Deportations are costly, immoral [Letter]

The deportation of non-violent undocumented immigrants is costly. It tears apart the very fabric of society, the family, thus causing irreparable emotional pain. There are costs in dollars and cents not only for the incarceration, often lengthy, of the parent being deported, but also for transportation, by land and air, to other prison facilities prior to deportation. Louisiana is a final stop before the shackled mothers and fathers board a chartered plane to their final destination.

They would have come legally if they could. U.S. embassy visa requirements include money in the bank, property ownership and job security, etc. The poor do not have these. They have been adversely affected by U.S. funded wars in their countries (for example, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala) and/or the free, but not fair, U.S. trade policies such as NAFTA and CAFTA. Thus, they come here to survive, to work hard, and raise their families.

The U.S. born children, made poor by parental deportation, are eligible for food stamps, about $40 a month. The remaining non-citizen parent has no access to government funds for rent or utility bills. Thus, there is need for full time employment and safe child care. Leaving children to be raised by one parent can have its risks.

Migration stories for survival abound in the Bible as well as history. Survival is a human right. Borders are made by human beings. Should such severe penalties be inflicted on people for exercising their survival right? Why is the federal government wasting time, energy and money deporting hard working people who exhibit family values ("Immigration policy missing the target," Feb. 9)?

Sister Patricia A. Rogucki, Baltimore

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