Debra J. Saunders

It's not fair to deport somebody who has endured these conditions, responded Steve Reyes, an attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) in Los Angeles, who is involved with a similar lawsuit against Albertson's.

That's the sort of selective approach to the law that has muddied the waters. Illegal immigrants decide which laws they can break. Employers decide which laws they can break. In the end, the law has no meaning, and would-be legal immigrants and law-abiding employers look like suckers.

Gilberto Garcia, the New Jersey attorney representing the Wal-Mart plaintiffs, said, "My clients are in the United States in violation of the law" and are "subject to deportation." Unlike MALDEF's Reyes, Garcia didn't say they shouldn't be deported. Instead, he said, "We're trying to send a message to unscrupulous employers, who are trying to take advantage of these people while other able citizens are in unemployment lines because these employers don't want to pay (legal immigrants and citizens) what they deserve."

The postscript to that message should be: Everyone caught breaking U.S. immigration laws pays the penalty.

Debra J. Saunders

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