Suggestion: Let's Offer Airfare to the Kin of the Deported

By David North on July 16, 2010

One of the central and unstated concepts of the more-migration types is that family unity can only be achieved in the United States.

If family member P is in Atlanta, and family member Q is in Uruguay, say, without a visa to the States, then American immigration law, the advocates would claim, is breaking up the family. In many of these situations the family could easily be united in Uruguay, but that is never mentioned.

Similarly, if A is married to B, and B gets deported, the strong possibility that the family could be reunited in, say, Uruguay is not discussed.

There is a way to keep those families together (and to undermine this line of argument). It goes like this: If family member B is to be deported, then the government should offer a one-way airline ticket to family member A, and to other members of the immediate family. It might even add a small resettlement grant, say $500 or $1,000, to the family to be paid once they reach the other nation, or maybe a month after they get to the destination. (They would have to report to our embassy, all of them, in person, to get the check.)

The government, in the name of family unity, would thus offer to spend a little money to keep the family together. If the offer were not accepted – and I think this would be common – then B, the deportee, would be breaking up the family, no one else.

The system would need to be carefully designed to thwart fraudulent responses to it; and it probably should not operate for people from either Canada or Mexico, as illicit re-entry is so easy from those nations. With all the family members out of the country, the temptation for B, in this case, to try to re-enter the U.S. would be reduced, and the extra expenditure would be justified.

This notion was inspired by a recent story in Immigration Daily:

Bloggings On Deportation And Removal (July 12, 2010)
by Matthew Kolken
The reality of our broken immigration law: U.S. Citizen's Wife Deported, Family Destroyed

"The undocumented wife of this U.S. citizen was deported as a result of being pulled over for a
minor traffic violation. Set in Queen Creek, Ariz., this story provides a window into the impact that new state laws like Arizona's SB 1070 will have on the lives of undocumented residents and citizens alike."

My first reaction was: there is a virulent strain of stupidity infecting everyone in this specific case. There's a stupid driver, a stupid (and unloving) husband, a dim-witted wife, and a nearly brain-dead reporter. The government, however, was doing what it was supposed to do.

Driver: Years ago I borrowed an old station-wagon from a friend to move some furniture. He said that the vehicle was fragile and had an overdue inspection sticker, so he suggested: "David, drive as if you were carrying a bale of marijuana." Memorable advice, which I took. Similarly, if you are driving a car while illegal you should drive with extra care.

Husband: If he, a citizen, really loved her, and had a brain cell working, he would have filed immigration papers for her long ago.

Wife: If she, the illegal, had been thinking she would have asked, maybe demanded, that her husband file the papers.

Reporter: The reporter missed all three of the points above. Further his line "this story provides a window into the impact that new state laws like Arizona's SB 1070 will have on the lives of undocumented residents and citizens alike" is only partially correct. The driver was (apparently) deported by the actions of federal, not state, law. Perhaps more illegal aliens will be deported because of SB 1070, but the feds are showing no signs of rushing to help Arizona in this connection.

Perhaps the reporter's article was 100 percent accurate, but I am left with questions. Deporting that driver – unless there is much missing – is not the kind of action the Obama administration usually takes. It concentrates on deporting criminals. Further, the wife of a U.S citizen would seem to be a highly unlikely object of deportation, a process in which the DHS staff has a lot of room for discretion. And the electronic version of the story does not tell us where it first appeared. But let's assume the story is correct.

My second reaction to the story was the notion, elaborated on above, that the government should offer a one-way ticket out of here to the thoughtless husband.

If he really loved her, he would, of course, follow her to, say, Uruguay.