Our immigration policy is anti-family

The story of Felipe Montes is horrifying but not an isolated incident. Montes, who had lived in the United States for nine years before being deported, left behind his wife Marie and their three children. Their youngest had just been born a couple months earlier, and Marie had fallen ill. She survived on disability with Felipe gone. And, of course, the story only gets worse from there:

 Less than two months after their baby was born, just two weeks after Felipe was loaded onto a plane and deported to Mexico, the Allegheny County child welfare department took the children from Marie and put them in foster care.

Allegheny County has already convinced a judge to end family reunification efforts with Marie Montes. She wants the children to be placed with their father. “If they can’t be with me, I want them to be with him,” she said. “Nobody is a better father than he is.”

But next week, on February 21, the county’s Department of Social Services plans to ask a judge to cease all efforts to reunify the family and put the children into adoption proceedings with foster families. Though Felipe Montes was his children’s primary caregiver before he was deported and has not been charged with neglect, the child welfare department nonetheless believes that his children, who have now been in foster care for over a year, are better off in the care of strangers than in Mexico with their father.

For Montes, this feels tantamount to kidnapping.

“I cannot find the words to tell you how important my kids are to me. I would do anything for them,” he told Colorlines.com, speaking on his cell phone in Mexico while on a break from his job at a farm. “In this world there are many injustices. At the very least, I would like them to send my kids to Mexico.”

The tragedy here underscores a larger tragedy with the US immigration system. US-born children who are deported with their undocumented parents are not counted by the government, not included in their tallies. When we hear that 400,000 undocumented immigrants were deported, how many of those took their US-born children with them? What are the true figures?

The tragedies stack up. When Felipe Montes was deported, his economic productivity was lost. That’s an immediate loss for the country and his community. A worker and a consumer simply disappeared from the local economy. Worse still, his wife could no longer support their children due to her illness and the loss of income. That obviously has a direct economic impact on that family (not to mention the emotional impact.)

Compounding the economic strain this created, now the the taxpayer is footing the bill for the childrens’ welfare, sucking even more money out of the economy and pumping it into the badly broken foster care system. It’s one thing if kids are taken from truly abusive homes and placed into foster care – that’s a state service born out of inevitability and mercy. But when it’s the result of an immoral immigration policy that is at once harmful to the broader economy and to the lives of very real, very innocent people it’s just unconscionable.

Colorlines has a full report on the growing number of children – numbering in the thousands – who face a similar fate. But countless more face deportation themselves. These are real people, torn by force from the only home or family they’ve ever known because of a rule that is at once economically backwards and utterly devoid of compassion.

We should be encouraging immigration – as much of it as possible – and the free movement of people across borders. The side effects of our immigration policy are so numerous: coyotes smuggling people in horrifying and often life-threatening conditions; sexual assault of women and girls who try to emigrate from their home countries; the destruction of families; economic hardship and unnecessary suffering. The list goes on and on and on.

Economic illiteracy and unbridled nationalism fuel our immigration policy. Real people suffer the consequences. Real people, despite their linguistic dissimilarities and darker skin, suffer because of abstract, old-fashioned ideas about borders. In the case of the Montes family, the youngest child – now one year old – lives with a different foster family than his brothers. Felipe has never met his youngest son, having been detained prior to the child’s birth.

As a parent, I cannot even begin to imagine this – to imagine first being detained during the birth of my child, and then to learn that they’d been taken away by the state and placed with strangers. The heartbreak is too much. The choices we ask people to make are too enormous. It should weigh heavy on our mind, those of us who face no such calamities.

It’s just inexplicable to me that people who tout their “family values” bona fides could support such a monstrous policy.

(cross-posted)






178 replies
  1. 1
    Tod Kelly says:

    I believe the counter argument is:

    Something something something ILLEGAL!!! something something.

    So there’s that.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Oh, please, E.D.

    People with brown skin, or who speak a language other than English, are not “real people.”

    Get with the program.

  3. 3
    schrodinger's cat says:

    This is news to you? This has been going on for years. There have been several cases of American citizens being deported because they could not prove that they were indeed citizens. People regularly die in the deportee prisons. And now states like Alabama and South Carolina who are following Arizona’s lead can demand proof of citizenship for getting utilities like electricity. They are not against illegal immigration but immigration. period. Illegal immigrants are easier to demonize that’s all. The message is clear, if you are not one of us (white, evangelical and Republican) you don’t belong.

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    To be totally cynical for a minute, of course DSS wants to put the kids out for adoption — it sounds like they’re totally normal kids raised by good parents who ran into bad luck, so they’ll be very easy to place in adoptive homes, unlike kids who have been abused or neglected.

    It’s basically baby stealing under color of authority, but as long as you can paint the father as a “criminal” for living and working in this country without proper authorization, you can deny him custody because of his “criminal record.”

  5. 5
    aimai says:

    The real issue here–or one of them–is that Maria Montes is financially and socially so marginal, and so is her family, that the children were taken away from her in the first place. The children were taken away from her because Social Services can not (or will not) financially support this woman and her family in the way that her husband could. And neither can her own natal family. There’s a huge prejudice against poor people and against poor mothers in this society–the boston globe ran a heartbreaking story about a very young, sexually abused, but pretty amazing single mother who lost her kids to a “deserving” childless middle class couple. This is not just a kind of nationalist chauvenism and racism–it is also classism.

  6. 6
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Kris Kobach the author of the infamous Arizona bill is quite close to Mitt Romney’s campaign and most likely will head ICE if Romney becomes President.

  7. 7
    E.D. Kain says:

    @aimai: good point. Instead of just helping the mother raise her kids, the state takes them away entirely. I bet they could just pay her to be a mom and save money. It’s insane.

  8. 8
    E.D. Kain says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: of course this isn’t news to me. But this sort of thing requires constant discussion, don’t you think? If we’re ever to change anything we have to put it out there in the open – right? Half the time spent on this blog is pointing out the Very Bad things that Republicans do. That’s not news either, but it’s worth doing…

  9. 9
    pragmatism says:

    what Villago said.
    alternately, it is pro family. just not the birth family. if that child is going to a good christian gop voting family, it’s all good.

  10. 10
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @E.D. Kain: Yes it is definitely worth doing and I am glad that you are doing it.

  11. 11
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    This clusterfuck is SOP to most bureaucracies. When sufficiently large to lose the human touch, they become like a ravenous beast of rules and regs.

    OTOH; The illegals I have met are of sound Mesoamerican stock. Great family values, work ethic. Good people. They risk a lot coming here, obviously. But they are like all immigrants. They want a better life for themselves and their families.

  12. 12

    Of course it’s classism. That’s part of the Confedrate Party’s two-pronged approach to returning to the glory of the conferedacy. Get rid of people with color, and also poor people. Both are icky. But should the poor white folks have healthy kids, take those and raise them with the right kind of folks, so there’s more confederates. Simple plan for simple minds.

  13. 13
    schrodinger's cat says:

    If anyone is interested in matters relating to immigration issues, Greg Siskind’s blog is a good one to follow. and keeps abreast of all things related to immigration, including any bills under consideration in Congress or Senate.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    The hardest working SOB I have ever met in my life was a legal Mexican immigrant. Did superb woodworking of very high quality and quantity.

    The epitome of the work ethic that so many praise.

    Too bad he had brownish skin. Makes him automatically shiftless and lazy, according to gap toothed white people.

  15. 15
    E.D. Kain says:

    @pragmatism: it reminds me a bit of the forced adoption of Native American children by Mormon families (and other groups) and the similar forced adoptions in Australia of aboriginal children.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    @Tod Kelly: Kidnapping children of immigrants and feeding them to a dysfunctional state bureaucracy is all about freedom and America.

    Passing comprehensive immigration reform that gives residents a path to citizenship is unfair and Unconstitutional.

    That’s what any patriotic limited-government brown-shirt Republican nativist will tell you.

  17. 17
    dmbeaster says:

    We should be encouraging immigration – as much of it as possible – and the free movement of people across borders.

    Why?

    This policy argument was rejected starting around 90 years ago, and the policy has never changed. I do not think you have any understanding of the seriousness of your counter-proposal.

    That being said, this type of circumstance is the result of lax enforcement of immigration policy, and we should either allow much more open immigration, or be serious about enforcement.

    The de facto policy has been to allow a certain amount of undocumented immigration because of the large economic benefits enjoyed by some from cheap labor. The only serious remedy to enforcing immigration laws is a strong penalty on those employing them, which has never happened.

    The winner in this situation was the employer of Montes who profited from cheaper wages, and to a lesser extent a lot of others who benefit from lower costs (unlike those who are harmed because their earning power is depressed by competition from undocumented immigrants). They suffer no harm since they just replace Mr. Montes with someone else.

    There was a time when US businesses openly recruited undocumented immigrants to come here for the cheaper labor. (Including WalMart, caught doing this as recently as 2005, and paid an $11,000,000 fine for it). They don’t have to now because like a siphon, once the flow of immigrants is started, it is self-sustaining from all of the pressure to exploit the opportunity to come here.

    Next time you hear about how employers allegedly cannot find citizens to do the scut work, remember that to the extent this is even marginally true, it is because they cannot find citizens willing to work for the crap wages that they can pay undocumented immigrants. Raise the pay offered, and no problem (except for those profiting from the cheap labor source).

  18. 18
    curiousleo says:

    Yeah. Thanks for making me cry at my desk. Fucking hell.

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    It’s just inexplicable to me that people who tout their “family values” bona fides could support such a monstrous policy.

    “Family values” is to Republicans what “Democratic People’s Republic” is to Kim Jong Un (or whoever’s really in charge back there). There’s no denying it’s a catchy motto. Beyond that, they don’t give a fuck.

