I came across this news story this morning and must say, I’m very much on the fence about what I think. In a nutshell, a brother and sister in their 30s came to the U.S. from their native Argentina on tourist visas in the 1990s. They settled into a nice American Dream life, opening a cafe and volunteering with the local fire department and police department. The problem is, they did not stay in the U.S. legally after their tourist visas were expired. They stayed as what the article refers to as “undocumented” immigrants. Some of us refer to that as an illegal immigrant. In 2005 the sister confessed their status to a friend who was a local police officer. She knew this police officer from her volunteer work as an interpreter for the police department. The police officer helped set up a meeting between the brother, sister, and a person from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). As a result of that meeting, the two were to be given special visas making their status in the U.S. permanent and legal in exchange for the brother and sister helping ICE as undercover informants. The two cooperated from the beginning and were asked initially to do just simple work. The things asked of them began to get more and more dangerous and they began to fear for their lives as this happened. But they continued to the best of their abilities. Eventually ICE felt the information the duo were obtaining wasn’t enough and they were no longer useful as informants. Relieved, the two went on with their lives. Until May 2009, over 4 years after the initial arrangement was made with ICE. Then ICE began to threaten to deport them. In November 2009 the brother was actually taken to jail in handcuffs being told his informant status was lost and the special visa he’d been given no longer valid. They are both still in the U.S. but after that, their work as informants was effectively public knowledge in the community.
I’m torn about this situation. On the one hand, they were in the U.S. illegally. By definition, that means they were breaking laws. But on the other hand, a government agency did make them certain promises and arrangements that they later backed out on. The actions of that government agency put the two in danger. I can’t decide just how I feel about this. What are your thoughts?
HERE is a link the news story.