- - Monday, February 27, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

While it is refreshing to see that President Trump is seeking to take the enforcement of our immigration laws seriously, it should be noted that the just and equitable enforcement of those laws requires the recognition of an important fact. Many of those who have furtively entered our nation have been encouraged to do so by the sporadic or lax enforcement of our immigration laws by previous administrations.

In a way, these people’s actions are analogous to the misbehavior of spoiled children. Although such children are not innocent, one of the main reasons for their misconduct has been the long-term failure of their parents to properly guide and discipline them.

We need to face up to the fact that the de facto encouragement of illegal immigration under the last administration has been a major motivating factor for many otherwise law-abiding individuals to furtively enter our country. Thus it would seem that a fair policy of dealing with those who have illegally entered our nation would require at least an admission that lax enforcement of our immigration laws by the previous administration was a major contributing factor in the decision of so many to disregard and disobey those laws. This being the case, justice would seem to demand that those who were thus led to disregard our immigration laws, should not be judged to be exclusively responsible for their malfeasance.

History has shown that the enforcement of the law, if not humbled and tempered by docility to the whole truth, can quickly devolve into tyranny. For America to become great again, it must not allow its justice system to be merely reactive. Instead, our justice system, at its core, must become increasingly regenerative — by proactively promoting both respect for the law and the development of integral, respectful and healthy relationships throughout our nation.

THOMAS R. COLLINS

Covington, Va.

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