Why can't every illegal immigrant do things the way Representative Adriano Espaillot did?

Alisyn Camarota interviewed Representative Adriano Espaillot (D-NY13) on CNN’s New Day this morning. It seems that Mr Espaillot first arrived in this country at age 9, with his parents, and they overstayed their visas, making them illegal immigrants.¹ Then, for reasons not brought up in the interview, Mr Espaillot’s parents returned the family home, to the Dominican Republic, from which they then applied to become legal immigrants to the United States. Miss Camarota then asked Mr Espaillot, President Trump’s supporters would ask why every illegal immigrant can’t do it that way?²

There was an implicit bias on Miss Camarota’s part, including the part about President Trump’s supporters would ask, rather than asking the question directly, but at least the question did get asked. Mr Espaillot is an American citizen, now, and a legal immigrant; there are few conservatives who have any objection to legal immigration.

Mr Espaillot’s parents did things the right way, and that’s how immigration ought to be handled.

The left and the Democrats are already complaining about President Trump’s immigration plans, which would (supposedly) greatly expand the number of illegal immigrants subject to deportation. However, as we have noted previously, illegal immigrants don’t commit just one crime. Survival requires food, clothing and shelter, and the illegal immigrants are breaking the law every day to obtain those:

  • If the illegal immigrant is working at a ‘regular’ job, one in which his employer checks immigration status and withholds required taxes, the immigrant must have provided a false Social Security number, for such taxes to be withheld; this is a felony!
  • If the illegal immigrant is working an irregular job, for cash under the table, he is evading income taxes; this is a felony!
  • If the illegal immigrant has no job, but is living on welfare, he has obtained welfare illegally.

This was the problem of recent cause célèbre Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, a long-time illegal immigrant recently deported. Mrs Garcia had been convicted of a felony for providing a faked Social Security number, which is why she was under an existing deportation order from 2013. The New York Times reported that her husband was also here illegally,³ which means that he was also breaking the law, continually, to support his family.

The Democrats and the left would like for us to think that the illegals break the law only once, when they cross the borders, and that only a few become criminals in other ways, but that is not true. Modern life in the United States requires money, and bank accounts, to live within the law. The illegal immigrants have no choice but to keep breaking the laws in order to survive here. Perhaps Mrs Garcia, and her illegal immigrant husband, were not violent criminals, but they were criminals nevertheless. We could, and really should, forgive those illegal immigrants who return to their home countries, and then apply for legal immigration, as did Mr Espaillot’s parents, but if they are unwilling to do things legally, they should be deported, period.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.
¹ – The First Street Journal does not use the mealy-mouthed term “undocumented,” other than for prosaic concerns, because “undocumented” has been meant, by those who use the term, to obscure the fact that illegal immigrants are here illegally, are in violation of the laws. The First Street Journal does not go along with obscuring the fact that “undocumented” immigrants are here illegally.
² – This is a paraphrase on my part; neither the video nor the transcript of the segment is yet available on line.
³ – The Times used the terms “unauthorized immigrant” and “undocumented immigrant” in reference to those here in violation of the law, using the term “illegal immigration” only in description of President Trump’s policies, and not in reference to individuals.