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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Children > Federal Immigrant Detention Policy Needlessly Tears Apart Families

Federal Immigrant Detention Policy Needlessly Tears Apart Families

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The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency currently has over 30,000 undocumented immigrants in detention. There are plans to build more detention facilities in the coming year to house the many immigrants the federal government plans to take into custody.
The following is an excerpt from “It’s a Family Affair, a piece that explores the ramifications of US detention policies of undocumented immigrants.

Margarita Huerta made a bad decision.
Some will argue that this mother of four made a bad decision when she decided to live illegally in the United States as an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.
Others will say she made a bad decision when she decided on December 14, 2007 to leave her children in her car, after running out of gas alongside a busy North Texas highway while she walked to get help. On her return, she learned that her 5-year-old daughter had tried to follow her and had darted into the heavy traffic, only to be rescued by passing Good Samaritans — who called the police.
Regardless of either decision, or more precisely because of both of them, Margarita found herself placed in the Collin County jail where she was charged with child endangerment and slapped with a criminal charge plus a detaining order by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to clear her for deportation proceedings.
This month, three months after she was first arrested, Margarita will finally be released from the detention center but won’t be seeing her children. Instead, she’ll be loaded on a transport and taken back to Mexico.
Margarita’s treatment and length of detention are not unusual – it’s how the United States treats undocumented immigrants in custody. In fact, Margarita is one of the lucky ones. She only had to be separated from her family for three months and she was only an hour away from where they lived. Too many in her shoes are not as fortunate.
In fact, the automatic detention and prolonged stays behind bars for undocumented immigrants, especially women, is a practice that makes no sense — even in the face of accusations that undocumented immigrants are flight risks.
In this high-tech age, there are proven better ways to keep tabs on nonviolent non-criminals than keeping them behind bars separated from their families.
The way the U.S. handles immigrant detentions has triggered attention from the global humanitarian community, the United Nations (U.N.) and immigrant communities and activists throughout the country who all agree there is a better way to treat a population whose only vice is being illegally in the country to work their way out of the poverty they were born into.

Finish reading It’s a Family Affair.

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Comment(43)

  • Avatar
    Frank
    March 25, 2008 at 7:58 am

    First of all, I don’t understand why this mother would leave her kids in the car like that rather than staying with them and flagging down another car to help her. It was on a busy highway and most motorists would stop to help especially seeing four kids in the car.
    I cannot pass judgement on why she was incarcerated for so long but has anyone bothered to get the details as to why? I do know that many pose a flight risk and someone else in here mentioned why they don’t use the ankle bracelets but I don’t recall what the reason was. But before demonizing immigration officials why not find out the answers?
    She had a husband to care for the children so that wasn’t an issue either.
    As I said in another post, once an illegal has been incarcerated, they should get a hearing within 7 days and depending on the outcome deported immediately. That would avoid the above scenario and save millions in tax dollars.

  • Avatar
    Jax
    March 25, 2008 at 8:33 am

    I have no problem with making these illegal mothers wear ankle bracelets as long as they work properly and these illegals are eventually deported.
    Obviously, they can take their children with them and build a happy life in Mexico.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    March 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

