If We Are Paying Reparations, Illegal Aliens Belong at the Back of the Line

America has long been known as a land of opportunity, but things are getting ridiculous.

In the latest chapter of the Biden White House’s up-is-down, contorted version of reality, those who enter our country illegally stand to reap settlements of up to $450,000 per person for the alleged “trauma” they endured as a result of the Trump-era zero tolerance policy that housed parents and children in separate facilities.

Reparations is something that should be considered rarely and judiciously, as it inevitably creates a line of groups claiming what may be questionable victimhood status. 

If we, as a nation, were to create such a line ourselves, illegal aliens would be placed in the back, after more deserving people.

Perhaps the most well-known case of U.S. government reparations happened in 1988, when Ronald Reagan signed legislation apologizing to Japanese-Americans held in internment camps on the West Coast during World War II. The move also compensated former internees who were still alive at the time with $20,000, which would be roughly $44,000 today.

Given the facts of the case, the amount paid to those interned was paltry. Those people did nothing wrong. They were targeted by the Franklin Roosevelt White House for their ethnicity and little else, and their lives were virtually destroyed as a result. At least, attempting to balance the ledger for them was the right thing to do.

The illegal aliens at issue today broke our laws. No one forced them to come here. Most of them are not fleeing persecution, they are seeking higher-paying jobs. They cut ahead of the line over those who respected our laws by pursuing immigration legally, then demanded immediate access to the United States. 

Their lives have not been destroyed by temporary separation, quite the contrary. Since the Biden White House refuses to enforce our immigration laws, these people will live out their days here with a considerable lifestyle upgrade from what they had in their homelands. Does being temporarily separated from their families really deserve more than 10 times what those wrongly held in Japanese internment camps got?

Trying to defend such faulty logic has proven awkward, as when the fill-in White House press secretary looked bewildered when asked why we are seeking to reward those who came here the wrong way, instead of helping those who came the right way. It was embarrassing because there is no good answer.  

Biden, who just a few days earlier denied such payments would even happen, later fiercely defended the deeply unpopular idea. Seething with righteous indignation, he pointed an angry finger at the reporter who dared question the idea. If only our commander-in-chief would defend the rights and interests of the American people with such vigor.    

If our government is looking to hand out cash to right wrongs, there are far more worthy parties. Chief among them would be Angel Families, who had family members violently killed by criminal illegal aliens. If temporary separation from a family member yields almost half a million dollars, how much does permanent separation from a family member warrant? 

Angel Families, sadly, receive absolutely no compensation for their heartache. Instead, they get cruelly mocked by snarky media types who accuse them of “weaponizing their grief” for their alleged hidden goal of demonizing immigrants. Is there another group in today’s society who has been so wronged and then treated so horribly afterward?  

The Lockean theory of the social contract states that the people bestow authority onto the government in exchange for the protection of the people’s natural rights. In the case of Angel Families, the government failed them. Border laws exist for immigration enforcement and the protection of the American people. Our political leaders abandoned enforcement of those laws for self-serving political agendas.   

Americans should be wise to this game by now. Anyone the Left holds up as an aggrieved victim should be treated with default skepticism until proven otherwise. Conversely, there is usually a far more victimized group being neglected because their grievance does not align with the political aims of those currently in power. The scales of justice are horribly lopsided on the treatment of Angel Families. The injustices done to them need to be addressed before any others on this issue.   

 

About Brian Lonergan

Brian Lonergan is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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