A Micro-Level Look

From co-blogger Santiago J. Valenzuela

This blog is mostly focused on the bigger picture so to speak, but it is also important to look at individual stories about immigration.  After all, the smallest minority in the world is the individual, and the protection of individual rights is what we are fighting for. 

When conservatives say "12 million illegals out" they are talking about individual people who are attempting to make a living as productive members of society.  This article elaborates:

The record deportation figures touted by ICE are more than just numbers—they are hundreds and thousands of families. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, at least 6.6 million American families were of mixed status as of 2005. Over the past ten years, the government has deported the lawful permanent resident parents of about 103,000 children. Of those, 88,000 are US citizens...

...Other stories have been surfacing in recent months. People are getting picked up for deportation out of the blue, like Maria Bolanos, who was picked up through S-Comm after calling the police for help during a fight with her partner that had turned violent.

Even people with authorization to be in the US are getting scooped up:

According to the University of Syracuse’s Transitional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), immigration courts have been backed up with a record number of cases, with average wait times of 459 days this past year. Thirty-one percent of cases that come before these courts are thrown out, often because they’ve been brought against people who are actually legally entitled to be in this country. In cities with large immigrant populations like New York, Los Angeles and Miami, more than half of cases have been thrown out in the past year.

Immigration enforcement has monetary costs and that should not be ignored since taxpayers are burdened with that bill, but it also has costs in terms of harming real individuals, who are trying to live their lives peacefully while being productive members of society.

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