Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Hunting of the Snark

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"They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with Care;
        They pursued it with forks and Hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
        They charmed it with smiles and soap."
                     ~ Lewis Carroll from The Hunting of the Snark

The Snark . . . An inconceivable creature to be caught by an improbable crew on an impossible voyage to do so . . .

On Friday I was sitting in Federal Court watching the impossible voyage of an improbable crew catch an inconceivable creature.  I was watching a Federal deportation case, in which a young Guatemalan man's freedom hung by a three-corded rope: the United States justice system.

So I sat, as the translator explained the words of the Judge, the US Attorney explained the sentencing, and the Federal defender explained the man's plight.  The young man pleaded guilty to violating Title VIII of the United States Code.  He will be sentenced to two years in Federal prison if he is found in violation again.

Our Federal Courts are attempting to catch the inconceivable creature of illegal immigration.  The courts have a blank map, the Bellman's contradictory navigational orders, the Baker's language barrier, and the Banker's ludicrous bribes.  These form the improbable crew.

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I was trying to calculate the amount of resources the US was pouring into this thirty minute event.  The cost of the judge's pay, the US attorney's pay, the lights, the microphones, the translator, the public defender's pay, the US Marshall's pay, the paper work, the clerk, etc.

I was trying to empathize with the young man.  A foreign land (of opportunity), incarceration in another nation, an unfamiliar language, the thought of home, the possibility of a reliant family, the nearness of freedom, etc.

What's more important?  No, calculable costs cannot be allocated to a human life.  And a nation driven by taxes cannot spend infinite amounts of money on any person.  But a nation driven by taxes can do a better job of keeping these cases from happening.  It can attempt to keep illegal immigrants from the hardship of incarceration, the fear of unfamiliarity, and the hope of home by ensuring they do not get in this position in the first place.  It can attempt to lessen used resources by keeping payroll judges, US Attorneys, US Marshals, and Federal Public Defenders from allocating their time to deportation cases. It can bolster security at gaping borders.

Do I make this argument because I think illegal immigrants should be second-class citizens, subject to hate, disdain, and racism.  Absolutely not.  I make this argument because I think that illegal immigrants should abide by the laws of a nation; which would inextricably protect them from these sentiments held by others.  I make this argument because I think a Nation of Laws should ensure those laws be not broken; which would inextricably protect it from a drainage of resources.  For the protection of human's rights and citizens' taxes, the United States must curtail the entrance of new illegal immigrants.  It must focus its attention to a progressing problem.

It must catch the Snark, which will
     "seem[] almost too good too be true.
Then [will] follow[] a torrent of laughter and cheers;
     Then the ominous words 'It's a Boo-'
Then Silence.

For the Snark was a Boojum, you see."

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