    It’s the laws fault, it’s your fault, it’s my fault, it’s Americas fault or it’s the immigration agents fault. Why in the hell is it always the fault of everyone except the person who is really at fault, the person that ignored an established border and snubbed their nose at U.S. immigration laws? Another unfortunate situation that could have been avoided by just obeying the law.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    March 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    When people parrot hate speech used by hate groups that means they ate racist. If you dont want to be labeled racist, STOP PROMOTING HATE! I am not going to have a big discussion with all the racist denying they hate Mexicans. You show us that every day. This is #1 on a list of things to do when faced with hate and racism, like we are on a daily basis.
    In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance — by the perpetrators, the public and, worse, the victims. Decent people must take action; if we don’t, hate persists.
    A hate group is coming to our town. What should we do?”
    “I am very alarmed at hate crimes…What can I, as one person, do to help?”
    “I find myself wanting to act, to show support for the victims, to demonstrate my anger and sorrow… But I don’t know what to do or how to begin.”
    If you’ve opened this guide, you probably want to “do something” about hate. You are not alone. Questions like these arrive daily at the Southern Poverty Law Center. When a hate crime occurs or a hate group rallies, good people often feel helpless. We encourage you to act, for the following reasons:
    Hate is an open attack on tolerance and decency. It must be countered with acts of goodness. Sitting home with your virtue does no good. In the face of hate, silence is deadly. Apathy will be interpreted as acceptance – by the perpetrators, the public and, worse, the victims. If left unchallenged, hate persists and grows.
    Hate is an attack on a community’s health. Hate tears society along racial, ethnic, gender and religious lines. The U.S. Department of Justice warns that hate crimes, more than any other crime, can trigger larger community conflict, civil disturbances and even riots. For all their “patriotic” rhetoric, hate groups and their freelance imitators are really trying to divide us; their views are fundamentally anti-democratic. True patriots fight hate.
    Hate escalates. Take seriously the smallest hint of hate — even what appears to be simple name-calling. The Department of Justice again has a warning: Slurs often escalate to harassment, harassment to threats and threats to physical violence. Don’t wait to fight hate.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 25, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    This reminds me of the convoluted thinking of some miguided families and friends of individuals arrested for transgressions of the law. They tend to blame the police for separating their brother, sister, friend, daughter or son from society. As someone else said in this blog, this is clearly a case of the guilty turning themselves into victims and scapegoating the legal system for their own predicament.
    Ankle bracelets give about the same amount of assurance that the illegal alien will be available for court appearance as the feds had under the old system, when a promise to appear was all that was required. The wearer would simply cut it off and run. Moreover, ICE simply does not have the resources to chase down every absconder, anymore than they had when a lick and a promise release on own recognizance was in effect. The whole idea is impractical and frankly, preposterous.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    March 25, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    It is just plain ignorant to assume that anyone in this blog who opposes illegal immigration is a racist or a hater. It is those words that the real racists and haters use to demonize those of us for the rule of law.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    March 25, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    The fact that you support all laws that would hurt immigrants, but choose to ignore any laws that could help immigrants is what shows your racism. The innuendo and subliminal reference using lies is another way you show racism.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    March 26, 2008 at 7:48 am

    First they aren’t immigrants, they are illegal aliens and I don’t care if those who break our laws are hurt. That is the consequences of breaking any laws you pay the price.
    This isn’t a race based issue. Illegals come in many flavors. It is about the rule of law. For anyone to call their fellow citizens, “racists” for wanting our immigration laws enforced is totally out of line and ridiculous. Quite the opposite is true. Those who favor illegal foreigners, especially if they are ethnically like themselves, are the true racists.

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    March 26, 2008 at 8:54 am

    How do the laws hurt “Illegal Aliens”, when they are not deprived of their basic human rights? What is racist about that? What laws are ignored that could help “Illegal Aliens”? Aren’t all laws to followed, weather they are right or wrong, until changed? Now, “subliminal references”, grasping for straws are you? You are the one making all these accusations, back them up. Please show the sins that deem any of our “Immigration Laws” immoral /unjust.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    March 26, 2008 at 11:27 am

    One more time. The issue at hand is not about immigrants (legal), it is about undocumented immigrants (illegal aliens). If you can not keep the two separated there is no validity to any of your posts. Laws must be put into place to encourage those in our country illegally to go elsewhere. Laws that reward those in our country illegally will not be acceptable to the majority of U.S. citizens. This has nothing to do with race since many of the illegal aliens are not from south of the border, but from other countries all over the world. This has nothing to do with trying to hurt anyone, though many will be inconvenienced. They, the illegal aliens, have brought this upon themselves by ignoring international borders and thumbing their noses at our immigration laws. No innuendos or subliminal references or lies or racism, only rule of law.

  • Avatar
    Texan
    March 26, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Any person who leaves 4 kids unattended in a car on the side of a busy highway SHOULD be arrested. No mention of whether the mom was licensed to drive or had insurance, all required by Texas law. Kids die in hot cars here in the summer. Why should this woman be above the law?
    If she was here illegally, she was probably using a fake Id or SS card too.

  • Avatar
    Jax
    March 26, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Evelyn: Exactly what is it that prevents you from understanding that illegal aliens/immigrants have no legal right to be here. What is that makes you label those of us who want laws enforced as “haters” or “bigots”, etc. I know a fair number of legal immmigrants and have no problem meeting them and considering to be friends.
    I have met a good number of legals thru my church here in Florida–many are active in church affairs.

