LatinaLista — A Kansas Court of Appeals has inadvertently highlighted the crux of the illegal immigration problem in this country that has pitted “rule of law” supporters against humanitarian defenders.
What’s ironic is all that the judges in the case intended to do was â€” follow the rule of law.
It all started with the case of Nicholas Martinez.
Martinez is a known drug dealer in Kansas; he is also in the country illegally.
Martinez pleaded guilty to having cocaine in his possession and using his young son to deliver the drugs to an undercover officer. He is hardly a candidate for Father of the Year or a model citizen.
However, evidently, the prosecutors in the case didn’t see Martinez as a threat to society and only recommended that he be placed on probation. But the judge, citing Martinez’ illegal status, said she couldn’t rule to place him on probation because he was in violation of the probation before he could even begin.
However, an appeals court ruled that wasn’t the case.
“While an illegal alien is subject to deportation, that person’s ongoing presence in the United States in and of itself is not a crime, unless that person had been previously deported and regained illegal entry into this country.”
So, evidently, the act of entering the country is separate from actually staying here – according to our laws â€” and that boils the immigration debate down to its core.
Supporters of immigrants who are illegally here have long contended that it is unjust to target these immigrants when they have shown that they are contributing members of their local communities.
Some of these immigrants have resided in this country for years, as evidence of their children having US citizenship. Yet, the hysteria that has not just fueled conservative extremists but gripped state legislators, who have been working overtime to “save” their states from, basically, Latinos, is no clearer example of the rampant discrimination and racism that threatens to undermine the security of this country.
The accusation that undocumented immigrants are committing a crime just by being here can no longer be considered a valid or credible argument in light of the Kansas Court of Appeals ruling, which actually cited two different court decisions, one a 1958 U.S. Supreme Court decision, to justify their conclusions.
Those that continue to use this argument should be seen for who they are: individuals or organizations who would rather spread misinformation to achieve a personal agenda that creates a racial division, mutual mistrust and an abuse of the “rule of law” to meet their own definitions.
It is unfortunate that those legislators, who have the power to positively address their undocumented immigrant residents within their own communities, have fallen prey to the shouting and intimidating accusations of not being “patriotic” hurled from these individuals and groups.
These politicians lack leadership qualities, but most importantly have shown that they don’t represesent all their constituents and are quite willing to make the most vulnerable of their constituents the sacrificial lambs of this debate to appease those who relish the idea of controlling the outcome of this sad issue.