Re: Scarlett Johansson Edition
I do not agree with Robin Wright's argument that it is unfair that illegal aliens being deported for “ignoring deportation orders that they have not even been informed of,” a situation which comes about because many or even most of the trials take place in absentia with the defendant learning of neither the trial itself or the result.
But surely the reason they are tried in absentia is that they are not where they have told immigration they are going to be? Moreover, are not the ‘trials’ simply administrative exercises to certify that the person in question has overstayed his visa?
If you come into a country on the basis of a promise that you are leaving after 6 months and seven months comes around you know you broken the rule and your word. Saying that they should not be held liable or blameworthy for ignoring an order ignores the fact that they were tried in absentia precisely because they were not where they said they would be. They surely know they have broken the law. That is why they are tried in absentia. They are have ignored the summons or made it otherwise impossible for the summons to reach them. Given that, the person complaining about being expelled for violating an order for a trial they didn’t get to attend and whose verdict they were not informed of is in the position of a person skipping out on child support payments complaining that they don’t get a Christmas card.
By the way, I fully agree with your (Robin’s) analogy between US employers creating the demand for illegal aliens and johns who create the demand for prostitutes. I think that prosecuting the party that creates the demand for the illegal activity is by far a more efficient way to end an undesirable pattern of activity. More efficient and more politically costly. That is why we so seldom do it. Could a compromise on the immigration issue between liberals and conservatives be built around the liberals agreeing to any measures however draconian if we make sure that those sanctions fall on employers and other US citizens rather than the foreigners.