On Wednesday, Mississippi was witness to the largest single-state immigration raid in U.S. history, as federal authorities raided a series of processing plants which resulted in the arrest of 680 apparent illegal immigrants.
Of the 680 brought into ICE custody, the Department of Justice asserts that 300 have already been released.
According to ABC 13 News, “They also said that all of the people detained were asked if they had any children and were given cell phones if they needed to make arrangements for children to be picked up.”
But the real story here didn’t just come from the raids themselves, but the many children left waiting outside of immigration facilities, crying for their parents’ release. One such child, and the current face of the children, was 11-year-old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio.
In a heart-wrenching video, Magdalena, through tears, begged authorities to release her father.
"Government please show some heart, let my parent be free with everybody else please," the child said. "My dad didn't do nothing. He's not a criminal."
The child’s cries did not go unheard, as Twitter (along with other social media platforms) erupted in outrage through a series of posts.
Completely Broken— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) August 8, 2019
11-year-old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio begging for her father back taken by ICE
"Governments please put your heart. Let my parent be free. I need my dad by me. My dad didn't do anything. He is not a criminal." 💔😭
HOW CAN ANYONE JUSTIFY THIS?
This is NOT OK! pic.twitter.com/wZmm60uKf8
"I don't know where I'm going to eat," a weeping 11-year-old girl pleads after her father was arrested in yesterday's massive roundup of undocumented immigrants in Mississippi. In some cases, the arrests left children without their parents. https://t.co/k5UdqD2XWg pic.twitter.com/NK18Sy45OU— ABC News (@ABC) August 8, 2019
Firstly, I feel terrible for the girl, she doesn’t deserve this. No child does. That being said, that the media decided to interview a hysterical (rightfully so) 11-year old is pure emotional manipulation. It is their common practice: through publicizing the cries of this girl, they don’t just wish to spark a conversation on the issue of immigration, but to vilify those who wish to enforce the laws as they are written.
Should we feel for this girl? Yes. Should we try to help her and others like her somehow? Yes. But just because she’s heartbroken doesn’t mean we should allow the media and broader left to use her to dictate either the general discourse or our policymaking on immigration as a whole.
There is much to be said regarding the enforcement of immigration law. Yes, criminals should clearly be targeted before those illegally working here. That doesn’t at all mean that otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants should never be the focus of any sort of raid, ever.
Additionally, just because a law (from the right’s perspective, at least) is morally justified or arguable does not mean said law will bring happiness and joy every time it is enforced.
Occasionally, enforcing the law -- those, again, which are moral and do not violate the rights of others -- is like tearing off a bandaid -- unpleasant, but necessary. The fact that many on the American left refuse to see this is not only unrealistic, but irrational.