Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Controlling Immigration

Posted by Warren Peterson on August 15, 2010

Carlos Hernandez, apparently an illegal immigrant from Mexico, recently fled Arizona and its new immigration law for Washington State. He now lives with his wife and son in Burien. His picture and accompanying article is on the front page of the Seattle Times (August 14, 2010). He moved to Washington for two reasons: It is a safer place for undocumented aliens and one can get a drivers license without having to answer any annoying questions about citizenship.

The story fairly screams, “Come and get me ICE!” * But they won’t. Imagine if the story was about Carlos having a dozen outstanding traffic tickets. The police would be at his door before you could shout “revenue shortfall.”

Mr. Hernandez is not stupid, not brash nor taunting the system, he simply has no fear of arrest and deportation. And he’s probably right. According to the article, he recognizes it was wrong to sneak into the county but he rationalizes his action by saying now that he is here he wants to contribute and follow the rules. With the exception of the “sneak in” part, he probably does.

He is a symbol of an intractable problem, immigration control and reform. We know how to secure borders – money, technology and manpower – but what to do about the Hernandez’s of this world is not so easily resolved, particularly for those who have been here for years and especially in an election year.

* Immigration And Customs Enforcement

Cross posted on Sound Politics

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