Illegals from China

US To Ship Illegal Immigrants Back Home:

To China. Mexican immigrants are still a hot topic, but Chertoff got an agreement to send every single Chinese illegal immigrant right back to the Communists.

"If we start to show progress in the short term, one of the messages that will be sent to those who are thinking of illegally migrating is that when they get caught in the U.S. they will be going back home," said Chertoff. "They will not be getting released into the United States. We can have a huge effect on this by starting to establish deterrents, which we have not been able to do up to now."
There are, of course, three little differences between Chinese illegal immigration and Mexican illegal immigration:

1) The government of Mexico seems to be encouraging illegal immigration. China, on the other hand, regards these people as criminals to be punished on their return.

2) The trip from Mexico is life-threatening; but it's a walk in the park compared to getting here secretly from China. As a result, there's no demographic tipping point to worry about, as there aren't that many Chinese illegals (39,000 is the estimate).

3) We don't share a border with China, and they don't claim any of our land.

What does all that mean? Well, that depends on how you see the issue. If you think that the issue is purely one of law enforcement -- the right of America to make and enforce its own laws -- none of it makes any difference. They broke the law, and the law says to send them home.

If your concern isn't about the rule of law, but the stability of the culture -- this is my concern and position, just to be clear -- the Mexican immigrants represent a serious problem and danger that needs to be managed; whereas the Chinese immigrants, who will never muster the numbers to destabilize a community or lay claim to American land, are not a danger of that type. We might be free to consider other questions, such as what their fate will be if they return.

On the other hand, we have also to consider that an asylum-centric policy would encourage more people to take the risks of the sea and the evils of human smugglers. Surely that is no good thing.

I'm told that this is a simple issue, and indeed it can be. "The law must be enforced" simplifies things greatly.

Yet America has always held that juries were meant to be involved in the enforcement of the law; or, in courts martial, fellow military men. The idea has never been that the law should be applied without consideration of the individual case, including the question of whether -- this time -- we should make an exception.

The police have a simple job: catch the criminals; arrest them; bring them to a magistrate. From there, though, justice has never been simple. Trying to make it so may improve the efficiency of the courts, but I'm not convinced it will improve the quality of justice delivered. I like the idea of having a jury of Americans look over the case, and give a ruling tailored to the individual facts.

In the case of Mexico, stronger measures and greater efficiency may be needed. The crisis is larger, and it is backed by sections of the Mexican government and organized groups in the United States. If the concern is the letter of the law, then it's the same problem, China and Mexico. But if the concern is assimilation and the American mission of freedom, the Chinese situation is notably different from the Mexican one.

No comments: