As you can read (and hear) from one of yesterday’s posts, our own Viridiana Martinez said during a panel on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. that one of the root causes of injustice toward immigrants in the United States is that “capital can cross borders, but people can’t.” One of the best illustrations of that is a recent amnesty—for thousands of wealthy American tax cheats.

You probably are not going to see any outrage over this on MichelleMalkin.com or Human Events. Here are over 15,000 criminals who misled the United States out of billions of dollars of tax revenue—and were then given an amnesty. How did they get away with it? Easy: they were rich.

Union Bank of Switzerland, or UBS, vigorously sought to be a tax haven for the American super-rich. Its primary target: the 222 billionaires living in the United States. In the notoriously secretive world of Swiss banking, the likelihood of never getting caught is almost guaranteed. That assured probability found its first outlier in 2007, when Bradley Birkenfeld walked into the criminal enforcement section of the tax division of the Department of Justice and handed over a treasure trove of PowerPoint trainings and other secret files on how UBS recruits and conceals its clients’ border-crossing money.

Then they sent him to jail.

Birkenfeld was in on the deals being made, as many whistle-blowers are. It only makes sense that in organized crime, key witnesses are in the position to see what they have because they have been involved. But rather than forgive the one person out of more than 15,000 that showed some moral fortitude, the federal government gave everyone a pass and sent Birkenfeld to jail, discouraging future whistle-blowers from following in his footsteps and complying with the U.S. Department of Justice(one, however, just partnered with Wikileaks to do the same).

What does this have to do with immigration? It shows where government priorities lie. DREAM Act-eligible youth, for whom it is difficult (if not outright wrong) to say they willingly or knowingly broke the law, are the ones being thrown into detention centers and deported.

Amnesty shouldn’t be a dirty word. It means that the government shows some understanding as to why someone is in the position they are. So far, the Senate has refused to show immigrant youth that understanding. In the case of the 15,000 UBS clients who defrauded the government out of billions of dollars, the government understood that they were rich and decided to let them go.

As said before, note the lack of outrage from the “anti-amnesty” and “enforcement” crowd. They will continue to protest against the imaginary burden of immigrants without visas on the economy rather than against the very real billions owed by these tax cheats.

What may be the saddest fact of all is that we are moving toward a world who for one class of people borders mean more and more, and for another they mean ever less.

So much for the rule of law.

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