Illegals law should be fair, just

Published 3:05 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Shelby County immigration issue makes us question the procedures used by immigration officials when working to rid our country of illegals.

Readers of the Reporter will know the story of Imad Mohammad and his mother, Sana. The two were forced to leave their family — including Imad’s five siblings, all American citizens — and travel to Jena, La. to await deportation.

While the Mohammads’ harrowing drama ended happily, they’ve now been through an exhausting and terrifying ordeal that was, really, all for nothing.

The two were detained for more than two weeks, from Jan. 12-28. In fact, had it not been for pleas from family and community members to U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, Imad and Sana could very well still be in jail.

Now they are right back where they started, with nothing gained and, surely, a new fear of the government they trusted to protect them.

We wonder how those who enforce immigration laws choose the cases to investigate. There are countless local illegal immigrants who work at our businesses and go to our schools. Where are the agents, dressed up like Hoover police officers, to knock at their doors?

We encourage Congress to come up with immigration laws that are fair, even-handed and predictable. Immigrants are people too, endowed with the basic human rights of which Thomas Jefferson wrote. They deserve to be treated, at the least, with a little respect.