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Friday, 02 July 2010 09:30

Elian Gonzalez and Immigration

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The American government, over the last decade, has been notoriously remiss in keeping illegal aliens from crossing our border with Mexico. The Arizona Legislature recently passed a “controversial” law requiring that the existing federal immigration laws be enforced — prompting a threatened lawsuit from the federal government (for enforcing its own laws).

Ten years ago, however, President Clinton ordered a draconian enforcement of our immigration laws, and Clinton enforced our laws not against a career criminal but rather against a minor child. Elian Gonzalez and his mother sought desperate measures to leave the Workers’ Paradise of Castro’s Cuba to seek freedom in America. His mother, in fact, gave her life for that goal. Young Elian was being cared for by devoted relatives, who were not here illegally and who were not seeking food stamps to care for their young relative.

In a military-style raid that would have caused the ACLU to make comparisons to Nazi Germany if conducted against illegal aliens in our border states, the Justice Department threw well-armed and well-armored shock troops into the home that housed Elian, threatening anyone who came in their way. They snatched the young boy and then transported him back to Castro’s island prison.

Now, 10 years later, compliant news services covered a 10-year-anniversary celebration of Elian’s “escape” from Florida, sponsored by the Communist dictators. Elian says that he does not blame his relatives in Florida for trying to keep him there.  He expressed thanks that most Americans supported his being reunited with his father.

The case remains filled with anomalies. When our borders with Mexico are porous, and were porous in 2000, why the urgency to return a single boy who was being cared for by relatives and whose presence did not cost taxpayers a penny? When the mainstream media and the feminist movement consider fathers utterly expendable in the lives of children, why were feminists mute when a mother’s dying wish was thwarted so that a young boy could be forced to live with his father in a poor, oppressed land? Why was a hopelessly backlogged immigration service able to move Elian to the highest priority?

If deporting illegal immigrants back to Mexico is considered somehow malicious, even though Mexico has a much higher standard of living than Cuba, and even though Mexico has a vigorous multi-party democracy, as well as many more civil and political rights than the slaves of Castro, then why was it essential to deport someone who came here from Cuba back to Cuba? Where were the noisy advocates of the rights of immigrants when Elian was seized at gunpoint and taken from his relatives in Florida? Where were the child-welfare advocates, when Elian was sent back to the most impoverished nation — except, perhaps, Haiti — in the hemisphere? The tragedy of Elian Gonzalez is a story that tells us a lot.

Photo of Elian Gonzalez 10 years after being snatched: AP Images

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