As Fox News Latino reports:
“Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer defended her order denying driver’s licenses and other public benefits to young undocumented immigrants while affirming that she doesn’t hate Latinos or immigrants.
Gov. Brewer said Tuesday she blames the federal government and parents for the immigration issue in the US as she defended her order denying benefits to those who get work authorizations under a new Obama administration policy. …
‘I think everybody in Arizona (and) across the country has compassion for those children that have been brought here illegally by their parents,’ Brewer said. ‘But it is not our responsibility. It is their parents’ responsibility. They need to follow the law.’ “
You get the sense with some nativists like Brewer that they understand the unfortunate facts of the matter, but that they don’t share the same principles as those fighting to make life easier for DREAMers — exactly the kind of children and former children Brewer calls on us to be compassionate towards.
I think it was Aristotle who warned that there’s no arguing with anyone who denies first principles. I’ll try, nonetheless.
Brewer and I agree that we must feel nothing but the utmost “compassion for those children that have been brought here illegally [or were made to stay here illegally] by their parents.” I, too, blame the parents and the federal government’s failed immigration system for raising a generation without a country.
Still, I disagree with Brewer on how to remedy the situation.
We should not send these kids back to their country of birth or make life in the United States so difficult for them that they opt to deport themselves. Many DREAMers can be rightly labeled “American,” having spent the majority of their lives in the United States and having been almost entirely molded by American society. There are even some DREAMers who have no memory of their place of birth whatsoever, nor have the slightest clue of what life is like there.
All these children and young adults need — in fact, what they’re owed — is the chance to make themselves American under the eyes of the law, to make themselves on paper what they already are in their hearts.
I also disagree with Brewer when she argues that the law cannot and should not do anything to improve the lives of DREAMers. The law is the law, Brewer and her supporters argue, as though U.S. immigration law were a gift from God delivered to us on stone tablets. Is the law so blind, so rigid, that it cannot differentiate between one circumstance and another, between the undocumented person who was brought here at the age of two by her parents and the undocumented person who sneaks across the border as an adult?
Whatever else the law is or isn’t, it must be just, first and foremost. The current prohibitions placed on undocumented Americans are certainly not just. All that’s left to do now is to change the law so that it is.