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ICE raid leaves children unattended - is this just?

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By Marshall Connolly (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/8/2019 (2 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

We need to enforce the law with compassion and morality.

A massive ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) operation has detained at least 680 illegal immigrants in Mississippi. However, the raids left many children homeless on their first day of school.

A massive ICE raid in Mississippi left children without parents on the first day of school.

A massive ICE raid in Mississippi left children without parents on the first day of school.

Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - On Wednesday, ICE raided four Mississippi food processing plants, and detained at least 680 illegal immigrant suspects. The raids took place on what is also the first day of school, and resulted in several children returning to empty homes. 

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, Mike Hurst said, "Today, through the hard work of these men and women, we are once again becoming a nation of laws." 

Meanwhile, the children left without their parents following the raids were taken to a local gym in Forest, Mississippi, for the night. 

There are several problems which beset the United States, and they must be resolved. Illegal immigration is an issue, since all nations have a right to secure their borders. There should be a consequence for illegally crossing the border. Often, that consequence is immediate deportation, which is just. 

Then there is the problem of employers hiring illegal immigrants. The hiring of illegal immigrants results in lower wages and fewer jobs for citizens. Illegal immigrants can also face workplace abuse, which they are reluctant to report under fear of deportation. 

There is a serious problem with how we are handling illegal immigrant families. Not only are they broken up at the border, including the families of legal asylum seekers, but we are breaking them up following raids. In this case, on the first day of school, and when some of their children may be legal American citizens.

It is understood that children can lose their parents if their parents have committed a crime, but in such cases, provision is made for the children. This clearly did not happen in Mississippi. 

Our current approaches to all these problems is wrong. Our border is long and porous, and we refuse to commit the resources needed to secure it. We could use technology to create a "virtual wall," and we could deploy more officers to maintain it, but these reasonable steps are not taken, because the issue is greatly politicized. 

We are not aggressive enough to punish those who would employ illegal immigrants, so the practice continues. 

And we are enforcing the law without compassion. This is key, because compassion is part of our humanity. We must recognize that we are breaking up families, and this is wholly unnecessary. There is no reason why facilities cannot be built to house families together, and there is no reason why ICE needs to leave children unattended following an enforcement operation.

Illegal immigration is just that, it is illegal and a violation of the law. However, it is not a violent crime, nor do many of these people represent an imminent threat to the nation; they are clearly workers simply trying to get by.  A more humane method of dealing with this problem must be developed, or else we, as a nation, have lost our moral credibility. 

The law is important, but when life is not in jeopardy, its enforcement must not come at the expense of compassion, decency, and human life. God himself commands this, and the commands of God outweigh the laws of men. 

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