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'Normal Result'

Now up on the homepage is Patrck Dunne's article on the cruel and all-too-forseeable consequences of our immigration system. Dunne writes:

Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, immigrants who have entered the United States illegally and have lived in this country “out of status” for over 180 days face a permanent ban forbidding them re-entry if they leave the country even momentarily—even for the out-of-country interview officially required for adjustment of status.[...] 

IIRIRA thus imposes a total separation of husband from wife, of father from children, for ten, even twenty years. It can be as traumatic for the family of an undocumented alien as a divorce or a death.

It is true that U.S. authorities may, at their discretion, waive this penalty. But such a waiver is rarely granted, even to one whose spouse and children can demonstrate the required “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship”—something like a severe, life-threatening disease afflicting the U.S. citizen spouse or children and jeopardizing medical intervention and long-term care if the ban is enforced. But loneliness, heartache, despair, economic hardship (repossession of car and home, child-care expense, bankruptcy)—what the Immigration Courts like to call the “normal result” of a years-long separation—won’t be enough for that waiver.

By the time [a deported husband and father] sees his young children again, they may hardly recognize him. Of course, his American family could rejoin him in Mexico, but that too could be a terrible hardship, for all the reasons that led the man to leave Mexico in the first place. Their economic prospects there may be grim, and the children will grow up without the kind of education and acculturation necessary to make them responsible citizens of the United States, the country of their birth. So much for family values.

Read the rest here.

About the Author

Matthew Boudway is an associate editor of Commonweal.



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My advice to immigration lawbreakers:

.  Respect the laws, including immigration laws, of whatever country you choose to enter.

.  Don't sneak into said country; the legal residents get the heebie-jeebies, and angry into the bargain.

.  Try not to whine about your situation; only unhinged leftists are impressed.

.  Don't hide behind your children, for heaven's sake; they didn't ask to be put into an impossible situation.  You're the parents, you brought them here, now take responsibility for your actions.

.  And please, lose the "Welcome the stranger" blather.  The problem is not your being strangers, the problem is your disrespect for our country's laws.


An awful lot of blame on the undocumented. I have close relatives in San Diego and there is an entire infrastructure that creates the "legal" conditions for employment. And, I bet many of these employers don't mind not having to pay even minimum wage, no benefits, etc. etc. Also, SOMEBODY, is providing them with social security numbers (don't you require this for work or to be eligible for state or federal assistance?).   

I have said before that anyone knowingly employing illegal aliens ought to face stiff fines and jail time.  And no excuses for not knowing.  E-Verify works reasonably well, and if an employer has good reason to suspect that a prospective employee is here illegally, take action.  If we were ever able to weed out the unethical employers, we would be on our way to substantially reducing the unemployment numbers.


I assume you make sure that none of the food you buy was harvested or processed by undocumented workers, there being "no excuses for not knowing." Obviously someone who feels as strongly as you do about the immorality of living and working in this country illegally—or of hiring "illegals"—would take great care not to encourage this ongoing scandal with his buying habits.

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