21 July 2008 ~ 0 Comments

A Hypothetical 'Undocumented' Situation – What would You Do?

I believe that it is paramount to see and understand an issue from another person’s perspective before casting judgments about them. Unfortunately, the most extreme anti-immigrant activists and nativists simply treat “illegal immigrants” as a homogenous case with no, and I mean no, lee-way, variations or extenuating circurmstances. It is simply “tough luck” from their point of view. I wonder how much of it would be “tough luck” if one of them got ripped from their home, family and friends, and got accidentally deported.

You are a U.S. citizen, fall in love and marry an undocumented immigrant. There is no way of legalizing his status without returning to his country and a separation of up to ten years. You are both forced to move to Mexico instead of undergoing separation. Tough luck?

Your naturalization is derailed and you are detained by the ICE since you forgot to update your home address, making them charge you for a felony! You lose your legal permanent residency and are set for deportation. Tough luck?

You are twice denied citizenship and set for deportation since you failed to show up for fingerprints. Why? You are a quadriplegic on a ventilator. Tough luck?

You are six years old and an American citizen. Your father is apprehended and detained by the ICE in your presence and you do no get to hear from him for months. Tough luck?

You come here legally at the age of 14 with your parents. They filed for permanent residency and as a direct result of this, your non-immigrant visa gets rejected at 17 since your parents filed for an immigrant visa. Lawyers and school officials tell your parents that you will be covered under their permanent residency petition before you are 21 so in the meantime, just attend college without any worries. You have no reason to question your family and experts but one day you find yourself to be 23, too old to benefit from the permanent residency petition, fully assimilated into American society with post-graduate degrees, no felonies or misdemeanors–not even a speeding ticket–and the only “illegal immigrant” in four generations of legal immigrants and citizens. Do you pack your bags and self-deport thousands of miles away from your entire family and home to never see them for ten years? America does not need educated immigrants, especially those that are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents? Tough luck, Go back where you came from?!

I highly doubt it. The inability to make compromises only prolongs the broken immigration system in this country that forces even perfectly legal residents at one time to live in the shadows of society.

Time and again, DREAM Act students have been willing to compromise for legal residency, only to be denied their dreams due to immigration rigidity and the “tough luck” approach. It is certainly not solving the problem of 1.8 million undocumented American students of various ages with a multitude of skills and talents that cannot became productive members of society and give back to the only country they know as home. The problem won’t magically disappear by ignoring it and pretending that it does not exist. We are here, this is our home and we are not about to leave our families to go anywhere else. We are willing to compromise and EARN legal residency and one day we will achieve these DREAMs. Tough luck.

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