Once Again, “The Good Illegal Immigrant.” Once Again, I Am Not Sympathetic

Nor should I be.

Nor should you.

Once again, the New York Times has published another of its entries into what I call “The Good Illegal Immigrant” files. The “good illegal immigrant” is a contradiction in terms, as much as “the good embezzler” or “the good bigamist.” This ongoing propaganda by the Times as the journalistic vanguard of the open borders mission of the American Left is in its fourth year. These features are stuffed with emotionally manipulative tales and quotes about the travails of residents of the United States who broke the law by coming here, and who continue to stay here, reaping the benefits that are supposed to be reserved to citizens while being nauseatingly self-righteous about it. The Times surpasses itself this time, with “Telling the Truth Wasn’t An Option” by Julissa Arce, illegally in this country from the age of eleven, whose dilemma was finally resolved when she married an American citizen.

It’s convenient that the title itself embodies a rationalization, indeed a couple whoppers from the Ethics Alarms list: #25, The Coercion Myth: “I have no choice!” and #31. The Troublesome Luxury: “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now.” Telling the truth is always an option if one has the courage and integrity to be accountable. The headline applies to anyone who is engaged in an ongoing crime, or guilty of a past one, except that in this case, the individual feels uniquely entitled to not only avoid the just consequences of  her own actions, but to seek sympathy for her discomfort in doing so.

The focus of Arce’s women’s magazine-style account are her romantic misadventures. Her first serious relationship blew up when she discovered her beloved was cheating on his wife: when she threatened to inform his spouse, the man threatened to call ICE. (Nice judgment in men, there, Julissa…an adulterer, a liar and an extortionist.) She tells us,

After that, it took years for me to share my immigration status again with anyone. The next time was when my father had passed away and I couldn’t travel to Mexico to be with him. In a moment of desperation, I shared my undocumented status with my then-boyfriend. “I can’t be here anymore,” I said, weeping. “I’m going to move back to Mexico.”

The pressures of my immigration status left us with two choices: break up or get married. We chose to elope so we could stay together in the United States. But after saying “I do,” our entire relationship became about filling out paperwork, meeting with lawyers and having interviews with immigration officials to prove our love. We never had a honeymoon. I became a U.S. citizen, but the yearslong process extinguished our romance and we eventually divorced.

Awwww. The tragedy of obeying the law.

The story has a happy ending. Julissa meets a nice, loving man who rationalizaes illegal immigration as much as she did, but she can’t be sure until she comes clean.

Maybe Fernando would run, as had so many others, when he learned the truth: that I had spent more than 10 years undocumented; that I had used fake papers to work at Goldman Sachs…Would it all be too much? Would he ever trust me? Romance may thrive on mystery, but love can’t be built on lies.

A life of accepting the bounties of a nation you adopted unilaterally by violating its laws can be built on lies, but not romance.
“I’ll always wonder what’s behind door number two,” one man had said as he was breaking up with me. He had felt duped, as if I had tricked him into falling in love.

No, he felt that he couldn’t trust her, and, in fact, he couldn’t. Nor can anyone else trust someone whose entire life is proof that she will lie to benefit herself and decieve others when she has decided that she “has no choice.”

When I got back home — and what a glorious word that is, home —

Yuck, gack, yecchh, pooey!  Don’t you dare try to manipulate my emotions. Yes, as Dorothy Gale said, “There’s no place like home.” She never said, “There’s no place like the home you broke into and lied to hang around.”

I met Fernando at a quiet bar down the street from my apartment. We sat on a red velvet couch…Then I paused and bit my lip.

“Is everything OK?” he said.

“I have to tell you something,” I said. “I’ll answer your questions but let me finish.”

He sat up. “OK?” he said, but he never let go of my hands.

As the truth flowed from me, backfilling my past, he never looked away, raised an eyebrow, or signaled any judgment.

“That’s it?” he said. “I thought you were going to tell me you killed someone.” He pulled my hand toward his face and kissed it. “Life is complicated.”

Rationalizations #22, The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things,”and #46,  The Abuser’s License:  “It’s Complicated”! These two are a perfect match!

He didn’t ask where I bought my fake papers, why my parents didn’t fix my immigration status, or why I hadn’t gone back to Mexico if things were so difficult here. Instead, at the end of the night, my future husband asked me the same question he had asked after our first date: “When can I see you again?”

