As Americans we all grew up with different expressions that have been handed down from generation to generation. Some we understand, and others we can only guess the original intent. Some of my favorite expressions are, “you can not have it both ways”, “you cannot have your cake and eat it too” and an old favorite to many, “you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Maybe we do not know how they started, but we certainly all know what they mean.
That said, recent news articles and speeches by some of our political leaders have added a new twist to these expressions. It has become clear that not all expressions apply to everyone equally. It has also apparent that both the situation and the audience now dictate the applicability of these expressions. Further, because of recent events, I have taken away a new revelation – apparently laws and rules should only be enforced selectively or when convenient.
With all that said, let’s begin with “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Clearly that expression was created with law enforcement in mind. Our leaders write laws in hopes of protecting us. The laws are sent to our officers and agents who are directed to enforce them. However, we have seen recently that the men and women of ICE have fulfilled this expression well. Recently, they have been “damned” in everything they do. Our law makers have taken to both writing the laws that ICE agents are expected to enforce, as well as ridiculing them for doing their jobs. How is it that lawmakers are allowed to have their cake and ours, too?
Clearly the immigration problem in this country is difficult and complex. Each of us wants the best for our families, and God knows I have spent 38 years trying to do the best for mine. However, we do have laws that we must operate within. Laws are laws and our country is based on based on enforcing these laws.
Cops do not write the laws. They are hired and trained to enforce what politicians have written and passed to protect the country. The agents liking or disliking a law is not relevant, their only job is to enforce them. Clearly writing a law and then criticizing those that enforce them only brings new meaning to the word hypocrite. Believe it or not, law enforcement agents really do have hearts and do have to make arrests that they may not agree with. But they know that it is their job to arrest those who break the law. Unfortunately, lately the agents of ICE have been called a number of bad things – everything from thugs to terrorists, when in reality they should be thanked for doing their jobs enforcing the laws of this country.
The agents at ICE are well trained professionals that do put their lives on the line everyday. Their investigations of customs and immigration issues are what keep us safe and help our weakened economy by getting rid of counterfeit goods and drugs. The recent worksite enforcement actions that ICE has been criticized for were done with the safety and compassion in mind. No one was hurt and, most importantly, their actions were in full authority of the law. So, before anyone criticizes, maybe they should put themselves in the shoes of an ICE agent. They will see that ICE officials are doing an outstanding job protecting our great country. This is the bottom line to our elected officials: if you don’t like a law change it, you have the power to do that. Standing in a position of power and taking cheap shots at those that can not defend themselves for doing their jobs and is something that is neither useful nor constructive.
Giving anyone the sole power to pick which laws to enforce and which to ignore is against the very essence of American life.
We live in a world that it is easy to point fingers and criticize others, and in many cases rightfully so. But let’s fix blame on those that have done wrong, not those just doing their job. Cops do not ask people to disobey the law and they do not have the power to set the rules. They do not pick which rules to use, they just ensure that the rules are followed fairly by all. Perhaps it would be more constructive to fix blame on those who rewarded themselves with millions of dollars for their failures, rather than an agent of the law just doing their job.