The Problem with Deportation – Claire Snyder-Hall

It troubles me deeply when I hear people say that undocumented people should be deported because “they broke the law and there must be consequences.” We need to remember the importance of proportionality.

First of all, you can’t criminalize human nature.

It is human nature to take care of your family and that is what undocumented people are trying to do. Who among us wouldn’t do the same? If I were living in grinding poverty in a community plagued by gang war, and there was an affluent, peaceful county right nearby, I hope I would have the moral fiber to try to get my family there or to go there and send money back home. That is what most undocumented people are doing.

Second, if someone does break the law by not having the proper government papers, is it proportional to imprison them without representation in inhumane conditions and then drag them into a random place in Mexico and drop them off, even if they have no support there?

Finally, does it stand in keeping with our own values as a society to rip families apart and then just tell ourselves “they broke the law! They must be punished!”?

I will admit it makes be sick to hear such cruel indifference towards the plight of our brothers and sisters who don’t have government papers.

Accelerating our already unacceptable levels of deportations by empowering a police state will put our society farther down the road towards authoritarianism and then we will all suffer, but then it will be too late. If we are OK with that, perhaps we don’t deserve to be free.

 

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