Those who do evil should be punished

Most illegal immigrants come to our country seeking economic opportunity. A few are fleeing violence or the threat of it. And many, the children to whom our hearts have gone out during recent weeks, have no say in the matter.

But some of those coming across the southern border are bent on evil. In handling illegal immigrants, U.S. officials should make it a point to identify and punish them severely.

It has been pointed out some of the children being brought here are coming not with parents, but with adults who intend to sell them as sex slaves or profit from their forced labor.

Occasionally, reporters trying to get at the truth come across suspicious situations. Last week, an Associated Press journalist accompanying Border Patrol agents was present when they apprehended a man carrying a 4-month-old baby from Honduras. He claimed first to be her father, then switched to uncle. He presented a birth certificate that appeared to be a forgery.

Agents took the little girl and contacted the Hondouran embassy. It is to be hoped officials from that country can learn the truth.

If the man carrying the baby is found to have been engaged in exploitation, he ought to be arrested and thrown into a U.S. prison for many years.

So should others who prey on helpless immigrants, especially those whose victims are children.

There is a special place in hell for such creatures. There ought to be special places in U.S. prisons for them, too.