Monday, June 30, 2014

I'm sorry, I should have known better

I've often heard one recurring problem with intellectuals, activists and journalists (hey, that's me) is that they bear no cost for being wrong when they advocate how our society should be run.

With that in mind, I'm issuing an apology for the immigration mess our country is facing where South and Central American children, some 52,000 so far, are being smuggled in and dumped over the border. That's just the kids who live, and as President Obama said recently; “We don't even know how many of these kids don't make it, and may have been waylaid into sex trafficking or killed because they fell off a train."

I'm sorry. This is partially my fault.

You see, I'm a supporter of the DREAM Act, a failed piece of legislation that would have granted permanent residency status to illegal immigrants who came to America as young children. These are kids in good moral standing who have no memory of their birth country and deporting them would be like deporting me to a foreign nation.

The DREAM Act has not been passed by the legislature, but instead on June 15, 2012, President Obama issued an executive order essentially mimicking the DREAM Act by refusing to enforce deportation on some of the same people who would have benefited from it. While technically that order doesn't apply to recent immigrants, I imagine the parents who shipped off their kids either didn't know that or thought it would be waived.

I opposed the executive order, as even though I support open borders I want to achieve it by changing laws, not by circumventing checks and balances and refusing to enforce laws. My concern was this sets a bad precedent and nudges us towards tyranny.

But I didn't stop to think of the obvious problem: People are smart enough to change their behavior when the rules change. It never occurred to me that parents in other nations would hand their children over to criminals and spill them onto the ground over the border.

Granted, I didn't support the executive order that caused this problem, but I supported (and continue to support) a similar piece of legislation that if passed would have caused the same problem. I failed to think of the consequences and supported something that lacks a safeguard, and now we have to send these kids back to avoid encouraging more parents to smuggle their kids.

It's been said that success has a thousand fathers but failure is an orphan. I'm unable to find any news reports where President Obama has apologized for this mess, but I offer my apology freely and sincerely. I should have known better and I was part of the problem behind this catastrophe.

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