  20. 20
    curiousleo says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Thank you for that link. I’m passing it on to some folks who need legal advice & general/better info on immigration rules (but of course can’t afford it).

  21. 21
    Felinious Wench says:

    Is his wife an American citizen?

  22. 22
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Maybe we should ask the Catholic Bishops for their opinion since they are not readily offering it.

  23. 23
    curiousleo says:

    @Felinious Wench: Yes. The wife/mother is a US citizen. And the state/county child services took her children from her — based on the colorlines piece it seems the primary reason they took the kids was that as a single parent she could not afford certain niceties (heat being one). They terminated her parental rights & are trying to terminate the father’s rights. Both parents want to care for their children and based on the story, neither have abused their children. The mom just has zero money.

  24. 24
    rea says:

    Didn’t we go through this issue back during the Clinton adminstration with that kid from Cuba? And wasn’t the conclusion that the kid had to go back to his father in Cuba?

  25. 25
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @curiousleo: You are welcome. USCIS’s website is also quite comprehensive, if you want information regarding rules and regulations.

  26. 26
    28 Percent says:

    @aimai: Could you link?

  27. 27
    E.D. Kain says:

    @dmbeaster: this argument has not been rejected any more than economics writ large is a settled science. This is an interesting paper on the possible economic benefits of open borders.

  28. 28
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Zifnab: yeah, pretty much.

  29. 29
    Rafer Janders says:

    @curiousleo:

    Well, that actually is relevant, the fact that the mother has zero money. The child care system in this country operates on the presumption of the best interests of the child, not of the parent. If you don’t have enough money to care for your children, which includes giving them a heated home, then you run the risk of having your children taken away from you — not to punish the parent, but to ensure that the child is taken care of.

    Now, we can get into a separate discussion as to whether the best thing would have just been to give Mrs. Montes the money to keep her kids at home, rather than throw them into the system, which I would agree with. But we can’t ignore the fact that if she has no money, she can’t raise children. Love is not enough, unfortunately.

  30. 30
    Mary G says:

    This is inhuman.

    One of my dearest friends is an ex-nun who became a social worker with the county of LA in her 40s. I think it will end up killing her. Mainly not even the heartbreaking things people do to children, but the insane system. All the emphasis is on filling out the reports correctly on the computer and no one will make a decision because they are afraid that if the kid ends up getting hurt, they will lose their job, so no one in authority will make a call, but just keeps asking for more information…Responsibility without authority is so stressful. She and her friends are always going on sick leave.

    We have to do better. But how?

  31. 31
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Now, we can get into a separate discussion as to whether the best thing would have just been to give Mrs. Montes the money to keep her kids at home, rather than throw them into the system,

    You can’t have that discussion until CPS explains why the breadwinner was sent away from the family. Isn’t it the first priority of that agency to keep the children with the natural parents?

  32. 32
    Laertes says:

    Now, we can get into a separate discussion as to whether the best thing would have just been to give Mrs. Montes the money to keep her kids at home, rather than throw them into the system, which I would agree with.

    A better solution would be to bring their father back so that he can support them. Those kids are US Citizens. The care of American Citizens is the first duty of our government, and it shouldn’t be deporting the breadwinners that support them.

  33. 33
    Rafer Janders says:

    Perhaps because one of my own parents is an immigrant, I seem to be far less sympathetic to the situation here than some of the other commenters. The person who set the wheels in motion here was Felipe Montes: he deliberately snuck into a country that he knew did not allow him in, and he then stayed here for years, married a citizen and had children, all knowing full well that he was not here legally and could be deported at any second. In effect, he made them hostages to his fortune.

    There are millions of people who’d love to come to the US, but they don’t just sneak in — they follow the rules, apply for a visa, apply for the relevant permissions, etc., just as my parent did. Many wait for years, and many never get permission. I have relatively little sympathy for line-jumpers like Montes who decide that just because they want to move here, they should get to, no matter what the rules say. It makes a mockery out of everybody else who follows the rules.

    All that said, I don’t want his children to suffer for Montes’ carelesness and stupidity. At least they should be sent back to their father in Mexico, or a way should be found to keep them with their mother. But Montes is the cause of this mess.

  34. 34
    schrodinger's cat says:

    If the wife is a US citizen could she not have sponsored her husband? What was the problem? I am not quite sure how the USCIS deals with cases where the spouse of the person out of status, is a US citizen.

  35. 35
    curiousleo says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    If you don’t have enough money to care for your children, which includes giving them a heated home, then you run the risk of having your children taken away from you—not to punish the parent, but to ensure that the child is taken care of.

    If the state/county agency in question was interested/willing to re-unite the children with their father (who has a job & place to live) then I’d be much more willing to listen to their complaints about the mom.

    However, the state/county agency is working to terminate the parental rights of the father while he is fighting for custody of his children. It seems the sole reason they have for preventing the dad from having custody is that he lives in Mexico.

  36. 36
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    He was sent away because he’s not legally allowed to be here. That’s pretty obvious.

    While it’s the first priority of the states’s Child Protective Services to keep the children with the natural parents, CPS did not deport him — that was done by the federal authorities, duly under federal law. Once he’s gone, CPS — which again, is a state and not a federal agency, and so has nothing to do with immigration law — has to deal with the facts on the ground.

  37. 37
    Rafer Janders says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    You can’t sponsor an illegal immigrant, even if you’re married to one.

  38. 38
    Laertes says:

    I believe in the magical power of American soil. Any baby born on it is my countryman, and his parents should get to stay. I hate the phrase “anchor baby” because it’s a disrespectful way to speak about an American citizen, and anyone who uses it ought to be ashamed.

    Those kids are my countrymen. That man has a duty to support them, and it seems that he wants to perform that duty. In a sane world, we’d send a plane this afternoon to collect him, along with an INS officer bearing a green card and an official apology.

  39. 39
    Rafer Janders says:

    @curiousleo:

    Well, I partially agree, but then you have a situation where the children are removed from their mother, unless she also wants to move to Mexico. And you’d also have a situation where you are at least quasi-deporting these American born, American raised, American citizen children to Mexico.

  40. 40
    Cain says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Well, that actually is relevant, the fact that the mother has zero money. The child care system in this country operates on the presumption of the best interests of the child, not of the parent. If you don’t have enough money to care for your children, which includes giving them a heated home, then you run the risk of having your children taken away from you—not to punish the parent, but to ensure that the child is taken care of.

    The best interest of the child is to be with her father, whose only crime he committed was that he was an undcoumented alien. He should be able to have custody rights (and there should be a law saying so)

    The correct thing to do here is to call your damn congress critter and have them write the procedure into law. Perhaps that should be part of a comprehensive immigration law, but that’s not going to happen with this congress. We’ll need more democrats sane people who understand policy.

    BTW – I notice that she who shalt not be named has not arrived yet to fuck up this thread. E.D. Kain has only a small amount of time to be active before the mistress of outrage arrives.

  41. 41
    Cain says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Well, that actually is relevant, the fact that the mother has zero money. The child care system in this country operates on the presumption of the best interests of the child, not of the parent. If you don’t have enough money to care for your children, which includes giving them a heated home, then you run the risk of having your children taken away from you—not to punish the parent, but to ensure that the child is taken care of.

    The best interest of the child is to be with her father, whose only crime he committed was that he was an undcoumented alien. He should be able to have custody rights (and there should be a law saying so)

    The correct thing to do here is to call your damn congress critter and have them write the procedure into law. Perhaps that should be part of a comprehensive immigration law, but that’s not going to happen with this congress. We’ll need more democrats sane people who understand policy.

    BTW – I notice that she who shalt not be named has not arrived yet to fuck up this thread. E.D. Kain has only a small amount of time to be active before the mistress of outrage arrives.

    @E.D. Kain – thanks for particpating in the comments!

  42. 42
    curiousleo says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    If the wife is a US citizen could she not have sponsored her husband? What was the problem?

    The problem is that Mr. Montes was undocumented. If you are undocumented and marry a US citizen the path to greencard is, for most (especially those w/o an extra couple thousand dollars lying around) is generally a dead-end. The waiver system is incredibly long & expensive and generally does not result in a waiver/greencard.

    And the process of getting a waiver generally requires the undocumented person to leave the USA. And that means the 3-10 yr ban on return for a person who entered w/o proper documents often happens. Because the waiver for that ban is also long/expensive.

  43. 43
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Rafer Janders: yes, heaven forbid someone attempt to make their life better rather than live in poverty. That “sneaking” certainly justifies everything that was done to him and his family later. Blaming Montes for the atrocities in our system is absurd.

  44. 44
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Cain: thanks to you as well. So far so good.

  45. 45
    curiousleo says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Well, I partially agree, but then you have a situation where the children are removed from their mother, unless she also wants to move to Mexico. And you’d also have a situation where you are at least quasi-deporting these American born, American raised, American citizen children to Mexico.

    Based on the article, the mother wants the children to go to their father if they can’t be with her. And the state will not let the children be with her. They have moved to terminate her parental rights. But did not work to place the children with relatives.

    So it is the wish of the mother that the children go to their “next of kin” (ie their father) and not foster care and not be adopted by non-family members. But that is not what the state is doing.

  46. 46
    Rafer Janders says:

    The best interest of the child is to be with her father, whose only crime he committed was that he was an undcoumented alien.

    Well, yes — that is the offense he committed. For years he lived here without proper permission, and he knowingly started a family knowing that this was a probable and even possible result. I have unlimited sympathy for the children, but much less for him.

    But he’s not coming back. He was an illegal immigrant, he was deported, that’s it under federal law. There’s no recourse he has. Given that, the state agency then has to decide what to do with the children, which are (i) leave them with the mother, (ii) send them out of the country to the father (which I don’t know that they’d have the authority to do), or (iii) remove them from the mother to a more stable home.

