“60 Minutes” showed viewers the sad story of Roberto Beristain, an illegal immigrant deported to Mexico after being in the U.S. for nearly 20 years. This was part of the news media’s ongoing anti-Trump assault, as well as an effort to pull at the public’s heartstrings while paralyzing its brains.
The CBS news magazine gathered Beristain’s family and friends in Granger, Indiana so they could express their frustration that someone with no criminal record like Roberto could be separated from his wife and children, who are all citizens.
“It just feels wrong,” Kimberly Glowacki said. Michelle Craig said she voted for President Trump, but did so because he promised to deport dangerous criminals. “This is not the person he said he would deport,” she said. “The community is better “for having someone like Beristain in it.
Wrong, wrong and wrong. While the President emphasized that the nation’s passive enforcement of illegal immigration allowed dangerous criminals to enter the nation, he never suggested that “good illegal immigrants” should be allowed to break our immigration laws with impunity, as long as they became law abiding illegal citizens. What did Michelle think the wall was all about? Did she think it would somehow let good illegal immigrants in while stopping the “bad hombres”?
Beristain was as much of a border-jumper success story as the there is, a former cook and new owner of a popular Granger restaurant , “Eddie’s Steak Shed,” that employs about 20 people. He had no criminal record in the U.S.. He entered the U.S. in 1998 illegally but had been issued a temporary work permit, Social Security number and drivers license under the Obama administration, an irresponsible policy that sent a “Illegals Welcome!” message to the world. The Trump administration, to its credit, has ended this cynical nonsense. If you are here illegally, you are subject to deportation at any time, and should be. The argument that by being a “good” illegal after you get here somehow erases the fact that you shouldn’t be here is what has been named “The Ruddigore Fallacy.” To refresh your memory:
The Ruddigore Fallacy: Also known as “moral licensing,” the Ruddigore Fallacy is the belief that unethical conduct can be erased with sufficient good conduct by the same person or organization, and that, sufficient good conduct entitles a group or individual to engage in unethical conduct with less criticism and negative consequences than a less accomplished individual or group should receive for the same misconduct.
In the excellent Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Ruddigore, W.S. Gilbert properly lampooned this unethical concept. A family curse compels a baronet to commit a crime a day. In the operetta’s first act, the current victim of the curse, Despard Murgatroyd, explains his scheme to foil the curse:
“I get my crime over the first thing in the morning, and then, ha! ha! for the rest of the day I do good! I do good! I do good! Two days since, I stole a child… built an orphan asylum. Yesterday I robbed a bank…and endowed a bishopric. To-day I carry off Rose Maybud and atone with a cathedral!”
(“Ruddigore” is also my favorite Gilbert and Sullivan show.)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement told “60 Minutes” that Beristain was deported for having a “final order of removal” against him. He had obtained a temporary deferral of the order three years ago, “60 Minutes” said, and had checked in once a year with the government.
Trump’s supporters in Granger made various statements that show 1) people hear what they want to hear, 2) a lot of Trump voters weren’t thinking clearly and 3) bias, in this case bias for a friend, makes you stupid.
Granger resident Dave Keck:
“I voted for [Trump] because he said he was going to get rid of the bad hombres. Roberto is a good hombre.”
No, he’s a 20 year mostly good hombre but still a bad hombre for living in the U.S. illegally. Good hombres don’t break laws just because it’s advantageous. Having the rule of law doesn’t allow ignoring violators just because they seem like nice people.
“I mean, he showed up here with just the shirt on his back and he’s a restaurant owner 20 years later … and he worked his butt off to get there”
Think, Matt. Think. Do you really want a policy in which anyone is free to come here illegally without consequences as long as they work hard and obey the law after they get across the border? Does that really make sense to you? (Admittedly, this is the stated policy preference of Jeb Bush and John Kasich, which is among the reasons we should be glad neither is in the White House
Helen Beristain, wife of the dearly deported:
“The only bad thing he’s done is stayed in the United States because he loves this country. That’s his only crime.”
You mean “stayed in the country illegally,” Helen. If someone steals you car, do you think “I really love that car” should exonerate him?
As Baretta (acquitted wife-killing actor Robert Blake) used to say, “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”
I have more sympathy for deported illegal immigrants like Helen’s husband than I do for deported illegals who have continued to break laws here, but more sympathy than none is still not every much.