An op-ed in the Salt Lake City Tribune called Immigration enforcement threatens American liberties [By Kevin Van Horn, March 3, 2008] is largely about the threat to the liberties of illegal Mexicans, but it does contain the germ of a serious point, which is that interior enforcement does bother Americans in various ways. Of course massive illegal immigration is also a threat to American liberties, so just surrendering isn`t an option. If the borders were less porous, this would be less of a problem, since that kind of enforcement only bothersÂ illegal border crossers.
And of course, no story of illegals being deported can possibly be complete withoutÂ raising the specter of the possible deportation of an American citizen. But using this story doesn`t impress me:
And don`t suppose that American citizens need not fear deportation. Thomas Warziniack was imprisoned for weeks because officials thought he was an illegal Russian immigrant; not until a U.S. senator intervened was his family allowed to prove he was born in Minnesota.
Usually, for a citizen to be mistaken for an illegal, he has to be some kind of mental case. Warziniack is some kind of mental case, and was detained because he told officials he was an illegal Russian immigrant:
After he was arrested in Colorado on a minor drug charge, Warziniack told probation officials there wild stories about being shot seven times, stabbed twice and bombed four times as a Russian army colonel in Afghanistan, according to court records. He also insisted that he swam ashore to America from a Soviet submarine.[Immigration officials detaining, deporting American citizens
By Marisa Taylor,Â McClatchyÂ News, January 24, 2008]
Warziniack, who has been doing heroin for eighteen years, claims he was in withdrawal when he said that, and can`t remember anything. Another case is a “mentally disabled” (i.e. retarded, rather than crazy) Hispanic whose relatives probably shouldn`t have been letting him wander around unsupervised,Â and there was a similar case in Australia, where a woman called Cornelia Rau, a legal permanent resident, told police she was a German tourist because she didn`t want to tell them she was an escaped mental patient.She was detained, but not actually deported, but the case has caused a lot of heart-throbbing on the Australian left.
But here`s my original point–the more the border can be controlled, the less problem immigration enforcement will be to American citizens.