I have heard many stories about the arrest of undocumented immigrants but for some reason, they never stop astonishing me. I did not react differently to this new story I came across. On Tuesday October 16, agents stopped two illegal immigrants as they were dropping off their children at school. One father was pulled over while dropping off his four year-old daughter at school, the second father was in his car with his wife and seven year-old son.
There were some protests but after investigating, immigration officials said that the officers’ actions were consistent with agency policies. They justified the arrest of one father because he had a criminal conviction in 2008 for driving under the influence; he had also returned to the United States after being formally deported, which is a felony. The other father was not a primary target but he had two convictions for driving with an expired license. Based on these descriptions, the agents are “justified”. But, their method of arresting the fathers is not justified.
The way these agents arrested the fathers is disrespectful and inhumane. The fathers were going about their normal duties, dropping off their children at school, a place where they receive an education and are innocent members of a community. However, these agents disrupted their lives and emotionally/psychologically harmed the young children.
The kids went through a stressful and traumatic situation, thinking that their fathers were going to be taken away, seeing their adult role models (and protectors) as criminals who are taken away by “the policemen.” Immigrant children go through a lot of stress and difficult situations during the school day; they do not need to have more issues added on to their day. I can only imagine the distress for these children fearing that the “policemen” will take their parents if they drop them off at school What child doesn’t enjoy having their parents drop them off at school?! There should be stricter rules and regulations when agents are “tracking down” immigrants. Agents should have a social conscience and respect for children’s feelings and emotional being.
Do you believe it is right for agents to go after immigrants in places such as their children’s school? Do you think is fair to arrest immigrants in front of their children?
I think this situation directly relates to the kind of digression that needs to happen regarding the deportation of illegal immigrants. Obama has the vision of focusing on deporting immigrants that pose an imminent threat to society, and rather give relief to those that are hard working citizens that contribute to society. In the recent debates, Obama has said that this kind of digression has been in practice and has been effective. However, this situation does represent a system that is unfortunately not abiding by the rules.
Personally I think that this is absurd. I myself am of a mind that the system should be amended so that Obama’s current stance need not break the rules, but even if the country were to maintain a hard line on deportation, there should be standards as to where and when people are taken in. These actions completely disregard common courtesy and respect for family. What if the children having to endure the emotional trauma are American citizens? Way to protect the people.
This case does bring up a lot of the humanitarian issues that immigration brings up. These immigrants are still people with families that deserve some respect and consideration even when they are being arrested. I think that these immigration officials should not have made the arrest in such a public place and in such an inconsiderate fashion. Even criminals (though I wouldn’t really classify these fathers as criminals) deserve some consideration, and even if they don’t their families do. I think its fair to assume that police officers would not treat any citizen with comparable digressions in the same harsh fashion. This just reflects the fact that for some reason immigrants are not seen as full people because they aren’t full citizens, but this needs to change.