Moral Case for Immigration Amnesty

Economic considerations notwithstanding, the case for providing amnesty to undocumented immigrants is usually argued along moral lines. On the pro side, the argument boils down to granting long-term, non-felon immigrant members of our society – who through no fault of their own have been impelled by economic necessity or violence to start a new life in the US – with the ability to safely rise out of the shadows. Those opposed focus on the original sin of knowingly violating immigration laws. This hard stance is sorely lacking in empathy. Who among us would not risk such a move to improve our lives and those of our families when the alternative is to wait decades to be considered for a green card? Immigrants who come seeking a better life are as morally in the wrong as those who have fled neighborhoods in Detroit and St. Louis for the same reasons. Nevertheless, perhaps you or someone you know is of the opinion that the law is the law, no excuses. Well, I believe that if we are taking an account of transgressions, some context is also necessary.

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