Assuming that the end of DACA is at least proposed, you should brace yourself for an endless stream of sympathetic pieces in most media outlets talking about what a wonderful group of people the illegal aliens are and how horrible it would be for President Trump to send them out of the country. In many cases, these won’t even be people who were participating in (or even eligible for) DACA, but simply other, random illegals who “didn’t do anything wrong other than come to America seeking freedom.”
The LA Times decided to get a jump on this trend over the holiday break, featuring the story of Romulo Avelica Gonzalez, who is identified as a taquero (literally, someone who makes tacos). Working near his home on the east side of Los Angeles, the Times describes how he was cruelly apprehended while taking two of his children to school.
Like most immigrants in the country illegally, Avelica Gonzalez kept his head down. He had his job making tacos, the love of his wife Norma and four daughters and not much else the outside world would probably care to know about.
Then he was arrested while taking his two youngest daughters to school. One of them recorded the encounter with her cellphone — and that would make all the difference.
Taken to an immigrant detention facility, he remained there for six months until he walked out, Wednesday night, to a battery of TV cameras.
The cook had become an activist. Or at least that’s what his lawyer called him.
Did you catch that? He’s now an activist. By golly, Romulo is pretty much a gosh darn hero, isn’t he? He gives an impassioned statement to the reporter about how, “we have to do something to stop … the separation of families. Because it’s not just us who suffer in there. Our kids also suffer. They’re citizens.”
What receives much less attention in the article is that fact that Avelica Gonzalez was making more than tacos during his time in California. He also showed up in court for receiving stolen vehicle license plates. It’s a relatively petty charge to be sure, but it’s still a violation of the law. Now, however, a sympathetic judge has taken his side in his deportation case and released Romulo on his own recognizance. And as the LA Times proudly informs us, given the massive backlog in our immigration courts, it will be years before he goes in front of a judge again.
None of the elements of this story touch on the actual issue underlying it all. It doesn’t matter whether Avelica Gonzalez was caught taking hot plates off cars or robbing a bank. For that matter, it wouldn’t matter if he’d never committed any sort of other crime at all. He’s in the country illegally and his lack of high profile crimes only makes him a much lower priority for deportation, not a person absolved of guilt. His “activist” comments about breaking up families should fall on deaf ears. Whose fault is it that his citizen children may not have a father around? The government’s? Donald Trump’s? No. It’s his own fault for knowingly starting a family in a country where he had no legal business being, knowing that he could be found out and deported at any moment.
But as I said, this is a prime example of the flood of heartwarming stories you can expect to be treated to from now until the DACA question is finally settled. Heroes one and all, I’m sure.