  • Avatar
    laura
    March 26, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Yes, this mother was endangering her 5 year old by leaving her in the car alone.
    Then ICE not only endangered, but fully traumatized the child by imprisoning her mother. The girl is now without her mother not just for 10 minutes, but for months.
    This child’s human rights were violated by ICE.
    All people – documented, undocumented, immigrants, residents, citizens – have the same inalienable human and civil rights. They are spelled out in international law. The rights of children are spelled out in the Treaty on the Rights of the Child.
    ICE is violating them every day.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    March 26, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    The bible is where one learns that our current immigration laws are immoral. The following is a very simple statement telling us why. They are the words of a minister in Tulsa.
    Immigration is also a moral issue
    Having said that, let me remind you that for Christians, the question of immigration is
    not simply a social, political or an economic issue; it is also a moral issue because it
    impacts on the well-being of millions of our neighbors. And because it is a moral
    issue, it must be examined in the light of our faith in Jesus Christ, Who clearly
    commands us to “welcome the stranger,” for what “you do to the least of my brothers,
    that you do unto Me.” (Matthew 25:40)
    This is why we can say simply: ‘In the suffering faces of the poor, we see the suffering
    face of Christ’ (Santo Domingo, §178). The truth of this remark is irrefutable, whatever
    the economic theory, the practice of jurisprudence, the religious belief, the
    cultural tradition or the philosophy of life one might have. In the pain of the poor and
    the dispossessed, in the fear of the immigrant and those unjustly accused, we see
    reflected the suffering of our Crucified Lord, Who reminds us that ultimately we will
    be judged on the compassion and charity which we show them. “For I was hungry,”
    He will tell us, “but you gave Me no food; alone or a stranger or in prison, but you
    could not be bothered with me.” (cf. Matthew 25:42-

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    March 26, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Jax
    I have never said you hate or called you a racist or a bigot. I dont believe you are racist. I think you and I are just sick of ‘illegal immigration.’ In fact I think you and I agree on many points.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    March 27, 2008 at 9:53 am

    laura, so in your demented thinking, no parent (citizen or non-citizen) should be incarcerated for any crimes as that would seperate them from their children?

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    March 27, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Haven’t you heard, if you are in the U.S. illegally you are non-existant and therefore immune from all laws. That’s why in cases of automobile accidents involving illegal aliens with no license, no insurance and no inspection sticker, they are allowed to walk or drive away with not so much as a ticket. It’s happened to me twice and my insurance company paid for damage to my car after I paid my deductable. All the illegals did at the sceen of the accident was play dumb and say they did not understand English. The officer at the sceen got frustrated and told them to go on their way. These types of incidents happen all the time in this santuary city that I live in when it was very obvious that the ones that caused the accident were illegal aliens, but the officer was not allowed to ask. Really is time to let our elected officials know that the citizens of this country are fed up with all the negative consequences of illegal aliens and open borders.

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    March 27, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    More from your Bishop in OK.
    I believe – and have stated this publicly – that we must restore the rule of law on our
    borders and protect our nation against attack from infiltration. As a nation we have a
    right, indeed the imperative, to control our nation’s borders. But it is sadly evident
    that our current system of immigration and border control does not work and has not
    worked for many years.”
    He’s basically stating those already here should be left alone, yet those who wish to “infiltrate” (his word) across our borders should then be denied because of the rule of law and our borders should be protected. So those of you wanting to cross the border, to bad. I see why you only pasted part of what is his opinion.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 27, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Evelyn, what about those of us who are not Christians? This is a nation whose policies are not supposed to be dictated by religious convictions, but by our Constitution. Why should I listen to your Pope or his mouthpieces? Keep your faith to yourself Evelyn and stop mixing it with politics. Or better yet, move to Mexico City and argue socioeconomic injustice with Filipe Caleron and Vincente Fox. And don’t forget bring your Pope with you. Maybe you can save the remaining 80 million Mexicans who currently suffer under Mexico’s plutocrats. I’ll say it for you, Evelyn, nah, nah, nah, nah, you’re a racist, you’re a racist, nah, nah, your a racist. Now, now, doesn’t that feel good?

