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Detained student's crisis proves craziness of immigration system

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

We ought to look for ways to keep people like Mora, not give away those assets to other countries. Does the same administration that wants to recruit immigrants with education also think that we should deport immigrants with education?

But while keeping Mora in this country might be the best thing for him, we should also look at what's best for the immigration debate. Also, what about the entire population of 11 million illegal immigrants in this country?

How can we have a system that rewards young adults for making good decisions (like going to college) but doesn't penalize them for making bad decisions (like letting their visas expire and foolishly taking a road trip near the U.S.-Mexico border)?

Many Americans want to help immigrants like Mora. That's admirable. Yet the best way to help undocumented young people is to stop making excuses for them, treat them like adults, and make them accountable for their actions.

So what should happen to Mora? At the risk of losing friends on the left, here's the short answer: the same thing that happens to other undocumented immigrants who fall into the clutches of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. College student or not, he should be deported.

Unless there is some unknown provision in the U.S. immigration code that says college students get special dispensation not afforded to housekeepers, gardeners and farmworkers.

It's troubling that many of those who oppose President Trump's aggressive immigration enforcement stance are -- in this case -- so quick to adopt his simplistic paradigm of dividing immigrants into piles of good and bad.

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A college student like Mora is considered a good immigrant, while his less-educated undocumented parents -- who no doubt worked hard and sacrificed to get him to college in the first place -- are bad ones?

You talk about a crazy system. There it is.

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Ruben Navarrette's email address is ruben@rubennavarrette.com.His daily podcast, "Navarrette Nation," is available through every podcast app.

(c) 2018, The Washington Post Writers Group

 

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