The Secure Communities program is under fire again. Last week a group of people who oppose the controversial law – which allows local authorities to send an arrested person’s fingerprints to Immigration and Customs Enforcement – sang and chanted outside a San Bernardino field office for the Department of Homeland Security.
The protestors were mostly children of illegal immigrants, meaning they did not have U.S. citizenship. Putting themselves on the line for something they believe in is an honorable act, but now they may face the consequences of the very deportation program they were protesting against.
The issue of children brought into the United States by illegal immigrants is a complicated matter. Many of these children arrive in the U.S. at an extremely young age. Obviously a 2- or 3-year-old does not have a say when their family is considering trying to enter the country illegally.
But once they are here, these children rarely know any other country. They are raised in the United States just like any U.S. citizen would be. It would seem that people who grow up here for almost their entire lives yet still lack citizenship should be given the opportunity to earn such a status. The needless deportation of people who are raised in the United States and contribute to our society costs money and breaks apart families that are only trying to achieve greater goals in their lives.
A spokeswoman for ICE commented on the protests and the issue of the country’s immigration and deportation policies. “We recognize that our nation’s broken immigration system requires serious solutions, and we fully support comprehensive immigration reform efforts,” she said.
Source: Contra Costa Times, “Immigration protestors arrested in San Bernardino,” Ryan Hagen, Jan. 24, 2012