This newspaper did a good job covering Tuesday's community meeting during which Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner and I answered questions about children who have recently left Central America and are now in South Carolina. This part of the story, however, needs clarification: "Davis said the state attorney general could revoke the charters of nonprofit organizations receiving federal money to support the children."
I was responding to a question about remedies available to South Carolina to prevent "open-border" nonprofits from acting illegally within its borders, i.e., aiding and abetting illegal crossings into the U.S.
I was asked if the federal RICO law was available, and I said it probably wasn't, but that our state's attorney general and secretary of state could and should revoke the charters of nonprofits that were engaging in illegal activity.
I didn't say nor do I believe South Carolina could or should revoke the charters of those legally ensuring the well-being of the children pending their deportation hearings. Compassion requires these children be treated humanely during this interim period, but it must be precisely that -- interim. If they are unable to make a legal case for asylum, they must go home.
Some say that's cold-blooded: "After all they've been through," they ask, "send them home?" But as columnist Charles Krauthammer recently said, by that logic, with pervasive suffering throughout the world, we should have no immigration laws. And while that may be the objective of some, they need to make their case to Congress, not disregard existing law.
Editor's Note: Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, represents District 46 in the S.C. Senate.