Angry New Yorker

Saturday, March 08, 2008
Shame on Bloomberg and Schumer

We know it's often difficult to shame politicians, who, by definition, are generally beyond all shame. Nevertheless, we thought that the blind-eye, anything-goes treatment afforded to one Mr. Magassa, an illegal alien practicing polygamy in New York City, who, after a fire tragedy last year in the Bronx that claimed the lives of (one of) his wife and several of his children, details here, nonetheless had big guns such as Senator Schumer (NY-D) stepping in on his behalf in apparent direct opposition to the rule of law to not only prevent his deportation but to allow his re-entry into the U.S. after he finished transporting and burying his deceased family members in his native Mali. While a tragedy by any measure the aftermath was another stunning example of liberal relativism that equates no preference to U.S. citizenship, and is both passively willing to and actively engaged in granting non-citizen illegal aliens favoritism at the substantial expense of legal U.S. residents and citizens. We don't know about you, but we consider our status as a U.S. citizen to be one of the most valuable of possessions. Yet, Senator Schumer, of course, in acting on Mr. Magassa's behalf was only hewing to the liberal pantheon of positions.

All of this is but preamble, however, for it was with no small amount of sadness, shock and, yes, outrage, that we noted that NY1 was heralding, "Malian Victims of Bronx House Fire Remembered One Year Later," here, noting, matter of factly, in recounting how Mr. Magassa is fairing in the past year that:
A year later both men who are from Mali, West Africa are rebuilding their lives. They are devout Muslims. Magassa, who has other children says his religious beliefs allow him to have two wives. Over the last year, both women have given birth.

"We are doing fine, we are doing pretty much good. Everyone is happy and myself also, because I have had two, three new children. So, I guess, thanks Allah for that,” says Magassa.
Well, well, how nice for him and his many "wives." The fact that "his religion" allows him to have two wives would seem to conflict directly with both New York and U.S. law, and it seems the authorities should be doing something about this, no? After all NY Penal Law, Section 255.15, states that: " A person is guilty of bigamy when he contracts or purports to contract a marriage with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse. Bigamy is a class E felony."

In addition to his earlier and ongoing violations of federal immigration law, a violation that Senator Schumer was eager to put aside, Mr. M. is apparently an open and notorious felon under New York state law. NY Penal Law, from our quick search, doesn't directly address polygamy, because no doubt in this day and age what rational legislator would believe it necessary to address a vestige from days long gone by? Unfortunately, it appears that in 2008 we do. And Mr. Magassa appears to have gotten over the loss of his "wive" and children quiet nicely, thank you very much, adding another "two, three" children, at least from the article's phrasing -- he's not sure. We know it must be tough to keep track when you have so many wives and so many children in your "family unit," but still, one wonders.

As the National Review's Corner blog recounted, very perspicaciously, here:

Polygamy Here and Now [Lisa Schiffren]

My piece here tells the story of Moussa Magassa, an illegal immigrant from Mali of various occupations, who came to the attention of the New York media, city government and readers nationally last year when he lost several children in a tragic fire exactly one year ago. It turned out that he had been living quite nicely, with both of his wives and all of their children in the house that burned. Mr. Magassa's family has grown quite a bit in the intervening year — and not just the usual ways.

It also turns out that there is a large community of West Africans here in New York who have brought with them their Islamic practice and tribal culture of polygamous marriage to the U.S. They bring in additional wives on false visas, they hide the practice, and the mediating institutions of the state, which should be inculcating our cultural practices and laws— welfare bureaucracies, schools, fire departments — turn a blind eye because they do not wish to deal with this practice, despite the harms and loss of freedoms to at least some of the women involved. Why not? Because acknowledging the practice would require legal action: polygamy is grounds for deportation, (and a jail sentence.) This willing disregard of the law by everyone from the Mayor on down is a step by step enactment of "Sharia creep," as Mark Steyn calls it. It is also a direct result of the government's complicity in illegal immigration.

The 1856 GOP platform spoke directly of the "twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery." We fought a bloody war to end slavery, and the federal government undertook a decade's long legal enforcement effort to eradicate polygamy among Mormons a few years later, capped by the 1879 Supreme Court case Reynolds vs. the U.S.. To this day, when the government uncovers cases of slavery, it takes vigorous action, including jail time and deportations. Unless we wish to become like Western Europe — colonized, and forced to support, with our tax dollars, laws and practices we find abhorrent — it's time to take similar action when we uncover cases of polygamy.

It's time we stood up to this nonsense and insisted that "multiculturaism" does not trump the rule of law. Otherwise we are in for some very rough times ahead.

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