The Reno Gazette-Journal recently published a front-page article that encouraged foreigners to violate our nation’s immigration laws. Although the article was meant to elicit sympathy for illegal immigrants, it also shed light on the so-called “sanctuary” movement in Northern Nevada.
The RGJ story reported on Jan. 7 “the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Reno became the first church in the state to provide physical sanctuary to an undocumented (i.e. illegal) immigrant,” 33-year-old Jose Gastelum-Cardenas, of Sonora, Mexico., who has lived in Reno since 2006. Gastelum and his wife, 32-year-old Arlene Torres, a legal resident, have two sons, ages 9 and 5, who are American citizens. But that’s only part of the story.
Neal Anderson of the Unitarian Church was quoted saying he considers U.S. immigration laws to be “immoral,” and that’s why he offered sanctuary to Gastelum and his family. So apparently, the reverend thinks he has the sacred right to determine which laws are to be obeyed, and which laws can be ignored. Unfortunately, he’s aided and abetted by President Obama, who’s currently attempting to legalize more than 4 million illegal immigrants.
Let’s take a closer look at Sr. Gastelum, the alleged “hero” of this story. He snuck into the U.S. illegally for the first time in 2006, and was subsequently deported twice before being arrested for drunk driving in 2012. That’s when immigration authorities issued a third deportation order, which has been pending in the courts ever since. Meanwhile, although he’s been in the U.S. for nearly nine years, “he speaks little English,” according to the RGJ.
In other words, the unemployed Gastelum came here illegally three times and fathered a couple of “anchor babies,” so we’re supposed to look the other way as he violates our laws and takes advantage of the kindness of a naive local church. What’s wrong with this picture? And many liberals wonder why Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and others strikesa responsive chord with the American people when they call for vigorous enforcement of our immigration laws. Trump isn’t my candidate, but I support his tough position on illegal immigration.
As I’ve written many times, my late wife Consuelo, a native of Mexico, stood in line and waited her turn, studied our Constitution and learned English in order to become a proud American citizen. By contrast, Sr. Gastelum has done little to assimilate into our culture and/or show some gratitude to the people who are protecting him from deportation.
But that doesn’t seem to matter to Anderson, who has “become a voice for various causes . . . including gay marriage and ‘Black Lives Matter.’” The RGJ reported “he doesn’t see providing sanctuary as breaking the law.” Again, the reverend thinks he gets to decide which laws should be obeyed.
Ms. Torres told the RGJ “immigration officials were upset” when her husband failed to show up for a scheduled deportation hearing on Jan. 8, yet another example of how Gastelum and his wife thumb their noses at our immigration laws. I have little sympathy for illegal immigrants who make no effort to comply with our laws. In my opinion, Gastelum is a prime candidate for deportation, and he’s lucky I’m not his immigration court judge.
Nationally syndicated columnist Froma Harrop recently urged her fellow Democrats to take a clear position on immigration, “and that position must draw a line between legal and illegal (because) many Democrats who honor and admire immigrants remain frustrated by a surge of unskilled foreign workers into the hard-hit bottom rungs of the labor market.” That’s good advice from a liberal columnist.
Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, is a LEGAL immigration advocate.