About the deportation orders.

There is currently a proposal that would allow for the deportation of Lao and Hmong immigrants from the United States. The proposal would apply to people who are not U.S. citizens and have standing orders of deportation issued against them. Many of those affected came to the U.S. as refugees, and some committed crimes and were arrested. That resulted in final deportation orders for many and eliminated any opportunity for them to become citizens.

The U.S. State Department is in discussion with the government of Laos to repatriate close to 3,500 people nationwide who are subject to the removal orders. According to reports, more than 300 live in Wisconsin.

Sounds pretty cut and dried to me. Refugees are welcomed to the U.S., commit crimes, get arrested, receive a final order of deportation, have no chance of ever becoming a legal U.S. citizen, and are deported to repatriate.

This is a time when the Eau Claire City Council needs to show its resolve and some backbone. We seem to be all twisted up when it comes time to show compassion. Show compassion when seniors get their heat shut off, when there are people out in the cold, when folks are hungry, when they’re confronted with natural disasters, when veterans can’t find appropriate health care, or any number of other things that happen to law-abiding citizens.

Of course, the easy thing to do is sit there with your mouth shut and vote with everyone on a resolution even if you don’t agree with it. It’s not actionable, it’s vogue because it takes a swipe at the evil orange man, it gives our region a kind of cool sanctuary status, and you won’t offend anyone.

But the notion that this City Council would support a general resolution that allows people who broke the law and have no chance of ever becoming legal citizens to remain in the U.S. is offensive.

How about a compromise. We could get behind the one, few or many individuals facing deportation because they truly are getting a raw deal — their offenses were minor, they’ve contributed to the community in a variety of ways and they’ve worked hard to earn their citizenship. There must be individuals who meet these benchmarks; let’s hear about them and rally support throughout the community.

Otherwise, this is just a school board or City Council that sways with the political winds, wants to feel good about itself and will have a meaningless piece of paper to prove it.

Rickman is publisher of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.