Unjust immigration laws should change
To the editor: I wanted to respond to the "In Pursuit of Citizenship" article concerning "Ashley's" immigration story. I am currently completing my final year of graduate school in public policy at Bloomsburg University and I am familiar with many of the policy issues concerning illegal immigration.
It is important to note that real criminals, who are undocumented, should be deported. However, Ashley's case is a little different. Ashley's story points to the fact that illegal immigration is not a monolithic issue.
Ashley is not some Mexican criminal who jumped a fence in Arizona. Ashley was a 4-year-old child who was brought to America by other people.
Some of the callers in Sound Off falsely accused Ashley of being a non-English speaking "illegal," who stole taxpayer resources by attending primary and secondary school. However, it is completely legal for undocumented children to obtain a primary and secondary education. The United States Supreme Court ruled, in the 1982 landmark case Plyler v. Doe, that undocumented children cannot be denied access to primary and secondary education. The court explained that it is ethically and morally wrong to punish children for the actions of others.
Ethics and morality point to the conclusion that someone like Ashley should not be punished for the actions of others. America was founded on ethics of fairness and Christian-Judeo values. There is just something unfair concerning the deportation of a person who has lived in America since the age of 4, has contributed her talents and taxes to America, and knows America as her only home.
There is the valid argument that America is a nation of laws and Ashley is still in violation of those laws. However, occasionally unjust laws need to be changed, as was the case with Jim Crow and segregation in the South. It is my hope that immigration law will change so hardworking people like Ashley are not punished for the actions of others.
Kyle E. Grybos