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    March 27, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    I am thrilled you will be sooOO disappointed when you find out I am not catholic. I am not christian either. I dont need religion to tell me right from wrong. Nature has taught me all I need to know. You forget I am half Indian, raised on a reservation by my Indian grandmother. Our spirituality is geared more towards respecting all things nature.
    If this country should someday seize to be a free country. Maby then I will keep faith and religion or anything else you dont want to hear about to myself. until then I suggest you SHUT UP! Telling me what to do will only leave you even more frustrated.
    Yes in a few years my plans are to move to Mexico, by then you will be burning in hell.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 28, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    “Yes in a few years my plans are to move to Mexico, by then you will be burning in hell.”
    What would it take to motivate you to move sooner? Clearly, your point of view is skewed to the interests of the Mexican people, so your loyalty to this country is in question. Why should anyone believe that you care about this country in the least? You’ll be in hell before any of us, as there appears to be a Narco state forming in Mexico. Buy a kevlar helmet, and vest and keep your head down.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 28, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Evelyn: “Nature has taught me all I need to know.”
    This is evident to everyone in this blog.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    March 29, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Horace I would suggest something made to repel fire for you, but the fire in hell is to intense to be repelled. In case you didnt know it’s only the border towns affected by the drug wars. You know how the drug addicted Americans hate to wait for their drugs.
    I wonder if you question the loyalty of all the other thousands of Americans who retire to Mexico, and would it be out of envy that you do, or is it just your ignorance showing again.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    March 30, 2008 at 9:31 am

    “it’s only the border towns affected by the drug wars.”
    Wishful thinking on your part. I can see this form of corruption expanding into all parts of society, especially among the poor, where money can buy anything, but go ahead, take your chances.

  • Avatar
    Alex
    March 30, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Have you heard, or read, about the brain damaged woman who was awarded like 400 thousand dollars because of the accident that left her like that? this amount should help cover her needs for the rest of her life. But, there was a clause in her benefits with WALMART, former employer, that entitles WALMART to this amount. Poeple are outraged with WALMART.
    WALMART has all the legal rights for what is left of it. The law is with WALMART. They are legally right, morally wrong.
    The same thing with the application of the Rule of Law so many times mentioned by the…. uh oh, i almost said the R word. They don’t like to be called what it is. … so many times mentioned by the Xenophobes in this blog.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    March 31, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Dont tell anyone Horace but I am leaving Wednesday for a couple weeks. Two weeks at my house in Mexico. My days will be filled with sleeping late, lunch and afternoons spent by the pool. Nights filled with music and fine dining, spent with family and friends.
    OOooo I bet you are green with envy, then again maby not since you have never been further then the edge of your town. At least that is the impression you give.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    March 31, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Alex, as a bible thumper you of all people shouldn’t be calling anyone in here or anyone outside this blog a racist or xenophobe for merely wanting our immigration laws enforced. You are a phoney Christian then.

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    March 31, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Actually Alex, WELCOME TO GLOBALIZATION!!!! where the meager employee is nothing more than a commodity to the company. This is what you are purporting when you want anybody and everybody here, its good for business, bad for workers, but you already know that with your Christian views, right! I would like to join and be a member of your church, since it seems name calling is OK and Christian like.
    Have a nice trip Evelyn, stay safe.

  • Avatar
    Alex
    March 31, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    What you are called is what you would be called by anybody, with moral values of course, who sees or hears your preach hidden under the immigration rules enforcement mask. Behind is just your racist xenophobia. The fact that no matter how is explained that is immoral, cruel, unchristian, evil, wrong to deprive the people, already here for many years contributing to our society and economic development, of a chance to stay without the fear of being harrased and persecuted, just shows what is in your heart, hate. Do you really think that God approves of what you are doing and their looney justifications? Maybe so, if your God has horns, tail and a trident.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    March 31, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Again, if God didn’t expect us to obey the laws of the land and his laws, why is there a hell then?

  • Avatar
    Alex
    April 3, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Hell is for people like you, who just delight on others suffering and have no compassion to their brothers and sisters in disgrace. You may die in 20, 50 years, or today, who knows. You will be asked about you hateful instigations. I do not think your rules of law and its enforcement will save you, for the simple reason that they go against God’s mandates. Please change. We do not want you to go to hell.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    April 3, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    I am going to hell for respecting our immigration laws that are in place to protect our own citizens? Where is your compassion for these citizens? You are the one going to hell for your ethnocentric racism.
    http://www.immigrationshumancost.org/

  • Avatar
    Alex
    April 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Protect from what? They are not criminals, they just want to work and be able to provide food to their families. Is your immigrations laws enforcement the argument you will use in your judgement day? Are You Sure? I do not think you will immigrate to a very hot place holding hands with EOT, Horace, Liquid and the all the people paying you for instigating hateful ideas.