Thus proving that all the lies and deception were justified.  After all, they worked.


12 thoughts on “Once Again, “The Good Illegal Immigrant.” Once Again, I Am Not Sympathetic

  1. How do we know if she is lying now when she has demonstrated her willingness to deceive earlier.

    Perhaps we need a full scale INS raid at Goldman Sachs to ferret out others that passed through their HR Department.

  2. So,
    (1) In the country illegally.
    (2) Used fake ID to work in investment banking.
    (3) Got married to a US citizen who worked through the paperwork to get here citizenship, afterwards, she divorced him.
    (4) Profit!

    What’s not to admire? Doesn’t this seem like something that Seinfeld fans would approve?

    Also, this just proves what a joke our ‘REALID’ and other such schemes are. They are merely instruments of control, they don’t actually people from operating under fraudulent identities. I mean, here is a supposedly vulnerable, righteous, illegal immigrant child who can get a fake identity. How are we supposed to believe terrorists can’t get fake papers?

  3. Wait. She used a fake ID to get a job a Goldman Sachs? Isn’t that a felony? Doesn’t the immigration process ask if you ever used a fake ID? Isn’t using a fake UD disqualifying for adjustment of status? If so, didn’t she lie again to get legal status? So, is the moral of the story that lies are fine where true love is concerned?

    Man, I feel like a doofus for abiding by laws and contracts.


    • I think the word for what I feel for this woman and her enablers at the NYT and elsewhere is “contempt.” Might want to throw in an “utter” to modify it. What incredibly arrogance bordering on hubris. Poor me? I work at GS? But I’m not a managing director?

  4. The “good illegal immigrant” is a contradiction in terms, as much as “the good embezzler” or “the good bigamist.”

    Why are you picking on the bigamists? We’ve had a progression of Supreme Court cases. It started with Griswold v. Connecticut, then Lawrence v. Texas, and finally Obergefell v. Hodges. They are all a progression of the libertarian position that what happens between consenting adults is none of the government’s business.

    Those that have argued that all of the above are a slippery slope are both rhetorically correct yet ethically wrong. Pretty much everyone has come around on Griswold. Most are on board with the other two. I argue that plural marriage will join gay marriage as federally protected given the passage of time.

    From a legal standpoint, it is dancing on the tip of a needle to say plural marriage doesn’t get protection from Obergefell v. Hodges. The case Brown v. Buhman was only dismissed because Utah said there was no case filed so Brown lacked standing. The moment a state goes for prosecution of those all over 18, it will fall.

    I form my ethical opinion on the topic by looking at the utility of the law. The moral standard was taken based on the social utility of intact families being responsible for the upbringing of their children. Since then, progressives have supplanted the state for the parents as being ultimately responsible for children. Libertarian attitudes have destroyed the nuclear family with first divorce and then out of wedlock parenthood becoming the norm. I have a hard time seeing how a tiny minority with a stable poly marriage is somehow deleterious to society where half of children are born out of wedlock. Half of all children live with all sorts of choas from absent parents, parents in and out of their lives, and the worse, giant tangled families with a plethora of half siblings scattered about. Now that we’ve turned that into the normal, how is a poly relationship supposed to be abhorrent?

  5. I find the pro-immigrants ignoring the fraud laws the most galling.

    So this woman is now legal to live in the United States by marriage. Great, good for her. But how about the fact that she falsified documents to get and keep a job? Why do illegal immigrats, and only illegal immigrats get a pass on defrauding the federal government?

    This is why I considered progressives dangerous to democracy. They’ll condone breaking any law they don’t like. When the right starts playing by their rules, it will get ugly. Just witness the sanctuary counties. Government subdivision will flagrantly disobey laws, and that’s not a good thing.

  6. One more job stolen from a qualified U.S. Citizen. Of course if the woman in question is appealing and competent in her work we can overlook this right? After all, she has suffered being in the shadows and most of the politicians in the Democratic Party will weep copious tears over her sad predicament as all her kids will do the right thing and vote Democratic.

  7. How is this woman even a “good” illegal immigrant? Did she save a litter of puppies from a burning house, or is it just by dint of her not committing a string of murders or liquor store robberies? That she seeks sympathy for inconveniences her crimes caused her seems just a lesser version of the fabled person who expects mercy as an orphan after having murdered his parents.

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