There is a whole lot of virtue-signaling going on about illegal aliens and their right to be in America on Freeform’s The Fosters in the latest episode titled “Makeover” airing March 6. The viewer is explicitly told that American immigration law is racist, old, and in need of revision because a high school student is lecturing us about it.
Callie Adams Foster (Maia Mitchell) continues on in her quest to help her friend Ximena Sinfuego’s (Lisseth Chavez) parents as they approach their trial date on possible deportation by ICE. Ximena is also an illegal alien but is a DREAMer who has been given a pass to live with the Fosters with her American citizen younger sister, Penelope (Poppy).
Ximena asks Callie to make another video to show to the judge. She wants the ICE raid on her home included so that the judge can see how the family is being torn apart. Callie says it has to be “emotional and moving.” Surely feelings overrule actual law, right?
While this is happening, Callie and Ximena are asked to sit on a panel for Aaron’s law school class to discuss social media and its role in politics. During the question and answer session, Callie defends her friend’s family as a student rightfully points out that Ximena’s parents knowingly entered America illegally and should face the consequences.
Male Student: My question is for Ximena. Your parents knew that they were committing a criminal act when they entered this country illegally. Why do you think they deserve special consideration?
Ximena: I don't. I just think they should be treated fairly. Besides wanting a better life for me and my sister, they were encouraged to come to this country because of a demand for cheap labor, like many other immigrants, and now they're being punished for it?
Callie: We didn't have an immigration detention system until the 1980s. And... they're not considered criminals, by the way. Like most detained immigrants, they're being held in civil custody, but they're being treated much, much worse than actual criminals. And you know, people have been locked up for as long as 10 years, abused, living in abysmal conditions. And then, when they're deported, there's almost no consideration of their welfare in the country that they're being sent back to. And they almost never think about how it impacts the family. It's... punitive and inhumane, to say the least.
Male Student: The Supreme Court ruled that deportation is not a punishment, it's simply returning an illegal alien to the place where they rightfully belong.
Callie: Okay, well, that ruling is over a hundred years old, and by the way, it also protected a law that required at least one white witness to testify on behalf of an immigrant in order to get a certificate of residence. So, sounds pretty racist to me, no? Like a lot of our immigration laws. Yeah, maybe it's time our country revised them.
See, it really wasn’t Ximena’s parents’ fault. They came because America wants cheap labor so I guess that means they had no choice but to oblige. Never mind that they didn’t correct their illegal status over the 18 years they remained in the U.S. Naturally, it is a white, male student asking the question of Ximena. Callie is only too happy to blame American immigration law on racism and besides, it is old and just needs to be revised. And, there is the claim that illegal aliens are held in horrible conditions in detention centers for a civil offense.
After the panel discussion concludes, the law professor congratulates Callie for her activism, naturally. “Especially in these uncertain times we live in,” he tells her. You know, Trump’s America.
The end of the episode shows the Sinfuegos' appearance before the judge in court. Low and behold, she does her job and follows the law. Shocker, right? Yeah, especially since the show is set in California. The Sinfuegos are given a 30-day reprieve to get their affairs in order and arrange care for Poppy, after they post a $7,500 bond. Then they must report to ICE for immediate deportation.
Judge: It's clear Mr. And Mrs. Sinfuego are honorable people who have lived positive and productive lives here. Their daughters are a testament to that, and the court does not wish to see them unduly suffer. For that reason, I order that they be released from detention... on a $7,500 bond and given a stay of 30 days to get their lives in order, and to arrange for care of Penelope. After which, they are to report to Immigration and Customs for immediate deportation.
As Poppy and Ximena return to the Foster home, Callie goes to visit the law professor. She tells him she has decided to make law her major. The usually predictable ending to this show. Let’s see if Ximena and her parents actually meet their deadline with ICE. Stay tuned.