    That’s it: there’s no option (iv), in which he gets to come back and they all get re-united, barring some extraordinary Congressional action.

  47. 47
    Laertes says:

    Many wait for years, and many never get permission. I have relatively little sympathy for line-jumpers like Montes

    I’m with you. Montes should be punished for breaking the rules. The kids are way more important, though. I’m far more interested in the welfare of these young, helpless American Citizens than I am in seeing justice done to some guy who broke some rules.

    Sure, it sucks that he gets away with it. But these small children are Americans, goddammit. Their welfare comes first.

  48. 48
    kc says:

    It’s not just our immigration policy that is anti-family. The action of the child services agency in this case seem entirely typical of the way poor children are treated.

  49. 49
    Rafer Janders says:

    @curiousleo:

    Frankly, I don’t even know if a state agency has any legal authority to send American children out of the country. I’d have to research that.

  50. 50
    kc says:

    The way poor families are treated, that is.

  51. 51
    Laertes says:

    I have unlimited sympathy for the children, but much less for him.

    This may be true, but it’s not obvious. Let me ask you: If it was within your power to give Montes a green card, right now, would you do it?

  52. 52
    Rafer Janders says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Lots of people live in poverty all over the world. Hundreds of millions would love to live here if they could. But unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to provide for them all if they did so. One of the basic attributes of a nation-state is that it gets to control its borders, that it gets to decide who gets to live here and who doesn’t.

  53. 53
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    He was sent away because he’s not legally allowed to be here. That’s pretty obvious.

    I’m glad it’s so black and white for you. Fact is; he was taken into custody in
    2010 after a traffic stop and never allowed to see his family after that.

    What of the advocates at CPS? My original point about that bureaucracy stands pat….not to mention the Feds.

  54. 54
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @curiousleo: I suspected as much but did not know that as a fact.

  55. 55
    Rafer Janders says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I would like to make my life better rather than live in my small apartment. I will “sneak” into your apartment and camp out on your couch, rent-free. I gather you could not possibly object to my attempt to better myself this way.

  56. 56
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    White people and their hard-on for immigration– the “he broke the rules so he should suffer” mindset leave absolutely no room for compassion or justice– or in this case, plain old common fucking sense.

    ALL of you motherfuckers are illegal aliens, just ask any Native American. (And as for us Africans, you motherfuckers dragged us here kicking and screaming, and that gives us more legitimacy here than you.)

  57. 57
    Laertes says:

    I would like to make my life better… I will “sneak” into your apartmentcountry and camp out on your couch, rent-freefind a job and work my ass off, paying taxes, staying out of trouble, and supporting my family. I gather you could not possibly object to my attempt to better myself this way.

    You’re right. I wouldn’t.

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    But when it’s the result of an immoral immigration policy that is at once harmful to the broader economy and to the lives of very real, very innocent people it’s just unconscionable.

    Yeah, fine. Everybody, on the right and the left, talk about “comprehensive immigration reform.” Nobody does anything or suggests any practical proposals.

    Sadly, it becomes easy to invoke heartbreaking human interest stories. NPR does it all the time, at the drop of a hat.

    The state laws in North Carolina regarding child custody are beyond stupid. The government created the problem in deporting the father, and compounded the problem in making it harder to maintain contact with his family. They doubly compounded the problem in presuming that keeping the children in the USofA is inherently superior to letting the children live with their father in Mexico.

    But it’s not just about screwing over poor people. Recall the case of Elian Gonzalez. There are people who just love to play with the lives of people for political purposes.

    it reminds me a bit of the forced adoption of Native American children by Mormon families (and other groups) and the similar forced adoptions in Australia of aboriginal children.

    Or the horrible story of white children adopted by Mexican American parents who were taken away and given to more “appropriate” families.

    A national scandal erupted when NY Foundling placed white Catholic children of European descent with Mexican families in Arizona. The children were forcibly removed from their placements by a group of local Anglo men, the incident almost erupted into violence, and NY Foundling endured highly negative press as a result.

    Everything about this case stinks, except for the parents, who are trying to do the right thing.

  59. 59
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    Sure. But it would be because he was such a fuck-up that he created this unholy mess, and this would be the simplest way to fix it, not for his sake, but for the kids.

    I also know several hundred refugees in Thailand and who I’d give out green cards to if it was in my power. They’re all hoping to get resettled somewhere in the US, Canada, or Europe, but many never will. I don’t know why Montes, who unlike them was not fleeing from torture, rape, and warfare, should get more of a break than they are.

  60. 60
    kc says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Frankly, I don’t even know if a state agency has any legal authority to send American children out of the country. I’d have to research that.

    I haven’t looked at that myself, but it would seem that apparently they do (with a court order). According to the story, the authorities in Mexico did a “home study” of dad’s house and reported to the Allegheny agency that the home was suitable. The Allegheny CPS disagreed, because the home is a small cinder block home with no running water (they have to fetch fresh water, but it is available).

    So basically, the problem seems to be that dad is too poor.

    As God is my witness, I have seen the SC state child service agency refuse to return children to otherwise fit parents because their homes are too small, or the mattresses are on the floor or something, even if the home is otherwise clean and tidy. The agency will likely lose in court, but only if poor mom and dad are fortunate enough to have a reasonably diligent and experienced lawyer appointed to represent them.

  61. 61
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @Rafer Janders: Rent free? Doesn’t sound like Mr. Montes was living “rent free.” Sounds to me like the man was a stand-up member of his community, no doubt working his ass off and taking care of his motherfucking kids.

    None of that fucking matters, though, does it? “He snuck in, so he needs to suffer for it. His kids we don’t give a good goddamn about, except that we can steal them and give them to some “deserving” couple.”

  62. 62
    Laertes says:

    I don’t know why Montes, who unlike them was not fleeing from torture, rape, and warfare, should get more of a break than they are.

    Because he’s the father of American Citizens. I don’t know if that means anything to you, but it means a lot to me.

  63. 63
    curiousleo says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I have relatively little sympathy for line-jumpers like Montes who decide that just because they want to move here, they should get to, no matter what the rules say.

    This statement ignores that fact that for most groups of people (especially Mexicans) there is NO line for them to jump. Mexicans from certain areas or income levels can not even get basic tourist visas.

    True story: A well off (but not rich) lawyer I know is married to a Mexican immigrant (who has a greencard, which is a story for another time). They wanted the Mexican mother in law to visit legally. MiL has a job in Mexico & a husband & a home & so forth. But she is not wealthy. The USA citizen lawyer spent a bunch of money putting together paperwork & so forth with US immigration to show/prove that the USA based family had money enough (ie MiL wasn’t going to be working here) AND that MiL had a life in Mexico she was fully planning on returning to. The visa to visit her family here was denied w/o even so much as a thank you. Why? Because she’s from a more rural area of Mexico and not wealthy. There is no line for her to jump.

    Your statement also ignore the many & long efforts of US companies to advertise and import employees from Latin America that do not have proper paperwork. And it ignores the devastation NAFTA and US economic policies wrought on the economy of Mexico. Basically, many of these folks are refugees from economic wars. We allow in refugees from military wars but not economic wars that we wage?

  64. 64
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    It’s not black and white for me, it’s black and white for federal immigration law. If you don’t want to deal with the federal immigration enforcement, the easiest way to do that is not to enter country illegally.

    And again, what of CPS? They’re a state agency, they didn’t deport Montes. They have nothing to do with immigration. All they see is a family absent one father in Mexico, and a mother on disability who cannot provide for her children.

  65. 65
    kc says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    You are mighty flippant about the state taking kids away from their parents because the parents have committed the status crime of being poor.

  66. 66
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    Well, now he is. He wasn’t when he entered illegally in the first place. So I suppose yes, he should be rewarded for successfully breaking the law for such a long time that he was here long enough to start a family. My Congolese, Pakistani, Burmese, Vietnamese, etc. refugees in Thailand won’t get that break.

  67. 67
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko: Most of the immigration absolutists, I don’t know if Janders is one of them want to even deport people, who have lived here since they were children, only because their parents came here illegally or overstayed their visas.

  68. 68
    dmbeaster says:

    @E.D. Kain: By “rejected” I meant that as a policy choice, we have politically made the decision to restrict immigration since the 1920s.

    There are plenty of racist reasons underlying that decision at the time, but also plenty of other reasons behind it that have nothing to do with racism. Unrestricted immigration creates huge burdens on the infrastructure and the culture to absorb peoples. Unless you are looking forward to massive shanty towns of new immigrants around the cities, they simply could not be absorbed at anything approaching the pace at which people would come with unrestricted immigration.

    An interesting thought question is the over/under regarding the numbers of years for the US to double its population with unrestricted immigration. I would posit the mid-range figure to be between 10-15 years.

    The economic article that you cite is similar to the arguments how free trade allegedly always results in greater good, even though it does not. It results in winners and losers, and maybe an overall net positive (the benefit analysis always ignores the costs, just as free traders ignore the impact of differing environmental and labor standards is assessing the net benefits of free trade).

    But that ignores the more important question — is it good policy for our citizens. I could care less how the influx resulting from open immigration might improve conditions in third-world countries at the expense of conditions here.

  69. 69
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko:

    “He snuck in, so he needs to suffer for it. His kids we don’t give a good goddamn about, except that we can steal them and give them to some “deserving” couple.

    Yeah. “I” stood in line, waited my turn, and it was hard; ergo GFY…

  70. 70
    Rafer Janders says:

    @kc:

    I’m not at all flippant. I’ve worked on cases like these. It’s horrible. I’m flippant about all those commenting here who are completely ignorant of the realities of immigration law and family law, and who think that someone somewhere can wave a wand and make it better.

