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    Friday, February 03, 2023

    Journalists fail to ask deportation questions

    When it comes to illegal immigration and deportations, most journalists in Connecticut seem incapable of asking critical questions. News reports emphasize the pain felt by illegal immigrants and their families but never the details of the misconduct that got them into trouble. 

    Sometimes reports conclude without ever really explaining what prompted federal immigration agents to pursue an illegal immigrant. Instead the agents are portrayed as part of a new Gestapo, though few nations provide as much due process of law in immigration proceedings as the United States does. 

    A close examination of the deportation cases that lately have been highly publicized in Connecticut reveals a pattern like the one displayed most recently in the case of Bakhodir Madjitov, a native of Uzbekistan who has been in the country illegally for 13 years and has been detained by the federal government for the last two as he appeals a removal order. The pattern is a racket. 

    That is, Madjitov entered the United States with a visa in 2006. As is the case with almost half the country's illegal immigrants, he did not leave when his visa expired, hoping that immigration authorities would never catch him. 

    Four years after he should have left the country he married a woman who later became a U.S. citizen. They had three children, U.S. citizens by birth here, but never undertook for Madjitov the naturalization process available to spouses of U.S. citizens, probably because he would have been disqualified by his visa overstay. Now like many other illegals Madjitov is using his family as hostages against deportation. 

    The news reports ask: How can the government do this to them? 

    But that is not the most relevant and compelling question. The most relevant and compelling questions are those the news reports never ask. For example: 

    -- Why did Madjitov apply for asylum in the United States only after overstaying his visa? 

    -- Why did Madjitov's wife marry someone she knew to be in the country illegally? 

    -- Why did they have children before legalizing Madjitov? How could they have disregarded the jeopardy into which the children would be born?

    -- If the rules are waived for Madjitov and the thousands of others who have done as he has done, why should anyone obey immigration law? Why shouldn't every foreigner seeking to live in this country follow Madjitov's example? 

    Misconduct like Madjitov's inflicts great unfairness on those who do follow the rules. Misconduct like Madjitov's is why the government is denying an emergency medical visa to a young man from India who wants to come to the United States to donate a kidney to save the life of his uncle, a citizen who lives in Torrington. The government reasonably fears that the young man may not return to India, though any foreigner who saves the life of a U.S. citizen may deserve U.S. citizenship himself. 

    News reporters should put similar questions to the elected officials who join the clamor to waive the rules for Madjitov and others like him, officials including Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and the state's members of Congress. 

    Should any illegal immigrant who creates a family for use as hostages be excused? If so, that's a huge step toward open borders, which increasingly seems to be the objective of the agitation with these cases.

    Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. 

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