A travesty of justice

Carla Freeman, the woman at the center of an immigration controversy, has given up her fight for legal status. Mrs. Freeman is a woman from South Africa who married an American citizen. Before her paperwork for legal status was approved, her husband died in a car accident, and she was targeted for deportation. While she had won one round of the legal morass which ensued, courts denied her petitions, and the technical requirements to fight on proved too onerous.

There are at least 85 other known spouses of citizens facing the same problem. Our friend The Florida Masochist says of the case:

This is nothing more a travesty of justice. Mrs. Freeman and the other widows only crime was that their husband’s died before their paperwork was completed. People who try to work within the immigration system legally, and they get screwed over. Its a sad state of affairs when a country with 12 million illegal aliens presently residing in it, finds it necessary to deport foreign born widows of US citizens.

Read the whole post at the link provided. I couldn’t agree more. The available prosecution resources for immigration cases are obviously limited. How can we spend them on deporting bereaved spouses of citizens, whose applications were gathering dust in the bureaucracy, while known criminals who entered the country illegally walk away because “we don’t have the resources to prosecute every violation”?

It makes no sense. We aren’t talking about bogus arranged marriages to legalize aliens – that’s a crime, and no one is alleging that is the case with Mrs. Freeman or the other 85 widows. They played by the rules. Their husbands died before our system could process their paperwork.

I don’t fault the judges at all. They are following the letter of the law precisely, and that is precisely what I wish all judges would do. The problem is the glitch in the law. As Dickens’ Mr. Bumble observed in an analogous circumstance, “If the law supposes that, the law is an ass – an idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience – by experience.”

Congress ought direct our limited resources be devoted to expelling those illegally here who represent a threat to public safety, and not those here legally whose status turns sour because our bureaucratic wheels grind so slowly.

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