  • Avatar
    Alessandra
    April 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Frank, I took a look at your link and I must say I was really shocked at how many crimes were being perpetrated on American citizens of all races and ethnicities by those illegally in this country.
    I guess this is a consequence of immigration chaos and lax enforcement of our immigration laws.
    We know that with legal immigration, applicants for visas must undergo criminal background checks. However, with illegal immigration, everyone is coming in–those with criminal backgrounds as well as those just coming to work. Indeed, it appears as though Americans are paying a heavy price for this lack of enforcement of our laws.
    It saddens me to realize that all of these people would be alive today had our government been doing its job. We have enough of our own criminals to deal with without allowing criminals in from all over the world to prey on our citizens as well.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    April 4, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Alex, are you trying to BS us into thinking that NONE of these illegal aliens crossing our border are not criminals? Come on even you know better than that. Did you look at the link I posted on illegal alien crime? Of course many aren’t criminals per se but we must secure our borders and know who is coming in here, what their backgrounds are and what their intents are. That is why we have a legal way for them to come. So we can check for criminal history and to do health checks on them also. Not all of them coming here are just looking to feed their families as evidenced by the link I posted. Sticking your head in the sand all in the name of compassion is really short sighted of you.
    As I said, I don’t think God approves of racism either. Anyone who advocates the illegal entry into our country by their own ethnic kind even though it hurts our own citizens, is a racist in my book. You had better be wearing that asbestos suit when you leave this world.

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    April 4, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Tell you what Alex, separate your “good Illegal Aliens” (those only that came here for work) from the “bad Illegal Aliens” (those of which Frank linked to and all those in the news on a daily basis), show where the “good” ones unknowingly purchased false documents in order to obtain work, and come up with a way to rid the “bad” ones from the USA, then maybe we could agree on keeping those that can show that they have done no criminal activity, and have adhered to our laws since arriving. Those that are left, I’m sure we could agree on providing them with a visa. That is if there are any left!

  • Avatar
    Alex
    April 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Liquid, I think you finally got it!!! And we, the human race, are glad for it. That is what we are asking for, compassion for the honest ones that came here to work without proper documents, because of their lack of resources, so they can get a path to legalization. The McCain/Kennedy CIR proposal was doing that. No ammnesty. They will have the opportunity to come out of the shadows, pay a fine, pay back taxes, go to the end of the line, learn English, pass a criminal background check to purge the undesired bad apples. We do not want the criminals, they should be the first to go, but the rest deserve the chance to stay and keep contributing to make the U.S. the graeat nation it is. They already suffered enough.
    God Bless You Liquid. Please explain this to Frank, EOT, Horace and all the ones that, like them, have so much hate and animosity in their hearts.

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    April 5, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Alex, I don’t think you understood what I said. If they came here by way of visa and overstayed, then obtained a job or any possessions using false/phony/forged/fake documents, those are all crimes. If they came here across the border without authorization, used false/phony/forged/fake documents to obtain work or any possessions, those too are crimes.
    Now, what makes you think that by granting them an AMNESTY, letting them stay here and pay fines, that all would do so? How many do you think will come out of the shadows? How then do you plan on ridding the “criminals” from the USA? Why don’t you blame the US farmers for cheating the H-2A system, all these “Illegal Aliens” could have H-2A visas, why not hold the farmers responsible? Why not hold the National Hispanic Caucus responsible for denying the additional 66,000 H-2B visas that takes no more than an override?
    http://www.workingimmigrants.com/2008/03/seasonal_immigrant_workers_sev.html
    What I think is that all “Illegal Aliens” that are here, be found, issued H-2A visas, and bill the farmers for it, the “Illegal Aliens” to also pay fines and processing fees. Allow them to work here for 1 additional year from the granting of the visa, allowed to extend it for 2 more years, and then they must leave, or face repatriation if they do not apply for a change of status to another visa type and are denied. Those that are caught now, should all be repatriated expeditiously. No more exploiting the workers by the farmers/employers.
    Please explain how they are suffering or have suffered? What makes you think they are honest? They all know that once you get here you have to buy an identity in order to work.
    Frank, EOT, Horace and others don’t have hate in their hearts nor do they have or hold animosity towards the “Illegal Aliens”, you have just been to biased to listen from the beginning of the arguments. You have only your point of view and all others are wrong, or according to you, hateful. You have had no idea where any of us stand on the issues, only your assumptions of parts of conversations you have seen. Instead of calling others hateful, or any other trigger words, try using your point of view and explain it, you might find that others will respond with less animosity towards you.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    April 6, 2008 at 9:03 am

    And my solution is for them to return to their nations of origin and apply legally to come back. That is what going to the back of the line means! Is doesn’t mean you get to stay here because that isn’t going to the back of the line. The ones already in line waiting their turn are still in their homelands waiting. Get behind them!
    Those who have violated our immigration laws should not get a path to citizenship. They should only be allowed work visas based on our labor needs and only after those still waiting get a chance at a job first.
    That is the only FAIR way! They made the mistake in the first place of coming here illegally and I sick of the ethnocentrics in this country pushing for those illegally in this country who are ethnically like themselves to get to stay in the front of line ahead of those who are trying to do it the right way! It is racism thru and thru.