    These systems are no joke. Once families get caught up in them, it’s a nightmare to extract them. But I have somewhat more sympathy for CPS here, because again, their job is not to protect the rights of the parents — its to protect the children (hence their name). At best, they try to keep families together. But they won’t keep a family together if it means that the children won’t receive a minimal level of support. No one is sitting around a CPS office, twirling a moustache and cackling with joy while they plot how to split up a family.

  71. 71
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @curiousleo: Unfortunately this is not that uncommon. The embassy/consulate officials have to make a determination whether you will return to your home country and not stay back in the US. So basically it is entirely upon their discretion whether to grant you a visa or not.

  72. 72
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko:

    ALL of you motherfuckers are illegal aliens, just ask any Native American.

    Hey! I’m Irish/Scot/Cherokee/Blackfoot. Everyone else GTFO !!!

  73. 73
    Rafer Janders says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I’m not an immigration absolutist. Many of my comments here are meant to describe to people the realities of the system as it is, not as we wish it could be.

    But in my case one parent was a legal immigrant. So as admitted above, I have less sympathy for illegal immigrants who think they can jump the line ahead of those who patiently waited their turn.

  74. 74
    JGabriel says:

    Rafer Janders:

    The person who set the wheels in motion here was Felipe Montes: he deliberately snuck into a country that he knew did not allow him in, and he then stayed here for years, married a citizen and had children, all knowing full well that he was not here legally and could be deported at any second.

    In other words, Krugman’s words actually, he was human. Montes came to the country to work and try to improve his economic life, then he fell in love, as people do, and had children.

    .

  75. 75

    I’ve heard and read enough anecdotal evidence to believe that in many states Social Services regularly take children away from poor families. Some people should not have children, and if they do, they are rightly taken by the state, but how often is the state wrong?

    I would love to see a comprehensive study of how often this occurs. I suspect the deciding factor, being poor, is true in more cases than we would like to admit. Being poor is still a crime in this country.

  76. 76
    Laertes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    So I suppose yes, he should be rewarded for successfully breaking the law for such a long time that he was here long enough to start a family. My Congolese, Pakistani, Burmese, Vietnamese, etc. refugees in Thailand won’t get that break.

    You don’t sound like you mean it, but you should.

    The problem here is that you’re so overcome by bitterness toward Montes that you can’t really think about the kids, except in the occasional throwaway line. It’s abundantly clear that they play no role in your emotional response to the case.

    I get you. It sucks that someone can break the rules and get away with it. (Being a liberal by nature, I’m not as enraged as conservatives are by someone breaking rules and getting away with it, but I still understand where they’re coming from.)

    And I understand the perverse incentives that my preferred policy of granting permanent residency to the parents of any baby born on American soil would create. I could live with that.

    For me it all starts with a simple image: A tiny, squalling infant, the most helpless creature in the world, born on the soil of my country. The kid didn’t choose her parents. She didn’t break any laws or jump any lines. She’s not one tiny little bit responsible for the fucked-upedness of this fucked-up world. She just got here, she’s utterly helpess, and she’s an American.

    I care about that kid, and I’m willing to forgive a huge pile of bullshit paper crimes to let her parents raise her and provide for her.

  77. 77
    curiousleo says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    My Congolese, Pakistani, Burmese, Vietnamese, etc. refugees in Thailand won’t get that break

    Do you feel the same way about refugees trying to reach the EU who manage to get to Gibraltar (and then Spain)? Or to Cubans who are allowed to stay in the US if they get a foot on dry land? Cubans aren’t being raped/killed. They just have to live in an old style communist gov’t.

    Among the differences is that Mexico is next door while Thailand/etc are not. And we as a nation should be more diligent in not shitting in our own backyard and then when we do, we should be forced to deal w/ the consequences & clean up. Our own economic policies have decimated the Mexican economy — on purpose. US economic war has created this problem by killing the Mexican economy.

  78. 78
    kc says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    At best, they try to keep families together. But they won’t keep a family together if it means that the children won’t receive a minimal level of support. No one is sitting around a CPS office, twirling a moustache and cackling with joy while they plot how to split up a family.

    Judging from the article, this agency has made minimal or cursory efforts to keep this family together. And while the workers probably aren’t twirling their mustaches, being mostly women (actually, some of them may be twirling their mustaches), I’ve seen caseworkers get really invested in keeping kids in the system, rather than trying to reunite the family even though the agency is statutorily mandated to try to reunify.

    And again, you just completely gloss over the vact that these kids are not being returned because their parents are too poor. If you attitude isn’t flippant, it sure is . . . cavalier. Your posts could pretty much be summed up as “Too bad, so sad.”

  79. 79
    Rafer Janders says:

    @JGabriel:

    Sure. So what, though?

    We all want things we can’t have. That doesn’t mean we’re allowed to just take them.

    A system in which none of us has to obey the law “because we’re human” wouldn’t last very long.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @Laertes: RE: Many wait for years, and many never get permission. I have relatively little sympathy for line-jumpers like Montes

    I’m with you. Montes should be punished for breaking the rules.

    Just not that cut and dried.

    People are going to come across the border to find work and to feed their families. And some US employers, especially in agribusiness, want to channel the flow of cheap labor for their own benefit. Meanwhile, the corrupt oligarchy in Mexico happily pushes workers out, while taking money from them in the form of remittance payments.

    Despite all this, both the GOP and the Democrats footdrag on immigration reform, even mild shit like decreasing fees and streamlining rules and procedures so that you don’t have people needing to jump the line rather than wait years to apply for any kind of resident status.

  81. 81
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @JGabriel: Isn’t that one of the common threads throughout wingnuttia– to essentially deny the humanity of everyone that ain’t them?

    If you would have peace, motherfuckers, work for justice. The simple injustice of this situation and thousands and thousands more like it should make anyone’s fucking head explode. If your blood doesn’t boil at what was done to this man and his family, dude, you’re not fucking human.

  82. 82
    kc says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    But in my case one parent was a legal immigrant

    So what?

  83. 83
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @kc: “I have black friends.”

  84. 84
    JGabriel says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    But in my case one parent was a legal immigrant. So as admitted above, I have less sympathy for illegal immigrants …

    So what you’re saying is that, due to a lucky accident of birth, you have less sympathy with the descendents of people who didn’t share that luck, and their parents.

    It doesn’t bother you that that’s a pretty good description of the GOP platform in general — lack of sympathy for those born without the advantages you’ve had?

    .

  85. 85
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    For me it all starts with a simple image: A tiny, squalling infant, the most helpless creature in the world, born on the soil of my country. The kid didn’t choose her parents. She didn’t break any laws or jump any lines. She’s not one tiny little bit responsible for the fucked-upedness of this fucked-up world. She just got here, she’s utterly helpess, and she’s an American.

    I care about that kid, and I’m willing to forgive a huge pile of bullshit paper crimes to let her parents raise her and provide for her.

    THIS.
    RIGHT.
    HERE.

  86. 86
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    The problem here is that you’re so overcome by bitterness toward Montes that you can’t really think about the kids, except in the occasional throwaway line. It’s abundantly clear that they play no role in your emotional response to the case.

    Absolutely false. First, I have no bitterness towards Montes, second, most of my posts have been exactly about how the state agencies have to consider the children’s welfare more than the parents. I have an emotional response to them — but in truth, my emotional response, and everyone else’s, won’t matter. We can wring our hands forever, but wailing about how much we care won’t change this situation.

    I get you. It sucks that someone can break the rules and get away with it. (Being a liberal by nature, I’m not as enraged as conservatives are by someone breaking rules and getting away with it, but I still understand where they’re coming from.)

    Well, first time I’ve ever been called a conservative, but what the hey.

    But no, I’m afraid you don’t get me at all. Not at all.

  87. 87
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @dmbeaster: Look, we have freedom of trade in capital and goods, but not labour. Why is that? Trade benefits both parties involved, and the only kind of trade that’s restricted is the trade in labour. Has it occurred to you that maybe just maybe that’s been done to privilege capital over labour?

  88. 88
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    But no, I’m afraid you don’t get me at all. Not at all.

    I don’t get neo-Confederates, either; and I’m prepared to live with that.

  89. 89
    JGabriel says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    We all want things we can’t have. That doesn’t mean we’re allowed to just take them.

    But your policy prescription is punishing his kids for it, as Laertes has so eloquently pointed pointed out.

    .

  90. 90
    Laertes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Me: …but I still understand where they’re coming from.)

    RJ: Well, first time I’ve ever been called a conservative, but what the hey.

    A quibble: I’m not saying you’re a conservative. All I know about you is that you’re the child of an immigrant and deeply unsympathetic to illegal immigrants, which is hardly dispositive. I said “they” instead of “you” for a reason.

  91. 91
    Rafer Janders says:

    @kc:

    And again, you just completely gloss over the vact that these kids are not being returned because their parents are too poor. If you attitude isn’t flippant, it sure is . . . cavalier. Your posts could pretty much be summed up as “Too bad, so sad.”

    Jesus, again, no. I’m describing a remorseless bureacracy as it exists, not endorsing it. But yes, at a certain level the parent’s poverty does — it has to — enter into it. If children were living with parents who couldn’t feed or clothe or shelter them, do you think that that shouldn’t be a factor in whether the family could be kept together? The first priority has to be the children’s welfare, not the parents’. The best way to do that is to give the parents enough assistance so that they can provide for their own children. But in some case that’s not just possible.

  92. 92
    rb says:

    @curiousleo: The visa to visit her family here was denied w/o even so much as a thank you. Why? Because she’s from a more rural area of Mexico and not wealthy. There is no line for her to jump.

