It is not breaking news that there was a rally, vigil or protest in Northampton. There is one always about something that crosses my desk. Generally unless they are quite compelling, I allow them to pass in the night. The case of Niberd Abdulla, from Iraq crosses the line and gets my attention.
For more than 40 years he has lived in Florence. He was here from Iraq, checked in with ICE did all the things that one does. Got a job and by all accounts seems to be prospering. The problem is that he never filed his paperwork and was therefore here illegally. The deportation comes from a deal the Trump Administration made to deport 15 hundred illegal immigrants who had some criminal issues. His attorney says any crime that was committed by his client was done when he was young and was a misdemeanor. Now he is being threatened with deportation and is being held in Suffolk County.
Now, there are two sides to every issue. One might say that “self imposed hardship is now a hardship.” Some would suggest he knew the rules and didn’t follow them.
But, remember immigration laws in this country are written by bureaucrats and politicians. Let’s just say that I would be hard pressed to follow either out of a burning building. The problem is that bureaucrats want to protect their turf and politicians want to get re-elected. That doesn’t spell well for common sense. And it does little for a meeting of the minds on anything.
So as the Fed threatens deportation, is there another way, in this one case that makes sense to bend the rules and show compassion rather than malice. Isn’t that what government is all about or should be?
Now this case is not going to get the eye of the President. But he would be well served to take a look at it and ask himself “is this the case that gives me a chance to show compassion and do something for the public good on this issue?”
Most people say if you were here for 40 years you probably know the country better than some people who have been taught in school about it.
So we balance the legal versus the illegal. The right versus wrong. The fair versus the unfair.
“With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.”
Even one time, just one time and than another after that, and another after that do we think we can use the words of Abraham Lincoln to insure something that we can all be proud of.
(picture with thanks MaryCate Manion Western Mass News)