Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Yes, but other than that?The New York Times prints a puff piece on poor suffering Pakistanis who were recently deported from the U.S. back to Pakistan. The Times spends lots of time explaining that these people weren't terrorists and weren't treated nicely by the federal government. If you merely skimmed the article, and the related profiles of some of the deportees who were interviewed, you'd feel very sorry for them. That is, if you don't squint closely enough to see details like:
On April 2, he was charged with a single criminal offense: using an invalid Social Security card. He pleaded guilty to removing the "not valid for employment" label from the card so he could get a job as a taxi driver, a common practice among immigrants. He was sentenced to time served.Naeem Jajua:
Last April, he said, I.N.S. agents arrested him for filing a second asylum application in 1996 under a false name. He admitted making the filing, but said he had grown desperate after hearing nothing about his first application for six years. After spending four months in jail, he said, he was deported in August without seeing a judge.Naeem Shaikh:
The 31-year-old Queens taxi driver said he illegally entered the United States in 1994. Smuggled from Pakistan through three countries, he used a fake green card to pass through immigration at Kennedy Airport.Khurram Altaf:
He said he entered the United States in 1985 on a tourist visa at the age of 18 and had overstayed it.Syed Wasim Abbas:
After hearing a rumor that it was possible to receive a green card if one applied in Chicago, he flew there and filed an application with a false Chicago address in 1998, he said. But he said he decided to skip his court hearing in Chicago after hearing that other people were arrested for doing the same thing.There are some sad stories here. People who have been separated from their families, who have lost money, who have lost their jobs, who don't have much in Pakistan. But they were all in the United States illegally. And the Times treats those facts as afterthoughts. I'm all in favor of immigration. Even from the Middle East and the larger Islamic world. But it has to involve people who follow the rules. Otherwise, what's the point? How can you pretend that it's okay for people to overstay visas or sneak into the country or falsify documents? How can you justify a huge INS bureaucracy which doesn't bother to enforce immigration law?
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