    Save your breath. The RJ’s of the world have this all figured out, and the rest of us just need to get with the program, which is: “rules” trump poor kids, every time.

  93. 93
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko: And I’ll go one step further– those kids dad may not have officially been my countryman, but he tried to be. In all the best ways– working hard, paying his taxes, taking care of his kids, and being a member of his community.

    I will take that over some over-privileged shit-for-brains family-got-too-goddamn-much-money fucking Young Republican or any of their other vile ‘conservative’ fellow-travelers.

    EVERY goddamn day.

  94. 94
    curiousleo says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    But in my case one parent was a legal immigrant. So as admitted above, I have less sympathy for illegal immigrants who think they can jump the line ahead of those who patiently waited their turn.

    And in THIS very case, one parent of the children is a US Citizen. AND ALL THE CHILDREN ARE US CITIZENS. The only immigrant is the father. And he’s in his country of origin. And he wants his children back. But the state/country refuses to give them back. The mother of the children wants her husband to have the children. It is the state/county that wants to keep a man in Mexico from raising his children in Mexico. WTF DON’T YOU GET ABOUT THAT.

  95. 95
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Despite all this, both the GOP and the Democrats footdrag on immigration reform, even mild shit like decreasing fees and streamlining rules and procedures so that you don’t have people needing to jump the line rather than wait years to apply for any kind of resident status.

    Decreasing fees, you make me laugh, in the last 5 years USCIS has almost tripled the fee for filing I-140, petition for an immigrant worker, i.e. the employment based green card has gone up from $195 in 2006 to $580 in 2012. Other fees have also gone up and getting your I-140 approved is just one of the first steps in getting the Green Card.

  96. 96
    Rafer Janders says:

    @JGabriel:

    But your policy prescription is punishing his kids for it, as Laertes has so eloquently pointed pointed out.

    Um, I don’t think I’ve recommended a policy prescription — I’ve instead described the policy options as they exist.

    This is not about me rending my garments to show how much I care, how much this touches me, how good a liberal I am because of how deeply I feel — none of that matters. What matters is the situation of this family as it exists in reality, and what their options (none of them good) are under federal and state law. There is no magic wand that will solve this.

    But many of you seem to far more interested in judging my “tone”, or plumbing the depths of my soul, than in that.

  97. 97
    Rafer Janders says:

    @curiousleo:

    The fact that I’m not sure if it is legally possible for a state agency to send American children out of the country to Mexico. That’s what I don’t get about that — it if is, in fact, legally possible.

  98. 98
    curiousleo says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    What matters is the situation of this family as it exists in reality, and what their options (none of them good) are under federal and state law. There is no magic wand that will solve this.

    Wrong. There is a magic wand. The state/county can allow the children to go to live with their father. In Mexico. Where he has a job, a home, etc. But instead they want to terminate his parental rights. DID YOU EVEN READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE?

  99. 99
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @Rafer Janders: Seems to me that the mother wants to send them to their dad; and she could send them.

    Oh, that’s right– the state agency has already stolen them, with the obvious intent of giving them to a ‘deserving’ family.

  100. 100
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    Aha, comment withdrawn, then.

  101. 101
    Laertes says:

    @curiousleo:

    And he wants his children back. But the state/country refuses to give them back. The mother of the children wants her husband to have the children. It is the state/county that wants to keep a man in Mexico from raising his children in Mexico. WTF DON’T YOU GET ABOUT THAT.

    I was wondering why you were so focused on CPS here, and now I get it. Since you’re more interested in spiting the father than seeing to the welfare of the kids, you’re inclined to view the deportation of the father as a fact on the ground about which, oh so sadly, nothing can be done, and CPS needs some policy adjustment so they can send the kids to Mexico.

    But once you’re entertaining policy adjustments, why regard the INS as some unstoppable force? Why is it that you can’t see that the root cause of all this trouble is the law which permits the father of American citizens to be deported?

  102. 102
    curiousleo says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    The fact that I’m not sure if it is legally possible for a state agency to send American children out of the country to Mexico. That’s what I don’t get about that—it if is, in fact, legally possible.

    It is legally permissible. And that is said in the article from colorlines. So, you know, read the damn thing more closely.

  103. 103
    moderateindy says:

    @Laertes:
    It’s hard to argue with the fact that he knew he was here illegally, and certainly knew that he could be taken from his kids at any time. This tempers my sympathy for him, but not his children. Regardless of how screwed up our immigration policy is, and it is, if you come here “illegally” then as the saying goes you roll the dice you take your chances.
    Also, having seen what it takes for someone to have their children removed from their mother, at least in Chicago, I wonder what the situation was actually like in their household. This is not something that child welfare people do nonchalantly. And just being poor is not a reason that would be considered by any professional. And don’t give me that,”by all reports” nonsense, because I doubt that any reporter had anything but second hand knowledge of living conditions
    Still it’s obvious that the entire situation is fairly horrible and just goes to why we really need reform. My personal view is that it should start with making sure that it is difficult for employers to give jobs to undocumented workers with serious fines to those employers that don’t do documented due diligence on prospective employees citizenship. Then I would greatly ease limits on how many people can come here. People are going to come here one way or another, it’s better for our society if they don’t become an underground cheap laborforce.

  104. 104
    curiousleo says:

    @Laertes: I think you’re addressing the wrong person w/ your comment. Or quoted me when you meant to comment to Rafer Janders. I’m all for allowing Mr. Montes to stay in the USA. I’m also all for allowing Mr. Montes custody of his children and raising them in Mexico.

  105. 105
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Rafer Janders: rent free? You think that undocumented workers live here rent free? Don’t pay taxes? Don’t contribute to society? Why?

  106. 106
    gex says:

    When one has a political philosophy that over emphasizes the free market, demands tax cuts and deregulations above all else, and is not shared by a majority of the electorate, one has to add some policies to draw in other votes. Not my fault fiscal conservatives hate democracy so much they’d rather pander to assholes and bigots than lose at the ballots.

  107. 107
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    Actually, having re-read that, let me reply. While I’d say I’m unsympathetic to illegal immigrants, I’m not at all “deeply” unsympathetic.

    Personal anecdotes over the Internets are inherently worthless, but I’ve actually assisted several immigrants who were here illegally in trying to get their status adjusted. I’v assisted refugees overseas who were trying to get resettled here. One on one, I’m willing to help. I wish everybody could get everything they want.

    But on a systemic basis, I know that’s not possible. Each indivdual case touches our hearts — but we’re a big country, and a big planet, and we have to have certain rules. That’s just the way it is. So I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for people who break the rules and then are shocked, shocked when they have to face the well-publicized and foreseeable consequences of that rule-breaking. Or maybe that’s the wrong word, I have sympathy for them, I have empathy, but I’m not…suprised, perhaps, that this is where they wound up.

  108. 108
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Brachiator:

    Despite all this, both the GOP and the Democrats footdrag on immigration reform, even mild shit like decreasing fees and streamlining rules and procedures so that you don’t have people needing to jump the line rather than wait years to apply for any kind of resident status.

    Decreasing fees, you make me laugh, in the last 5 years USCIS has almost tripled the fee for filing I-140, petition for an immigrant worker, i.e. the employment based green card has gone up from $195 in 2006 to $580 in 2012. Other fees have also gone up and getting your I-140 approved is just one of the first steps in getting the Green Card.

  109. 109
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Rafer Janders: also, this is a false choice. A more open immigration policy would not mean that hundreds of millions of immigrants would come here. Denying some immigrants and workers the right to stay and work here doesn’t somehow help other poor people elsewhere. This is a tired old dodge.

  110. 110
    E.D. Kain says:

    @dmbeaster: pretty sure our zoning laws would prevent shanty towns.

  111. 111
    Rafer Janders says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Fine, I will contribute to your household bills. I’ll help pay for the utilities and groceries. I’ll vacuum every days, and I’ll even paint every two years. I only ask that I be allowed to camp out in your living room without you ever asking me to leave. That doesn’t seem like so much to ask.

  112. 112
    curiousleo says:

    @moderateindy:

    Also, having seen what it takes for someone to have their children removed from their mother, at least in Chicago, I wonder what the situation was actually like in their household.

    It is surprisingly easy for very poor families to have their children taken from them by social services. But generally more effort is made to place those children with family.

    In this case, the other parent is in Mexico. And it seems that the state/county does not wish to allow a Mexican father to raise his children in Mexico. They are applying standards to his home which assume that middle class US standards are best.

  113. 113
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Rafer Janders: the line is broken.

  114. 114
    Laertes says:

    @moderateindy:

    It’s hard to argue with the fact that he knew he was here illegally, and certainly knew that he could be taken from his kids at any time. This tempers my sympathy for him, but not his children.

    Right. My point is that sympathy for Montes is utterly irrelevant. I’m not asking “should this guy who broke the rules get to stay?” I’m instead asking “Should these American citizens have their father deported?” So far, I haven’t heard a convincing reason why justice is served by harming my countrymen in this way.

    Also, having seen what it takes for someone to have their children removed from their mother, at least in Chicago, I wonder what the situation was actually like in their household.

    If it were to turn out that he were a neglectful or otherwise unfit parent, that of course would change everything. But I’m aware of no such evidence, and I don’t feel any urge to “wonder” about it since I figure people are entitled to the presumption that they aren’t abusive douchebags.

  115. 115
    rb says:

    @E.D. Kain: Because realmurka blahblahILLEGULZblahblah SHUTUP!!eleventy.

    That’s why.

