Katie Pavlich: US families torn apart by illegal immigration

Katie Pavlich: US families torn apart by illegal immigration
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It’s been more than a week since President Obama announced his plans to unilaterally change immigration law with the stroke of a pen from the Oval Office. Since then, the White House and its supporters have focused on the emotional argument of keeping families together in order to sell the president’s plan. 

“Undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn apart,” Obama said during his remarks to the nation about his planned executive action. “Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms? Or are we a nation that values families, and works together to keep them together?”


Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of “ripping children from their parents’ arms?” The answer is no. However, individuals who make bad and criminal decisions are indeed responsible for the consequences of having their families ripped apart. 

The argument that we can’t enforce deportation laws and policies because they break up families must be dismissed and roundly rejected. It isn’t deportation that breaks families apart, it’s breaking the law that results in this outcome, whether you’re an illegal immigrant or an American citizen. Prison rips families apart after someone within a family breaks the law. Deportation, a consequence of breaking immigration law, does the same thing. Entering the United States without permission is a federal crime. 

But what about the American families ripped apart by illegal immigration and repeat criminal aliens? What about the parents permanently torn away from their children? Is that something we are willing to accept as a country? 

On May 29, 2011, 38-year-old Houston police officer Kevin Will was conducting an interview on the side of the freeway after a motorcycle accident when he was hit and killed by Johoan Rodriguez. An illegal alien who was driving drunk, Rodriguez had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. Before getting in the car that night, Rodriguez had been deported twice. He was also a member of the violent MS-13 street gang, a criminal enterprise assessed by the FBI as “perpetrating violence — from assaults to homicides, using firearms, machetes, or blunt objects — to intimidate rival gangs, law enforcement, and the general public.” Officer Will was ripped away that night from his pregnant wife and two children thanks to lax border security and degraded interior enforcement. 

On Aug. 3, 2014, 36-year-old Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr. took his family fishing close to his home in the Rio Grande Valley. It was a beautiful day to spend time with his father, mother, three sons and his wife, but it quickly turned into a nightmare when they were forced to watch him be murdered in cold blood.  

“It is with extreme sadness that the National Border Patrol Council announces the murder of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega last night in Santa Monica, TX. Border Patrol Agent Vega was spending his time off with his family when two criminals attempted to rob him. Agent Vega was armed and fought back to protect his family. During the course of the ensuing firefight Agent Vega’s father was hit in the leg and Agent Vega was mortally wounded. After Agent Vega fell, his family members continued to fight back,” the National Border Patrol Council released in a statement at the time. “Agent Vega’s actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Border Patrol and his will be a place, deserved of honor and glory, when the final story of the United States Border Patrol is written. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.” 

Illegal aliens Ismael Hernandez and Gustavo Tijerin have been charged with Vega’s murder. Both have been deported multiple times for involvement in violent crimes, including assault, and driving under the influence. 

Most recently, on Oct. 25, 2014, Sheriff Deputy Danny Oliver and Homicide Detective Michael David Davis Jr. were murdered in northern California after checking out a suspicious vehicle in a motel parking lot. The man accused of their murders, Marcelo Marquez, is an illegal alien with a criminal background. He has been deported from the United States twice. Deputy Oliver’s wife and two daughters will never spend Christmas or Thanksgiving with him again, and neither will the widow of Detective Davis and their four children. 

These are just a handful of examples of how illegal immigration has permanently destroyed American families. There are many, many more. These families were ripped apart and can never get their loved ones back. Who is standing up for them? Certainly not Obama or the majority of politicians in Washington. 

Pavlich is the news editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.