"It's about basic fairness," said John Boehner back in July of 2013. "These children were brought here on no accord of their own."
And now we find out that about the same time, Jeb Bush claimed that it's "ridiculous" not to put such children on an "accelerated path" to citizenship.
But is there any sound argument here? Or just more liberal illogic? Amnesty advocates -- and now act of love advocates -- have never been terribly clear about their reasoning. It's not hard to see why.
Boehner, as does Bush, appeals to fairness. It's the only fair thing to do grant them a fast track to citizenship. Unfortunately none of them bother to explain where they found this "principle of fairness":
Not Boehner, not Bush, not Rubio, not Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch (the co-sponsors of the original proposed 2001 "Dream Act"), not anyone has explained why it is fair to let the children of illegal aliens go to the front of the immigration/citizenship line!
Why should an 18 year old, born in a foreign country, brought here illegally, be "fast-tracked" ahead of a 25 year old who's been trying to come here legally for a year, five years, seven years?
We are being asked to accept the idea that it's fair to let someone go to the head of the line because of someone else's criminal act. There is nothing fair about John Boehner's (and Eric Cantor's) and Jeb Bush's proposed solution. In fact, it is demonstrably unfair.
But Bush whines (or scolds?) that not to give them the fast track is to make them pay a price for their parents' "decisions," that is, their parents' crimes.
Bush gets this completely wrong. To claim that they don't deserve a fast-track to citizenship is only to claim that they do not deserve to be rewarded for their parents' crimes.
They are not -- pace Jeb -- being asked to pay any price! Their are no fines or court summons being issued. They go to schools paid for by American citizens; hardly a "price."
Imagine at the age of 5, a child's parents figure out how to "move" illegally from a dilapidated tenement into a modest, but clearly superior tract home, which they do not own and have no legal or moral right to live there. And they live their for several years. The crime is well-known. But no one bothers to do anything about it.
Is there any moral principle that says that the children are entitled now to ownership of the house? Yet this is what we are asked to believe by the "act of love" advocates. We do not accept this principle for any other crime. Why accept it here?
You will not hear an answer to this question.
Jeb is not through: if we don't give them citizenship, we would in effect render them "country-less." This, however, is just obtuse. Clearly they have a country: the country in which they were born. There is a place where they can exercise their citizenship rights. According to Jeb, however, they should be allowed to exercise their citizenship rights.... where they spent the most time....? huh ?
Again -- the principle underlying this claim is simply unfathomable. Children of diplomats or military or businessmen do not acquire this strange entitlement because they spent a lot of time in a country different from their native home. What is the rationale here? (There isn't one.)
The irony is this -- their parents are applauded for their act of love, for wanting to make a better life by committing a criminal act. However, it's wrong to suggest to -- never mind encouraging -- the children, upon reaching the age of 18, to respect the law, go back to their native country -- and apply to come to the United States of America legally.
The irony is perhaps magnified by a condition of the original law, requiring them to be of good moral character. Apparently, in the eyes of people like John and Jeb, "good moral character" has nothing to do with refusing to benefit from the crimes of your parents.