Before he was sent to prison for a 1995 murder, Rodriguez was a lawful permanent resident of the US. His status was revoked when he was convicted of murder, and it is still revoked even though the murder charge was false. Now, finally out of prison after rotting away for a rime he didn’t commit, Rodriguez faces the deportation.
Rodriguez was brought to America as a child and his entire family is here. “It would be a very big injustice for them to do that to not only my mother, but my family, who have tried so hard to prove his innocence all these years,” his sister said.
I’ll go even further than that. The United States owes Rodriguez. It’s a different kind of debt than what it owes Miguel Perez-Montes, the Army combat veteran we just deported after removing his legal status for a drug conviction, but it is still a debt. Our justice system stole two decades from him. He should be given full citizenship along with a lot of money and an apology.
1 Different rights, same unethical tactics. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), whose very existence as a power in the Democratic Party is an indictment of the party’s integrity and trustworthiness, proved it again by proposing a bill that would require background checks for ammunition purchases. “You do not have the right to bear bullets,” she proclaimed Monday at a news conference at the Pembroke Pines Police Department in Florida.
Progressives, honest observers, and the courts have rightly expressed disgust at various cynical efforts to circumvent other Constitutional rights by similar tactics. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, for example, decided on June 27, 2016, the Supreme Court held in a 5-3 majority that two provisions of a Texas law, one requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and another requiring abortion clinics in the state to have facilities comparable to an ambulatory surgical center, places a substantial and unconstitutional obstacle in the path of women seeking an abortion, because they constituted an undue burden on abortion access.
“Life would be so much simpler if our elected officials and activists employed an adaptation of the Golden Rule, and looked objectively at issues from the other side’s point of view. This is especially true in the realm of rights. Second Amendment absolutists insist that virtually any laws regulating who can purchase guns… have the ultimate goal of eliminating that right entirely, which, in many instances is the case, especially if you listen carefully to the rhetoric of the legislators proposing such measures. There is little difference from this and what anti-abortion advocates are attempting to do with laws like House Bill 2 (H. B. 2).”
In fact there was no difference at all, and now Wasserman-Schultz is using the same unethical tactic. (Imagine: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz using an unethical tactic!) The ethical principle is the same in both matters: a right isn’t a right if legal obstacles make it difficult to exercise that right. Any regulation imposed on a constitutional right must not create “a substantial obstacle” and must be reasonably related to “a legitimate state interest.” Wasserman-Schultz’s statement—I know she’s an idiot, but she is also a member of Congress and is supposed to know something—directly contradicts settled and core Constitutional principles. There is indeed a “right to bear bullets,” because without ammunition, the right to bear arms is an illusion. Continue reading →