Hardly anyone in Connecticut can see much point in the U.S. government's trying to deport Denada M. Rondos, a 32-year-old illegal immigrant from Albania with a U.S. citizen husband and three young U.S. citizen children.
For eight years the government repeatedly postponed execution of a deportation order against her, but a few weeks ago she was denied another stay and was told to leave the country by last Monday. Accepting Rondos's emergency appeal just hours before the expulsion deadline, a federal court ordered another postponement, giving her lawyer more time to look through the law and bureaucracy for a way to get a more sensible result.
Most people have the impression that the rights of U.S. citizenship include the right to marry and confer legal residency on a foreigner. So while Rondos used false papers to enter the United States in the name of fleeing supposed ethnic and religious persecution in Albania, most people would let her marriage confer forgiveness for that, and more so because of her children. After all, the government knowingly allowed Rondos to stay in the country illegally as she built her family here. Thus the government is complicit in this case and many others.
Now with her husband Rondos runs a successful restaurant in Cheshire. Her community gladly would sponsor her for legal residency if there was a provision for that.
While the point of deportations in such cases is mostly lost in Connecticut, it is not lost elsewhere. For cruel as they are, such deportations are discouraging illegal immigration generally and encouraging the departure of illegal immigrants who are without immediate families here.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who, along with Connecticut's other members of Congress, has been supporting Rondos and other illegal immigrants in similar situations, says her case shows that the immigration system is broken. The system is broken insofar as border control is so weak and deportations long have been slow once illegal entrants have been identified, inducing them to use delays to build families as hostages against deportation, as Rondos has done.
But it's not clear what Blumenthal and the other congressmen would do to fix the system, or even if they really want it fixed.
For the congressmen do a lot of hanging around with people who do not want the immigration system fixed, like the Connecticut Students for a Dream, a group that a few days ago was clamoring for what it calls a "clean" DREAM Act -- federal legislation to legalize people who were brought into the country illegally as children. By "clean" Connecticut Students for a Dream means legislation "without any dangerous enforcement add-ons."
That is, Connecticut Students for a Dream wants no immigration law enforcement at all and no compromise with elected officials who support stronger enforcement. Instead the group wants open borders that leave the country's democratic and secular culture and its language defenseless.
According to Connecticut Students for a Dream, any compromise providing for immigration law enforcement would constitute "a hate-filled racist agenda." Yes, it's their way or the highway. Yet even our often-deranged president says he is open to compromise about the "Dreamers."
Illegal immigrants might get more sympathy if some of them weren't presuming to dictate to citizens politically and calling them racists. If they disagree with the illegals about open borders, Connecticut's congressmen should let them know.
Chris Powell is managing editor of the Journal Inquirer. in Manchester, Conn.