Ambrose: Illegal aliens aren’t the victims, we are

Among the most irrational causes of recent months is that of the 32-year-old mother arguing as if headed for the gas chamber about what a horror it would be to have her son live with her in Mexico.

Elvira Arellano, a recently deported illegal alien, would have you believe the issue is something else — her forced separation from 8-year-old Saul — but that’s blatant humbug.

Now residing in Tijuana, Arellano could have the boy join her in a minute by simply voicing her wishes. He’s a U.S. citizen by virtue of being born here, but no law compels him to stay here. The separation is purely and plainly Arellano’s decision.

Her own leaving of the United States was not her decision, of course, but neither was it the gross injustice she makes it out to be. She committed a felony by re-entering the United States after a 1997 deportation, was convicted of using a phony Social Security number and conspicuously flaunted the law by claiming sanctuary in a Chicago churchand refusing to obey court orders. Her penalty is an extremely mild one. When arrested in Los Angeles, she was required to return to her homeland.

Her Mexican sympathizers need to ask themselves a question. Do they think it so awful that they and their families live in Mexico instead of the United States? Is this their idea of dreadfulness? True, they haven’t been uprooted against their choosing, but they certainly could be torn from normal circumstances if they broke the law as Arellano did.

As for the U.S. sympathizers, you wonder how many thought back in 1999 that 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez should be sent back to his father in Cuba. Elian had been rescued after a boat carrying illegal Cuban immigrants sank off the Florida coast. His mother drowned in the accident, but relatives would happily have taken care of him in the United States. His father, still in Cuba, insisted that the boy be returned, and many Americans supported his plea, apparently believing that unification of the two counted for far more than the benefits of living in a free, prosperous land instead of a despotic, poor one. Whatever its problems, Mexico is far freer and richer than Cuba.

There is something little short of perverse in constantly making victims out of illegal aliens such as Arellano, as if they did not themselves cause their predicaments through the victimizing of U.S. citizens. Yes, citizens, who are victimized through having to pay higher taxes for the aliens and — among some of our least advantaged groups — of being cheated out of jobs and higher wages by those here in contravention of democratically established policies.

Arellano invited her own fate and that of her child, and it’s a mighty stretch to find anything unfair or harrowing in her story.

Examiner columnist Jay Ambrose is a former editor of two daily newspapers. He may be reached at SpeaktoJay@aol.com

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