Thursday, March 13, 2008

The ugly reality

-- by Dave

I've pointed out previously that the people demanding the deportation of all 12 million undocumented workers in this country are probably not prepared for the monstrousness of the consequences that will result. There's a reason for that:
Many right-wing critics of American immigration policy are fond of saying that current policies would work just fine if the government would "just enforce the laws that are on the books."

It seems never to occur to them that the main reason the government doesn't do so, at least not on a massive scale, is simply that the laws as written are largely unenforceable -- or perhaps more to the point, that enforcing them actually creates larger problems, to the point of atrocities, than those they were intended to address.

Besides the brutal treatment that often occurs in the course of rounding up immigrants, and the fact that in order to make mass roundups work you have to build concentration camps, there are inevitably going to be incidents like this:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - A woman being held as an illegal immigrant spent four days forgotten in an isolated holding cell at a courthouse with no food, water, or toilet, authorities and the woman said.

Adriana Torres-Flores, 38, appeared in court last Thursday and pleaded not guilty to a charge of selling pirated CDs, but a judge ordered her held because she is in the country illegally, Sheriff Tim Helder said.

Bailiff Jarrod Hankins put her in the cell to await transport to jail, and she was forgotten. Because of heavy snow, few staff members were in the courthouse to hear her cries and pounding later Thursday or on Friday and through the weekend.

The cell had two benches, a metal table and a light that Torres-Flores could not turn off. She slept using a shoe to cushion her head, she told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, with 14-year-old daughter Adriana acting as an interpreter.

"She was feeling like she was going to die," Adriana said.

Torres-Flores had not eaten Thursday before going to court. She had a jacket but still was cold in the cell.

"She had to use the bathroom on the floor," her daughter said.

"It's a horrible, horrible situation," said her attorney, Nathan Lewis.

Expect a lot more of these if we continue to emphasize "enforcing the laws on the books." Until we reform those laws, enforcing them is ineluctably going to produce travesties like this.

Via Jabbering Stooge.

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