  116. 116
    schrodinger's cat says:

    To the people who say he should just get in line, usually have no idea, what being the line entails, for example an employment based Green Card

    1. Your employer has to get labor certification (proof that they have tried to employ US Citizens but only you can do the job)
    2. I-140, request to apply for immigrant status
    3. When the I-140 is approved, you get a priority number, your so called number in the line.
    4. Then you have to get finger printed, your finger prints are checked against FBI databases
    5. A medical checkup, to make sure you have no communicable diseases.
    6. Finally the adjustment of status, or the I-485, which lets you change your status from a non-resident alien to a permanent resident
    This can take years if you are from China, India, Mexico and the Philippines (i.e. countries that send a lot of immigrants to the the US). Since there are annual quotas on the total number of green cards and per country quotas.
    Also unless you are an alien of extraordinary ability, or can get a national interest waiver, your employer has to do steps 1 and 2. You cannot self-petition.

  117. 117
    Laertes says:

    @curiousleo:

    You’re right. I clicked the wrong reply button. Sorry about that.

  118. 118
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    It’s ICE now, not INS. But as to them being an unstoppable force, you would not ask that question if you had ever gone up against them as I have. They can pretty much do what they want.

  119. 119
    rb says:

    @Laertes: I’m not asking “should this guy who broke the rules get to stay?” I’m instead asking “Should these American citizens have their father deported?”

    Sheesh, look out. You won’t get very far in this world going around making sense and stuff.

  120. 120
    Laertes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Fine, I will contribute to your household bills pay my taxes. I’ll help pay for the utilities and groceries support my family. I’ll vacuum every days, and I’ll even paint every two years work hard at my job and stay out of trouble. I only ask that I be allowed to camp out in your living room live in your country without you ever asking me to leave. That doesn’t seem like so much to ask.

    It doesn’t.

  121. 121
    curiousleo says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    So I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for people who break the rules and then are shocked, shocked when they have to face the well-publicized and foreseeable consequences of that rule-breaking.

    You are very much missing the point. The most shocking part of the article is not that the man was deported. It is that the state/county refuses to allow his US citizen children to go to Mexico and live with him. Despite the Mexican gov’t home visit to the home in Mexico detailing that the home there was very suitable/safe AND that there were people there to properly care for the children.

    Instead, the state/county wants to terminate his parental rights and allow more well off families to adopt his children. They are stealing his kids.

  122. 122
    Rafer Janders says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Well, the line may be broken, but in a society based on laws, that does not entitle anyone, citizen or foreigner, to decide for themselves that they’ll just ignore the line.

    If the law doesn’t work, you work and petition for a change of the law — you don’t just ignore it.

  123. 123
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Rafer Janders: analogies really aren’t particularly useful. There is a vast difference between private property and the definition of a nation state. For instance, private property can exist in many different societal arrangements; nation states and the borders that define them are simply one of many different types of social arrangements. Should my town be able to prevent you from entering because you’re not a resident? There are many different levels of society and we determine entrance/privacy/etc. based on different factors for each.

  124. 124
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Laertes: nicely done.

  125. 125
    Rafer Janders says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    There are many different levels of society and we determine entrance/privacy/etc. based on different factors for each.

    Exactly. Thank you for agreeing with my point. In our case, we as a nation — and every other nation, we’re not unique in this — have determined entrance requirements for ourselves, ones which we should be able to enforce.

  126. 126
    rb says:

    @Rafer Janders: I’ll vacuum every days, and I’ll even paint every two years. I only ask that I be allowed to camp out in your living room without you ever asking me to leave.

    Jesus Christ, what is the point of this? A nation isn’t a living room any more than a national budget is a family budget.

    An analogy should add clarity rather than confusion. For fuck’s sake up your game.

  127. 127
    Joel says:

    This would be a prime example of government trampling on individual liberty…

  128. 128
    Rafer Janders says:

    @curiousleo:

    In this particular case, I agree. I’d be fine if the children moved to Mexico. That seems to be the best result out of a myriad of bad options.

  129. 129
    Laertes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    if you had ever gone up against them as I have. They can pretty much do what they want.

    I’m just a guy with some opinions and a mouth, y’know? I’ve got no power to help or hurt Montes. I’ve got no history of personally helping out immigrants, documented or otherwise, like you have, and I’m honestly impressed as hell that you do.

    Honestly.

    But while I have neither the power to compel ICE (thank you kindly for the correction, by the way) to permit Montes to stay, nor to compel CPS to send the children to live with their father or give the mother the support she needs to look after them, I’m perfectly free to prefer one outcome to another.

    And the outcome I’d prefer is that we stop deporting the parents of American citizens, and so here’s me, trying to persuade my countrymen to see it my way. That’s my feeble best. I’m not a powerful person.

  130. 130
    rb says:

    @Joel: Assumes facts not in evidence, i.e. that whiteness was harmed in some way.

    Also, you forgot the trademark symbol on “individual liberty.”

  131. 131
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    So that’s fine — you seem to believe that there should be complete open borders, and that everyone who wants to should be able to move to any other country.

    I don’t — I think we need controlled immigration, and have some say in who is and isn’t allowed to move here. That seems a fairly large gulf and one we’re not likely to convince each other of.

  132. 132
    dmbeaster says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    Look, we have freedom of trade in capital and goods, but not labour. Why is that? Trade benefits both parties involved, and the only kind of trade that’s restricted is the trade in labour. Has it occurred to you that maybe just maybe that’s been done to privilege capital over labour?

    Good luck articulating how it is that capital receives a privilege over labor because we do not allow unrestricted immigration. Without question, the opposite is true.

    Also, free trade does not simplistically benefit both parties involved. It creates winners and losers, and hopefully a net benefit of winners over losers. It doesn’t always even create a net benefit, contrary to the dogma of the Chicago school. A lot of the false “benefit” of free trade derives from the arbitrage arising from differing labor/social/environmental standards in different places. For example, the free trade in environmental waste does not exactly result in a net benefit because one country is willing to take it and pollute its environment. Free trade in goods produced by child labor creates an odd circumstance for claiming “everyone benefits.” There are countless other examples for which free traders have a giant blind spot.

  133. 133
    Rafer Janders says:

    @rb:

    Um, the fact that one is not exactly like the other is the very point of the analogy. E.D. Kain made the first point, that the fact that someone was trying to “better their situation” means that we should allow him to do so. I pointed out that, in the real world, if Kain had to himself directly face the consequences, he’d probably not be as sympathetic to the “as long as you’re trying to better yourself it’s OK” argument.

  134. 134
    Laertes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    So that’s fine—you seem to believe that there should be complete open borders, and that everyone who wants to should be able to move to any other country.

    I don’t—I think we need controlled immigration, and have some say in who is and isn’t allowed to move here. That seems a fairly large gulf and one we’re not likely to convince each other of.

    We might be closer than you think. I think our borders should be a lot more open than they are, but I’m not convinced that completely open is the way to go.

    Where we differ, though, is that I think that a young American’s interest in keeping her parents in country trumps my interest in seeing rule-breakers suffer the consequences of their rule-breaking. I get that that’s a loophole you could drive a truck through, and the perverse incentives would be pretty hellacious.

  135. 135
    Nutella says:

    @pragmatism:

    it is pro family. just not the birth family. if that child is going to a good christian gop voting family, it’s all good.

    We’re like the Argentinian dictatorship in the 70’s and early 80’s. When they ‘disappeared’ leftists, trades unionists, and do-gooder types they found annoying they stole their children too and gave them to good, reliable, right-wing families to raise.

    We’ve got our own Dirty War right here in the good ol’ USA. Makes you proud to be an American doesn’t it?

  136. 136
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: RE: Despite all this, both the GOP and the Democrats footdrag on immigration reform, even mild shit like decreasing fees and streamlining rules and procedures so that you don’t have people needing to jump the line rather than wait years to apply for any kind of resident status.

    Decreasing fees, you make me laugh, in the last 5 years USCIS has almost tripled the fee for filing I-140, petition for an immigrant worker, i.e. the employment based green card has gone up from $195 in 2006 to $580 in 2012. Other fees have also gone up and getting your I-140 approved is just one of the first steps in getting the Green Card.

    I said that the fees should be reduced and the processed streamlined. It does not make sense that the shit should be so complicated, especially since the US has moedurn computators an such.

    A friend’s daughter needed a passport for a China trip. Since the family has an uncle at the State Department, she got it within 48 hours, no charge. Amazing what juice can do. I always presume that there are ways to make most systems more efficient, especially when they can clearly accomodate favors and emergencies.

    @E.D. Kain:

    Should my town be able to prevent you from entering because you’re not a resident?

    You mean like when California law enforcement blocked Okies from entering from other states during the Depression?

    Or when cities tried to prevent Katrina evaccuees from entering?

    @Rafer Janders:

    If the law doesn’t work, you work and petition for a change of the law—you don’t just ignore it.

    Sure you do, especially if the application of the law would be cruel or unjust. I’m sure you could come up with any number of historical examples if you thought about it.

  137. 137
    Rafer Janders says:

    Look, we have freedom of trade in capital and goods, but not labour. Why is that? Trade benefits both parties involved, and the only kind of trade that’s restricted is the trade in labour. Has it occurred to you that maybe just maybe that’s been done to privilege capital over labour?

    Well, it’s also much easier to move capital than it is to move labor. Especially since capital doesn’t have friends or family or roots or culture or speak dozens of different languages. Is it easier to move a million dollars to China or is it easier to move a German engineer and his family to China?

  138. 138
    Laertes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    The problem with your metaphor is that it begs the question.

    If someone believes (as I and probably Kain do) that hard-working and largely law-abiding immigrants are a net benefit to the country, framing an analogy that makes their presence a burden is going to appear to be missing the point, as deadly clever as it may seem to people who see immigrants as parasites.

  139. 139
    rb says:

    @dmbeaster: Good luck articulating how it is that capital receives a privilege over labor because we do not allow unrestricted immigration. Without question, the opposite is true.

