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An illegal minor, abortion, & our dysfunctional immigration enforcement

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POSTED October 12, 2017 1:39 a.m.

How bizarre is political discourse in America today?
Take a look down in Texas where the hot button issues of illegal immigration and abortion have come together in a legal vortex that threatens to push the limits of logic and absurdity.
At the center of the flurry of legal filings is an unaccompanied minor that came into the Unites States from Mexico and wants to have an abortion.
The ACLU has filed in the Ninth District Court of Appeals in San Francisco seeking a preliminary injunction against a federal law that prevents federally funded shelters from taking “any action that facilitates abortion for these unaccompanied minors in their care without direction and approval from the Director of Office of Refugee Resettlement.”
The ACLU argues this is an unconstitutional policy as it prevents minors — including the Jane Doe in Texas — from exercising their “fundamental constitutional right to an abortion.”
Whether an illegal immigrant — and a minor at that — who is not an American citizen and is not here on a legal visa to access an abortion, even though  it is questionable that would make a difference, has full constitutional protection is an argument for the ages.
But what makes it a tad absurd is the same federal government — another division of course — is pushing hard to deport those entering the country illegally. Add to that the caveat that if the unwanted baby is born, he or she is an American citizen.
Immigration Customs Enforcement has spent a lot of energy breaking up “baby houses” in Southern California where pregnant women from Asia pay big dollars to give birth so their kids can be legal citizens of the United States from their first breath. It is the same federal government that has tried to crack down on Los Angeles area hospitals that are used for the same purpose by pregnant women crossing the border from Latin America.
So what is it: Do we want to have “illegals” take advantage of the constitutional guarantee that if a child is born on American soil they are an American citizen? Or do we want to reduce the numbers of illegals in the country?
It seems the federal government wants it both ways.
No one should advocate an illegal minor should be provided a federally funded abortion simply to reduce the immigration of a future baby. But the situation illustrates how we have failed to come to any agreement on basic issues surrounding abortion and immigration, legal and illegal.
And let’s not forget the laws of the country of origin of Jane Doe and how her quest to have an abortion stands under the laws of that land and how much rights are vested in her parents, assuming they are still alive and in the picture. It’s pretty arrogant for the American justice system — whether it is the courts or those who petition them for redress — to believe it can impose its will on the citizens of another country.
Yes, there is a question of refugee status, but again that’s another question that hasn’t been answered and the direction enforced with clarity. Rules and quotas are set then the federal bureaucracy and wannabe city-nations pick and choose what they will enforce. And if that doesn’t work for someone who wants entry into this country and are denied it, they come here illegally and circumvent the process while damaging the standing of those immigrating here legally.
The more scatter brained enforcement of immigration laws are, the more taxed federal bureaucracies become, drawing out the citizenship process for those coming to America as legal immigrants.
It shouldn’t take someone like Sergio Garcia 21 years after applying for a green card to finally be issued one. Garcia arrived in California from Mexico as an infant and returned to Mexico when he was 9. When he was 17, Garcia and his family moved to Chico where his father operates a beekeeping business. His father was a naturalized citizen by then.
Garcia graduated college and secured a law degree while the federal government molasses approach to immigrant — slow and sticky — took 21 years to make a decision.
Nor should the so-called Dreamers — those brought here illegally by their parents when they were children — be left in limbo especially when they have been educated on this country’s dime and can be helping build our economy as contributing taxpayers.
And it shouldn’t take decades to address illegal immigration.
This is something that takes an act of Congress to fix.
Both the Democrats and the Republicans have failed miserably.
 Until Congress acts we are going to have more and more bizarre twists to immigration — legal and otherwise — that does nothing but stir up division among Americans.

This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com or 209.249.3519.

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