  • Avatar
    Alessandra
    April 6, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Alex, not to be picky, but as I recall on the CIR that failed to pass, the government would have had 24 hours to complete background checks on those applying for legalization? It just stands to reason that this was not possible and that many of the criminals would have been given legal status along with the others. Also, who was going to follow up on all of these millions of people to insure that they in fact paid their back taxes and really learned English (as opposed to just signing up for English classes). I understand that we don’t have enough English classes to serve those wishing to learn English now.
    In addition, I’m not sure that I would consider someone who used someone else’s I.D. to function within this country to be a non-criminal. If you’ve ever known anyone who was the victim of identity theft you know that this is a devastating experience and takes years of heartache and aggravation to straighten out.
    I guess I am saying that on paper what you say sounds reasonable, but I think a lot of folks doubt whether it would actually be accomplished in reality.
    And to do any of it without securing the border first would mean a repeat of 1986. That’s just common sense. Then we’d be right back in the same situation 10 – 20 years from now. If we do not secure our borders and put into place an efficient system to track visa overstayers, we will just encourage more illegal immigration with yet another amnesty.
    And what is the cost to this nation of legalization of millions upon millions of low-paid and poorly educated people? Because their incomes will need to be subsidized by the taxpayers in the form of social programs, especially when they bring their families in.
    Also, how do we handle the further influx related to family reunification. How many new schools will need to be built? Where will everyone live? Will we need to build more public housing and who will pay for all of this?
    Like I said before, there seems to be so much to consider. I just don’t think this is a simple issue of having “compassion.” We have to consider the impact on our society and our citizens. Working and middle class people are already stressed.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    April 6, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Very good post, Alessandra! I doubt that any of the ethnocentrics like Alex really give a damn though about any of the points you have made. They have tunnel vision for America’s future and their compassion is only for the illegals and not U.S. citizens.
    Also there is that little underlying agenda of filling up this country with those like themselves.
    The one they don’t want to talk about or admit to. Compassion my a@@!

  • Avatar
    Alex
    April 6, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    The McCain/Kennedy CIR was a proposal that, unfortunately, did not pass. We know that. As a proposal, it had debatable points that could be amended or improved, like the background check. But it was, and would be, a better solution to the immigration problem we face. We all want secure borders, but dealing in a human and compassionate way with the millons of undocumented human beings already here has to be solved at the same time, if not before, we start securing our borders. After the 1986 Amnesty, we did not get serious about securing our borders and making sure that employers would not hire persons with proper working permits. Where were xenophobes like Liquid, Horace, Frank, EOT back then? We just, simply, did not mind them doing the ugly, nasty, dangerous jobs that helped us go through our normal life. Thy are part of our economic system, our society. Many have made their homes, their children say the pledge of alliance every day at school. The right thing to do will be to let them continue pursuing the happiness that we are all entitled to without the fear of being persecuted, harrased and even attacked by racist groups using the “Rule Of law” justification to do so just because they lacked the economic resources to come here “the right way”. Using false names, numbers to be able to work might be a crime under imperfect human laws, but they are not even sins under God’s mandates. I, as many others, prefer my taxes to educate, feed and heal human beings, papers or no papers, rather than them being used for genocides and the killings of millions of people in illegal wars that do not make us safe at all and sink the standing and reputation of the U.S. around the world.

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    Frank
    April 7, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    No, the right thing for them to do would be to return to their homelands and apply to come here legally and only granted it after the ones already waiting in line in their home countries have been given a chance and it should still be based on our labor needs after Americans are offered their jobs at a fair wage.
    We don’t need such a large economy that our population is bulging at the seams from illegal immigration and their numerous offspring. Again, you have tunnel vision for this country. There are many things to consider with population growth and that is the things it takes to sustain it like, water, food, energy, clean air, open space, additional roads, schools, hospitals.
    We need to get back to immigrant quotas whereby we dont’ have too many from just one ethnic group not only to be fair to all but it also assists in assimilation into our society.

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