    Agree, within the context of the U.S.; defining ‘labor’ more broadly (e.g. to workers worldwide), the question is much less clear.

    Also, free trade does not simplistically benefit both parties involved. It creates winners and losers, and hopefully a net benefit of winners over losers. It doesn’t always even create a net benefit, contrary to the dogma of the Chicago school. A lot of the false “benefit” of free trade derives from the arbitrage arising from differing labor/social/environmental standards in different places.

    Hear hear. This is all terribly obvious and yet bears repeated repeating, so to speak.

  140. 140
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Now they are targeting legal immigrants. The organization running these ads is called FAIR, how very 1984 of them.

  141. 141
    dmbeaster says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    A more open immigration policy would not mean that hundreds of millions of immigrants would come here.

    Your position on this is simply ridiculous given this assumption in your thinking.

    Millions already pay huge sums (for them) and risk their life to get into this country. To think that an open immigration policy would not result in a ten or hundred fold increase in people coming here is startlingly ignorant.

    As for zoning laws preventing shanty towns, good luck on that when you have 100 million new people essentially homeless because there is no housing for them.

  142. 142
    JGabriel says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Well, the line may be broken, but in a society based on laws, that does not entitle anyone, citizen or foreigner, to decide for themselves that they’ll just ignore the line.

    Of course it does, or, more precisely, it can. Civil rights protesters, people who drank during Prohibition, people who helped slaves escape, American history is replete with people who broke or ignored unjust laws, whether to help the oppressed or those in need or just to have a good time.

    The question is whether the current laws of immigration require protest, breaking, ignoring, and/or reformation. Many people think they do, and they are disagreeing with you.

    .

  143. 143
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @dmbeaster: I am not for open borders, but why not give the immigration judges some discretion over the cases they hear about who is allowed to stay.

  144. 144
    Laertes says:

    100 million new people essentially homeless because there is no housing for them.

    A housing shortage is not one of our problems right now.

  145. 145
    Emma says:

    @Rafer Janders: So if you were to lose your job and your home and your parents were unable to take your children, you would be ok with having them removed and given to some deserving white childless couple in the suburbs to raise? Or does it apply only to children where one parent broke the immigration rules?

  146. 146
    rb says:

    @Rafer Janders: the fact that one is not exactly like the other is the very point of the analogy

    Sigh. A nation and your living room are not alike. Immigration and property rights are not analogous. They seem analogous because you want them to be analogous because the straw man of home invasion is easier to comprehend and combat. But they are nothing like one another in any relevant sense.

    An argument that tries to explain basketball starting with “it’s like an orange” is just a mess.

    Now you acknowledge that an orange and a basketball are not exactly alike? Well, kudos, I suppose.

  147. 147
    Rafer Janders says:

    @JGabriel:

    OK, but you’re conflating several things here: you’re confusing non-violent protest, where you’re willing to break the law — and, most importantly, face the consequences, including arrest and imprisonment, which is the very point of the protest — with simple law-breaking when you don’t find the rules convenient, as in drinking during Prohibition. In the latter case, the whole point is never to get arrested at all.

    Someone wants to hold a protest in DC and chain themselves to ICE’s offices and get arrested to prove a point? You have my sympathy and perhaps my participation. But breaking the law in secret, so you get all the benefit but don’t have to pay the price? That’s another thing entirely.

  148. 148
    moderateindy says:

    @Laertes: “Should these American citizens have their father deported?” So far, I haven’t heard a convincing reason why justice is served by harming my countrymen in this way.

    So consider this analogy, A banker is actually prosecuted and sent to jail for his misdeeds. His house and cash are taken by the government and since he is a widower his children are put in foster care. Would you argue that he shouldn’t go to jail because his kids suffer through no fault of their own? ( obviously you have to overlook the fact that the two crimes are not equal, but the point stands)
    I don’t feel any urge to “wonder” about it since I figure people are entitled to the presumption that they aren’t abusive douchebags.
    Having seen what it takes too have children taken from a home I pretty much count on the fact that there is a great deal of douchebaggery going on. The community agency I work at has an entire division that deals with CPS, and working with at risk parents to ensure children aren’t taken from them. Somebody said that it was relatively easy to take kids, I assure you, it is not. People are given chance after chance to do what’s needed to keep their kids. The amount of paperwork alone that an agent needs to do is daunting. A CPS worker really needs to be motivated to jump through all the hoops it takes to take kids away, and I’ve never met any that want to do it, unless they feel the children are in real peril.

  149. 149
    moderateindy says:

    @Laertes:

    “Should these American citizens have their father deported?” So far, I haven’t heard a convincing reason why justice is served by harming my countrymen in this way.

    So consider this analogy, A banker is actually prosecuted and sent to jail for his misdeeds. His house and cash are taken by the government and since he is a widower his children are put in foster care. Would you argue that he shouldn’t go to jail because his kids suffer through no fault of their own? ( obviously you have to overlook the fact that the two crimes are not equal, but the point stands)

    I don’t feel any urge to “wonder” about it since I figure people are entitled to the presumption that they aren’t abusive douchebags.

    Having seen what it takes too have children taken from a home I pretty much count on the fact that there is a great deal of douchebaggery going on. The community agency I work at has an entire division that deals with CPS, and working with at risk parents to ensure children aren’t taken from them. Somebody said that it was relatively easy to take kids, I assure you, it is not. People are given chance after chance to do what’s needed to keep their kids. The amount of paperwork alone that an agent needs to do is daunting. A CPS worker really needs to be motivated to jump through all the hoops it takes to take kids away, and I’ve never met any that want to do it, unless they feel the children are in real peril.

  150. 150
    cckids says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    And you’d also have a situation where you are at least quasi-deporting these American born, American raised, American citizen children to Mexico.

    If that is what their legal, competent parent wants, so the fuck what? Its not as though he wants them so he can sell them into child prostitution. They’re his kids, Mom is at present unable to care for them, he lives in Mexico. It is another country, not the fucking dark side of the moon.

    edited to add: Would there be such angst about this if he wanted to take them back to Australia, Canada, or Sweden? Somehow I doubt it.

    Taking kids away from loving, competent parents just because of money is the surest way I can think of to completely screw them up for life. Also, they aren’t being stripped of their citizenship; they can return at any time if Mom’s situation improves.

  151. 151
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Emma:

    Would I be OK with it? No. Would I prefer it to having my children starve on the streets? Yes. Would I always be able to rationally make that choice? Perhaps not. Should society have a mechanism in place to ensure that, if parents lose their home and all their money, someone is still able to care for the children if the parents are not? Yes.

  152. 152
    Brachiator says:

    @moderateindy:

    So consider this analogy, A banker is actually prosecuted and sent to jail for his misdeeds. His house and cash are taken by the government and since he is a widower his children are put in foster care. Would you argue that he shouldn’t go to jail because his kids suffer through no fault of their own? ( obviously you have to overlook the fact that the two crimes are not equal, but the point stands)

    The point doesn’t stand at all. The analogy is defective, and not particularly relevant.

    The facts of the case are clear enough. The father was deported. Even if you view this as shitty (and I do), it is irrelevant to the fact that the state is compounding the problem by putting the kids into foster care and attempting to sever the parental bonds.

    Hell, I would argue that since the state took away the family’s means of support, they should pay the mother the father’s wages and allow her to keep the kids. This would not be welfare, it would be mandatory wage supplement.

  153. 153
    Rafer Janders says:

    You mean like when California law enforcement blocked Okies from entering from other states during the Depression?Or when cities tried to prevent Katrina evaccuees from entering?

    Just a note, all of those actions were actually illegal under US law. Under the Privileges and Immunities clause of the Constitution, states and municipalities cannot legally prevent the free movement of American citizens to or through them.

    Though it seems as if there are many here who feel that states and municipalities should be able to flout that law if they felt strongly enough that it was unfair or to their economic disadvantage…

  154. 154
    Laertes says:

    @moderateindy:

    A banker is actually prosecuted and sent to jail for his misdeeds. His house and cash are taken by the government and since he is a widower his children are put in foster care. Would you argue that he shouldn’t go to jail because his kids suffer through no fault of their own?

    That’s a mitigating factor that the judge might properly consider at sentencing time, but no, I wouldn’t forgive the crime in this case just because the criminal had dependent children.

    ( obviously you have to overlook the fact that the two crimes are not equal, but the point stands)

    Are you sure that it does? What if one were simply to believe that society’s interest in punishing victimless crimes is trumped by a child’s need for her parents, but that that need is itself trumped by society’s interest in punishing dangerous criminals who’ve done grave harm to actual victims?

  155. 155
    eemom says:

    @Brachiator:

    You will notice that that article is utterly silent about what the mother’s problems are, beyond saying that she is disabled. The implication is clear that she can’t take care of the kids on her own. Even when the father was around, he was doing most of the work.

    IMO this supports what a few people have said to the effect that agencies don’t take kids from their parents lightly. I think there is more to this story than the article reports. And it does have the tone of a screed about it.

  156. 156
    JGabriel says:

    Rafer Janders:

    OK, but you’re conflating several things here…

    I was intentionally conflating them, to make the point that motives don’t have to be pure, or only to help others, in order for law-breaking to be seen as a historically acceptable course of action. It only has to be seen as protesting or ignoring a law perceived as unjust.

    It was a side argument, pointing out that the basis of your complaint (“… in a society based on laws, that does not entitle anyone, citizen or foreigner, to decide for themselves that they’ll just ignore the line”) was incorrect, so you could take the opportunity to either change your mind or rephrase your argument on a more defensible basis.

    .

