal Alien Parents

By David North on April 23, 2012

There was an op-ed piece in Saturday's (April 21) New York Times about the plight of children of deported illegal aliens that seemed to argue for a two-tier deportation system: While some non-parent illegal aliens might be subject to deportation, no illegal alien with kids should ever be deported.

The authors did not discuss the totally predictable results of such a policy:

  • illegal aliens would quickly seek to become parents, sending their group's birth rate soaring; and

  • aliens, already parents, might be encouraged to bring along their children during their illicit entrance to the United States.

The article, "Deporting Parents Hurts Kids", is by two academics, Hirokazu Yoshikawa of Harvard's Graduate School of Education and Carola Suárez-Orozco, co-director of immigration studies at New York University. A key sentence follows:

Research by the Urban Institute and others reveals the deep and irreversible harm that parental deportation causes in the lives of their children.

I am sure that this is the case, but it must be equally true that the long-term jailing of criminals has the same effects on their children, so do we stop sending parents to jail for serious crimes? I don't think so.

That authors' unspoken premise, of course, is that illegal entry to the United States is a parking ticket sort of violation, and should not create grounds for deportation. Nor do they recognize that deportation is not comparable to sending someone to jail, it is simply the state's preservation of the status quo ante and is the restoration of the illegal alien to the country where he or she belongs.

That neither of these academics explored the logical consequences of the "don't deport parents" policy is disappointing. They might have argued, for instance, that creating totally artificial incentives for parenthood and zooming birth rates were preferable consequences to the probable ill effects of a parent's deportation on some children.

Another disappointing element of the article was the inherent, red-white-and-blue jingoism therein — the unspoken belief that the child of the deported could not possibly join the parent in the country to which he or she had been returned. Is life in the rest of the world so grim that leaving the child parentless (or shy one parent) in the United States is better than the child's living with the parent overseas?

The resumes and the names of the authors do not suggest a lack of cosmopolitanism, yet this "America First" posture on where the child of an illegal alien should live is all too typical of the more-migration advocates. They always think that family reunification can only occur in the United States, whereas in truth it can happen anywhere in the world.

Logic, sadly, sometimes is lacking in parts of the Grey Lady.