Published November 13, 2007
A 13-year-old illegal immigrant living in Nebraska allegedly has sex with 25-year-old schoolteacher Kelsey Peterson. After pledging their love for one another, the couple runs off to Mexico, where they are soon caught. The teacher is brought back to the U.S. to face federal charges, and the boy stays in Mexico, where he and his family are from.
One might assume that the boy's parents would be sent back to Mexico to join their son because they were all here illegally, right? Well, that is not the correct assumption.
The feds in their infinite wisdom want to protect illegal immigrants who are victims of crime in the U.S. So seven years ago Congress passed — and President Clinton signed into law — the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. It aims to encourage illegal immigrants to report abuse to authorities. In exchange for cooperating with law enforcement officials, illegals (who qualify) will be granted a so-called "U" visa," which gives them the right to live in America for four years and eventually apply for permanent residency.
According to FOX News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, illegals cooperating with law enforcement may be able to leapfrog immigrants who are here legally and are also applying for permanent resident status.
Let me make sure I have this right: break a law, report a crime and welcome to America?!
The feds seem to have it backwards. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told the AP: "It helps us and law enforcement be able to solve a crime, and it certainly helps the individual who is the victim of the crime."
I get that law enforcement wants to crack down on criminals, but by granting the "U" visa in cases such as the Nebraska teen, they seem to be rewarding the very same criminal behavior that they claim to abhor. The boy has already agreed to testify against his teacher, so why not bring him to the U.S., let him testify and then send him back to Mexico?
When the feds passed this law and implemented it, perhaps they failed to consider the law of unintended consequences. Illegal immigrants could falsely claim that a family member was sexually or physically abused. If a family wants to live in America badly enough, what would stop them from filing false charges in order to get their immediate family members here?
This is one, it seems, that Washington might want to rethink.
Watch Heather Nauert weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on "The Big Story with John Gibson and Heather Nauert" and send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org