The Chicago Tribune carries a huge story this morning headlined “Immigration crackdown shatters Muslims’ lives.”
The story recounts the woes of several Muslims who were deported to Pakistan after being found in violation of immigration laws. ” All had been in the U.S. illegally,” says the article. “But the chief reason many were singled out is they were from one of the Muslim countries targeted by American officials trying to foil another Sept. 11.”
What happened to some of these people is indeed unfortunate. But it is hard for me to accept the story’s premise that these were hard-working guys who were playing by the rules when they were already in violation of one main rule: the stipulations of the visa by which they entered the country in the first place.
Also left unspoken is the unmistakable fact that radical Muslims are operating in mosques and using them as a cover for their activities. The Al-Qaeda cell in the mosque in Lackawanna, New York is just one of many examples. This entails a law enforcement focus on mosques and Muslims which is only common sense, and doesn’t necessitate anyone’s loss of rights or freedoms: if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. If Methodists were blowing up buildings and threatening the US around the world, and I were a Methodist, I would cooperate fully with efforts to root the radical Methodists out of my community. I would like to see that kind of cooperation today from American Muslims.