LatinaLista — Benita Veliz, Benny to her friends, is a 23-year-old college graduate — graduated Valedictorian from her San Antonio, Texas high school class and got a full scholarship to St. Mary’s University where she double-majored in biology and sociology — and wants to go to law school.
The only problem is Benita is undocumented.
Benita dreams that one day soon Congress will pass the DREAM Act which will allow bright young people like Benita, who came to the US as children (Benita was 8-years-old), to attend college at in-state tuition rates (in those states that don’t already allow it), be eligible for college loans and to be able to put their degrees to work once they’re finished with school.
However, Benita has a more pressing issue than waiting to see what Congress decides to do.
First, she has to worry about whether or not she will be allowed to stay in the country.
In January, Benita was pulled over by the police. He said she “rolled” through a stop sign. Benita denies it but it didn’t matter. The policeman got what he was looking for — an undocumented Mexican immigrant.
Though she had a Mexican Consular ID card, she was carted off to jail and deportation proceedings were started against her.
Since that eventful day, this shy brainiac of a student has been thrust into an uncomfortable limelight. Yet during a DREAM Act symposium in Dallas, Texas in the spring where I personally met Benita, she says she feels she has no choice but to speak out for all DREAM Act students who are in her shoes.
June issue of San Antonio Scene magazine where the cover story was about Benita Veliz.
Her story has made national headlines ranging from the New York Times to countless blog posts and local media.
Yet, tomorrow will be the day when Benita finds out if all the years she studied hard, tried to be as law abiding as she could and illustrate her good moral character will be enough.
Benita has a court hearing that will decide her fate. According to a media release:
Benita Veliz will be having a master calendar hearing with regards to her immigration case. This hearing will determine her immediate fate for the next few months
The court hearing on Wednesday will be decisive as to Benita Veliz’s immediate future. The decision given will determine the amount, if any, of time, that Benita will be allowed to remain in the United States, until another court appearance is scheduled.
Benita plans on sharing this emotional event with everyone on Twitter. Benita in Court is where Benita will let her supporters, friends and the curious keep up with what will be sure to be a roller coaster of emotions for her.
When the decision is rendered, she promises to tweet it.
“I am very optimistic and confident that things will go well on Wednesday,” Benita wrote in an email. “I want to be able to share the good news with everyone who has been so supportive.”
In addition to what happens to Benita, the struggle on behalf of the thousands of undocumented students continues.
On Tuesday, June 23, 2009, there will be a National DREAM Graduation in Washington, DC. It’s an event sponsored by a coalition of organizations — United We DREAM Coalition, DREAMActivist.org and the University Leadership Initiative — working for the passage of the DREAM Act.
The event is for the general public to learn about the DREAM Act, as well as, bolster support from both the public and US Congress members.
There are about 64,000 other students, besides Benita, awaiting their fate — and for their dreams to be realized.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be the start of true justice for these students.
Several states allow in state tuition to the undocumented. St. Mary’s is a good school. This young woman has already profitted from a college education. Are there no suitable colleges in Texas for law students? Or perhaps law schools have a problem with accepting “undocumented” students.
Does it seem curious that people who have broken the law to come here, want to profit even more by becoming lawyers?
She should apply as an international student, get a visa, and pay full price. That is what all the other foreign students do.
“The policeman got what he was looking for — an undocumented Mexican immigrant.”
Other than your own imagination, what evidence do you have to move you to say that this is true? And at least half the people who violate rules of the road are preoccupied with something other than driving and they don’t even realize that they’re doing anything wrong. Most people have developed unconscious habits that get them in trouble from time to time, including you. How many speeding tickets have you gotten and didn’t realize you had been speeding? I suspect that this young lady has made many a California rolling stop in her lifetime, and was surprised when she was caught.
Your accusation is nothing short of gratuitous character assassination. You got what you were looking for, Marisa, a policeman to abuse with your insulting preconceived notions.
Who benefits from deporting this woman?
Im really hopeing this Dream Act passes. These poor kids only know the US as there country. Our country should never have a class of people that are segregated from the rest of the other kids. I hope Benita’s Dream comes true.
“Who benefits from deporting this woman?”
I could ask….Who benefits from arresting a tax evader? People will never take our tax or immigration laws seriously if we never enforce them. We benefit as it shows to everyone that equal justice under our law still means something as people are called to account for transgressions. Whether poor or rich, ugly or beautiful, stupid or intelligent, everyone should be subject to equal treatment under the law.
I think tweeting her day in court is a dangerous idea. It could seriously jeopardise her case, if the court knew about it before they make their decision.
By all means, she should blog about it after the fact, but unless she’s sure that she will lose, tweeting it live is not a great idea.
Who benefits from deporting this woman, you ask. Perhaps she could help the disadvantaged of her mother country. Perhaps she could teach children how to read and write.
This woman has much to offer. As an educated woman, she could do much to help others, regardless of what country she is in.
El Guapo wrote:”Who benefits from deporting this woman?”
Maybe–HER HOME COUNTRY? A college-educated, hard-working entrepreneurial bilingual CITIZEN? If it’s good for us, it’s even BETTER FOR THEM.
Who benefits from deporting
The American tax payer. She has already sucked enough out of the system, let her go home and apply for a Visa. Don’t you think she would feel better if she came here legally to get her education?
Tweeting isn’t actually allowed while in the courtroom. So Benita tweeted before she went in the building and afterwards.
People need to relize the coming from mexico is not easy at all. It’s hard to almost be graduating from high school and be worried about how your going to do it.College cost double more for undocumented students and it’s not like we can just ask for government loans or scholarships…
Coming from Mexico is not easy, but it has not stopped millions from coming and staying here, in violation of Federal Law. College is costly for American citizens too and scholarships are few. Do you think it is fair for immigrants who sneak across the border to compete with citizens for college and jobs in this country? Would Mexico allow American citizens to do the same?
Americans have no ill will for this young woman. We wish her well. But she has no right to be here and be educated at taxpayer expense. It is her parents that put her in this position, not the U.S.
Respect for law is something Americans demand. The fact that our government has betrayed us by not enforcing immigration laws in the workplace, has led to this situation.
Just imagine what an asset she would be to the Mexican community. She could teach and study law in her own country and perhaps make a difference for her people.
Comments are closed.