Justice is the Irrefutable Issue
in the Marta Alonzo Case

by Stephen P. Gordon
11-08-03

Mitch Chase recently wrote in The Decatur Daily that the overlooked concern in the Marta and Javier Alonzo debacle is immigration. As the case of Marta and Javier Alonzo deals with considerably larger issues, they are deservedly the focus of this debate.

The matter at hand is justice, not immigration. To be sure, there are problems with our current immigration laws, and vocal points-of-view exist on both sides of this heated controversy. Many supporters of the Alonzo family wish to see immigration laws relaxed, while others wish to see them tightened. The tie that bonds these disparate groups is their common desire for justice.

Immigration laws have to take a back seat to the fundamental rights upon which all just laws are based. While Marta Alonzo may have broken the law when she entered the country, how does an immigration violation excuse separating a nursing baby from his mother's breast?

One of our founding fathers, James Otis, wrote "There can be no prescription old enough to supersede the Law of Nature and the grant of God Almighty, who has given to all men a natural right to be free."

Basic natural rights pre-date any law written by man, and form the basis of our written laws. Consequently they are pre-established as our ultimate laws. While many of our inherent rights have subsequently been protected by the laws of man, many others are so obvious and unquestionable that laws need not be written about them--the example du jour being the right of a mother to raise and nurture her baby.

As citizens in a free society, we have a humanitarian obligation to observe the basic tenets of human decency. Thomas Paine realized this when he wrote, "My language has always been that of liberty and humanity, and I know by experience that nothing so exults a nation as the union of these two principles, under all circumstances."

In addition to the deprivation of Marta Alonzo’s natural rights, she is also being denied her due process rights. In the amendments to our Constitution which deal with our judicial system, rights are affirmed for "people" and "the accused" with no mention of their citizenship. A fair justice system is the obvious prerequisite to any future consideration of allegations of wrongdoing.

Generations of Americans have fought, bled, and often died in order to establish and preserve our Constitution. That Alonzo is denied access to the attorney of her choice in a star chamber proceeding protected by a veil of secrecy is a but a slap in the face to these patriots and veterans.

To be clear, advocates for the Alonzo family are not necessarily bleeding heart liberals, with perhaps as many Republicans as Democrats involved in their defense.

Chase complains of the cost to the taxpayers, but if the Department of Human Resources and the court system had not intervened, there would be no such expense. Adequate solutions to the Alonzo problem are readily available at no expense to the state. Marta has stated she would like to return to Guatemala, but understandably only with her baby. Private donors have even offered plane tickets, but the state will not let Marta and Javier return together.

To the best knowledge publicly available at this moment, Alonzo had been working and supporting her tiny family, costing the taxpayers nothing. Sources report that even her medical care was provided pro bono by Dr. Hendrix. Appearances are that Alonzo was not on the public dole, but an absolute determination cannot be made until gag orders are lifted on those who have the knowledge to speak on this issue.

Also, Javier is a U.S. citizen, and Marta Alonzo may apply for special immigration status as she is involved with the juvenile justice system, should the state ever allow her contact with the attorney of her choosing.

The solution is obvious, return the baby to his mother, and quit spending tax dollars on this issue. The immediate reinstatement of Marta and her baby to the situation they were in prior to government intervention, albeit this time with a green card; or allowing them to move to Guatemala, both serves justice and saves tax dollars.

Abraham Lincoln once stated, "The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty."

It is past time to preserve liberty by driving the wolf of oppressive government away from a mother and her baby.


Stephen Gordon is a freelance writer and the vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Alabama.

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