While one public official was announcing his intent to let millions break the law on one side of the country, another official was enforcing the law on the other side of the country. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies rounded up a group of 16 suspected illegal aliens crossing the border into Arizona. The group were mostly adults, but among them was a six-year-old girl. She told the deputies that she is from El Salvador.
HuffPo headlined this story with that site’s customary balance and restraint:
Joe Arpaio’s Office Arrests 6-Year-Old Suspected Undocumented Immigrant
The headline more than suggests that Sheriff Joe has done something wrong and arrested a little girl all by herself. But who is at fault here? Sheriff Joe was elected by the people of his county to enforce the law. In halting illegal aliens, he is doing the job that the law requires him to do. They stopped 16 illegal aliens Friday night and probably busted their smuggler too.
President Obama announced a new immigration policy on Friday that tells the whole world he has no intent of doing his job, which is to faithfully execute the laws of this nation. That announcement probably played no role in this specific case, but it will attract more illegal aliens, and it will create more business for the coyotes who smuggle these people, and drugs and other things, into the United States. It will make it more difficult to secure the border. Sheriff Joe will see more six-year-old illegal aliens making a very dangerous journey in the hands of some unsavory and dangerous characters thanks to President Obama.
We also shouldn’t exonerate the little girl’s family in all this. Six-year-old girls don’t make the decision to cross borders on their own, they don’t hire the smugglers, they don’t make this trek unless some adult has made the decisions for them. These family decisions to abandon one country and break the laws of another, and continue to break those laws every day, don’t start with the six-year-old, and they don’t end with a presidential declaration either. Sheriff Joe still has to do his job. We are either a nation of laws, or we are not.