U.S. Plans to Deport Civil Engineering Student

Brought to the United States when he was only two years, Mariano Cardoso faces deportation after living in Connecticut for over twenty years. He aspires to be a civil engineer, but those dreams were put on hold when ICE burst into his home without a warrant in August 2008, and arrested and placed him in a detention facility.

Mariano is a hard-working student at Capital Community College who has worked to fund his college education without the benefit of government loans. His Physics teacher, Leonel Carmona, has attested that that Mariano excelled academically. “His plan is to graduate from Capital Community College this May, and then pursue an engineering degree at Central Connecticut University. When graduating with this degree, Mariano will indubitably become a productive citizen of his community and this country,” says Mr. Carmona.

There’s currently a shortage of civil engineers in the United States. To fill this shortage, the United States allocates thousands of H1-B non-immigrant visas to professionals from mostly India and China. Instead of capitalizing on the skills that Mariano possesses and allowing him a pathway to citizenship so he could help fill the shortage, this country would rather spend several thousands in deporting him back to Mexico and find someone in India or China to replace his talent. That’s really sound public policy and economics.

Students from Trinity College have organized protests on behalf of Mariano and his family. On February 14, some 20 students who are part of the “Stop the Raids” group at Trinity College protested outside of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Hartford to keep Mariano at home.

Laws are followed selectively at the discretion of public officials. The Obama Administration announced yesterday that it would not oppose a challenge to Section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a court of law. Similarly, in the absence of Congressional action on immigration reform, the Administration can order the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to exercise discretion when it comes to deporting certain long-time residents who are not culpable for residing in the United States without proper documents.

Brought to the United States when he was only 2 years old, Mariano is hardly culpable for growing up American. Mariano and his supporters are asking DHS to exercise discretion. He can also be kept in the country through the introduction of a private immigration bill by one of his Senators.

Ask Connecticut Senator Lieberman to introduce a private bill for Mariano to keep him in the United States till he has finished his education.

Photo Credit: Mariano

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