P&R gets to the heart of the matter:
In the first place, we should be clear that the cause of her [a college student who is not a legal resident of the US] discomfort is most definitely not the United States INS, Alabama police, or any of the other law enforcement agencies involved. Her pain is caused by her parents and in this respect is little different from the pain experienced by children of other felons. I assure you, the son or daughter of a prison inmate suffers because of his or her parent’s sin. I understand that Jessica Colotl is not eager to direct attention to her parents, nor should she. But their lawbreaking is the source of Jessica’s pain, not the law, and not the law-enforcement agencies or officials in question.
Mercy may be part of this particular equation, but the truth is that children often–dare I say always–are damaged by the choices of their parents. These damages may be immediate and irrevocable (such as a child’s death caused by a parent’s driving while intoxicated) or postponed and able to be worked past (the case addressed above).
The saddest thing about crime–yes, illegal immigration is still a crime–is that the innocent often seem to suffer more than the guilty. The only way to reduce such suffering is to ensure that the rewards of such criminal behavior are too small to make the criminal act worthwhile.
Go read it all.