  157. 157
    JGabriel says:

    @moderateindy:

    So consider this analogy, A banker is actually prosecuted and sent to jail for his misdeeds. His house and cash are taken by the government and since he is a widower his children are put in foster care. Would you argue that he shouldn’t go to jail because his kids suffer through no fault of their own? ( obviously you have to overlook the fact that the two crimes are not equal, but the point stands)

    If you have to overlook the fact that the crimes are not equal, then the point does not stand.

    If the banker’s crimes are minor, with zero to little inconvenience or damage to anyone else, then yes, I would argue that a fine is more appropriate from a societal point of view and to preserve his family.

    If the banker’s crimes are not as minor as, say, staying in the country without proper documentation, if, instead, the crime is more severe, such as defrauding people of money they use to live on or are saving for retirement, then the point doesn’t stand. The crimes are not equal.

    .

  158. 158
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    If someone believes (as I and probably Kain do) that hard-working and largely law-abiding immigrants are a net benefit to the country, framing an analogy that makes their presence a burden is going to appear to be missing the point, as deadly clever as it may seem to people who see immigrants as parasites.

    But why does my example make my presence a burden? I stipulate that I’ll help E.D. out with the bills, I’ll contribute to the rent, I’ll help shop, I’ll clean. Economically, he’ll be much better off with me there than me without. The main space-wise burden to him will be me sleeping on his couch, but even then, that will be mainly at night when he’s asleep in his own bed anyway. The only thing he’ll have to give up is his control over who does and does not get to live in his own apartment.

    I think that hard-working immigrants are also a boon to America — but while you qualify that with “largely law-abiding”, I see no need for the “largely” qualifer. We have a backlog of people who are trying to enter this country legally. Let’s let them in. Let’s speed up that process. But I see no need to favor those who enter this country illegally (the “largely law-abiding”) over those who enter legally (the actually law-abiding).

  159. 159
    Rafer Janders says:

    @eemom:

    Agreed. I’ve seen this system up close, and I can verify that social service agencies do not attempt to sever parental ties lightly — it’s actually extremely difficult, time-consuming and burdensome to do. As another poster said, you have to be very motivated to make it happen, and for a judge to sign off on it, the situation usually has to be pretty egregious.

  160. 160
    JGabriel says:

    Rafer Janders:

    The only thing he’ll have to give up is his control over who does and does not get to live in his own apartment.

    Considering that’s a metaphor for the U.S., it’s a pretty big apartment.

    .

  161. 161
    Laertes says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I’d feel visceral loathing for someone who invaded my apartment and squatted there against my will. I’d feel intolerably put-upon, crowded, and most of all, threatened. I’d very quickly come to hate the person.

    …is that the point of your analogy? To express that that’s how you feel about undocumented immigrants, and that the law should properly be arranged to suit those feelings?

    If it is, then I genuinely feel sorry for you, and maybe there’s someone you could talk to? If not, then I’m not sure I’m seeing the point of your analogy, and maybe you could elaborate?

  162. 162
    Laertes says:

    I think that hard-working immigrants are also a boon to America—but while you qualify that with “largely law-abiding”, I see no need for the “largely” qualifer.

    As to this bit, I’m simply pointing out that one only has to be mostly law-abiding to be a productive member of society. I break laws all the time. (I love that line from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: “I’m innocent. Within reason.”) But I expect I’m still, on balance, not a burden on society. I pay my taxes, I look after myself, and I don’t hurt anyone. Too much respect for the law is as bad for a society as too little, in my view.

  163. 163
    scott (the other one) says:

    @Laertes:

    For me it all starts with a simple image: A tiny, squalling infant, the most helpless creature in the world, born on the soil of my country. The kid didn’t choose her parents. She didn’t break any laws or jump any lines. She’s not one tiny little bit responsible for the fucked-upedness of this fucked-up world. She just got here, she’s utterly helpess, and she’s an American. I care about that kid, and I’m willing to forgive a huge pile of bullshit paper crimes to let her parents raise her and provide for her.

    DAMN, Sam. That’s poetry. Yes. Exactly.

  164. 164
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Laertes:

    Well, to zoom out a bit, I think the fact of uncontrolled illegal immigration in this country actually does hurt the cause of legal immigration. That people see large numbers of illegal immigrants, and they conflate their feelings towards those with their feelings towards immigrants in general, thereby reducing, on a society-wide basis (and thus reducing pressure on a legislative basis) for any rational reform to our immigration laws.

    As said, I’m generally pro-immigration. I’m the child of an immigrant. But we’re never going to reform the immigration system, we’re never going to make it easier and less complicated for people to move here, if there’s constantly a 10 million plus strong example of people who show that you can move here illegally with relatively little consequence.

  165. 165
    Rafer Janders says:

    @JGabriel:

    Sure. It’s a big apartment. Let’s even say it’s a big house, with multiple guest bedrooms he never uses. So I’m only letting myself in to his house and using one his bedrooms, one he’ll never even sleep in himself. No skin off his nose, then. He shouldn’t care that I make myself a spare set of keys, and let myself in and out at will. I’ve gained a great deal (I get to live in a much better house than I was in before!) and comparatively, he’s lost almost nothing.

  166. 166

    […] E.D. Kain, another AZ blogger, has some important things to say aobut it. It’s one thing if kids are taken from truly abusive homes and placed into foster care – that’s a state service born out of inevitability and mercy. But when it’s the result of an immoral immigration policy that is at once harmful to the broader economy and to the lives of very real, very innocent people it’s just unconscionable. […]

  167. 167
    Laertes says:

    You can prove a lot if you’re willing to pretend that a man who’s neither picking your pocket nor breaking your leg is in fact doing both.

  168. 168
    LanceThruster says:

    @JGabriel:

    This is the best apartment ever stolen from anyone! – LT

    (Thanks indigenous apartment dwellers! Sucks to be you!)

  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    The fact that I’m not sure if it is legally possible for a state agency to send American children out of the country to Mexico.

    Um, yes, it’s completely legal and completely possible if the parent lives out of the country. That’s why the state agency is taking legal steps to have him declared an unfit father and have his parental rights severed — because otherwise the state agency is required to send the children to him since he’s their father.

    ETA: And given that the only evidence that he’s an unfit father is that he was deported for living here illegally, I think you’re going to need to make a much better case that he deserves to lose all rights to his kids forever for the horrible, horrible crime of living in Mexico.

  170. 170
    Samara Morgan says:

    @E.D. Kain: why are you still here?
    this is your old formula.
    fake some common position with the juicers for clicks, then as soon as you milk it for all its worth, you flip.
    Like your position on unions.

    I’ve cooled on the idea of unions lately, at least in their current form, and have had a number of really good conversations in the past couple of days after writing this post, about unions and particularly teachers unions.
    __
    Certainly teachers unions represent a major obstacle to reform of our education system.

    you just want switch horses now that its obvious that Obama is gunna win.
    DIAF you creepy little freed market fucktard.

    the other reason Kain is here to farm pageclicks from credulous juicers because he quit his dayjob.
    he’s still the same crappy writer he has always been.
    you know who approvingly links Kain?
    Sully.
    Cole is no better than sullivan at this point.

  171. 171
    Samara Morgan says:

    @E.D. Kain: Fuck off you little creep.
    the juicitariat may be dumb enough to fall for your bulshytt AGAIN but im not.
    ax Cole to ban me why dont you?

  172. 172
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    See my answer at 128 — if you’d bothered to read it, you’d see that I’ve already said that in this particular case, it would be best to send the children to Mexico. I don’t know why people insist on conflating my descriptions of what will most likely happen with my preference for what I think should happen. I never made any case, none whatsoever, that he should lose all rights to his children. I did note that it is possible, and even likely, that he will, but to describe is not to endorse.

  173. 173
    Rafer Janders says:

    And…she’s here. So we’re done here.

  174. 174
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Rafer Janders: yup, i’ll be here earlier next time.
    wallah, i can not believe the juicitariat is gunna swallow the EDK fake-conversion reality show A SECOND TIME.

    One born every minnit, right Rafer?

  175. 175
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    We had to go off on someone :>)

  176. 176
    Brachiator says:

    @eemom:

    IMO this supports what a few people have said to the effect that agencies don’t take kids from their parents lightly.

    I agree that there may be more to the story. But I have seen nothing that clearly supports the idea of terminating the parental rights of both parents.

    State agencies may not take kids away from parents “lightly,” but they sometimes do it for the most boneheaded reasons.

  177. 177
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: i hate libertarians.
    i cut my blogteeth at Culture 11 and TAS.

    Kain is only here because he quit his day job and because O is gunna win.
    Sully links Kain approvingly…what is the difference between Cole and Sullivan?
    ones gay?

  178. 178
    Epicurus says:

    Some of you may be surprised by this, but simply ignoring any and all posts from our dear friend Ms. Morgan make reading the comments here so very much more pleasant. On to the matter at hand; it’s tragic that these kids have been taken from their mother, but I would not jump to the conclusion that CPS is doing this out of some misplaced sense of cruelty. As to the argument that any person who arrives here and impregnates a U.S. citizen is then eligible to remain here indefinitely? Just no. I will throw in with those who see those who enter the country illegally are in fact “line jumpers,” irrespective of their motives. Just think about it; the very first act you commit is to ignore the laws of this country. Not exactly a recipe for “law-abiding” people to follow, is it? While I agree that the immigration/citizenship laws in this country are messed up, it’s the best system we have for now. How about electing better legislators to write better laws?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] E.D. Kain, another AZ blogger, has some important things to say aobut it. It’s one thing if kids are taken from truly abusive homes and placed into foster care – that’s a state service born out of inevitability and mercy. But when it’s the result of an immoral immigration policy that is at once harmful to the broader economy and to the lives of very real, very innocent people it’s just unconscionable. […]

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