Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Graduation/Immigration: Monica, Up Close

Okay, I'll admit it.

My take on the current immigration debate continues to be shaped in large part by my experiences and relationships with some incredible friends who live here without proper documentation.

In my view, we need immigration reform so that my friends can "get legal" and remain in the U. S. The debate going on today in the U. S. Senate ought to be shaped in large part by the stories and the lives of the people who will be affected by any new legislation.

I've told Monica's story here in some detail in the past (just search "Monica" to refresh your memory or understand more).

Monica has been living in Dallas since she was 5-years-old.
This year she graduated from Skyline High School! She is a good student and a great person--exactly the sort of person we need in our community.

The picture of her graduation ceremony with her class is a testimony to her hard work and to the quality of life she enjoys in her home. Her parents are hard working people whose home is so full of love that no one escapes it without health, hope and prospects for a bright, bright future.

Unfortunately, due to recent events, Monica may be deported to Mexico later this year. She has an immigration hearing set for August 1.

Last week I accompanied her, her sister and her cousin to the Dallas office of member of the U. S. House of Representatives, Eddie Bernice Johnson. Our purpose was to determine what, if anything, the Congress woman could do to help Monica.

As Monica answered all of the questions that were asked of her, I felt tears welling up in my eyes. So honest. So straightforward. So authentic. So exactly what this nation needs.

Representative Johnson will write a letter of support. That's about all she can do.

One of her assistants advised us to pray that the judge would exercise discretion and mercy in the case.

The immigration debate is personal for me. I know Monica and her family.

As a result, I know what needs to be done. A comprehensive immigration reform bill needs to be passed so that Monica and people like her and her family can remain in the U. S. and continue to help it be a better place in which to live.

Just ask Dr. Janet Morrison, Director of Children's Education here at CDM, pictured here with Monica. She'll tell you the same thing.
Pray for the judge.

Pray for Monica, her cousin, Jose and their great families.


J-Wild said...

Hi Larry, long-time reader and first time commenter. Just so you know this blog teaches and challenges me in so many ways. Thank you for the time you put into it, it makes a big difference to me.

The situation you described with Monica is being played out over and over again in this country. So much so that the show "This American Life" on NPR did a segment on it called "Just One Thing Missing." Reporter Douglas McGray interviews a college student in California with good grades, an excellent work ethic, but no possible way to get a legal job. She's lived in the U.S. since she was little, but her parents are undocumented; and she is, too. Most of her friends and teachers don't even know.

The story is heartbreaking and shows how the American Dream is often failing those who work the hardest to achieve it. I will pray for the judge and Monica that compassion and mercy will rule the day.

Here is the link to the program I talked about above.

chris said...

Back to that Socialist Forum last night. Hillary was talking about uninsured people, dependence on foreign oil, global warming etc. Then her last words were "...and that means that something has to be taken away from some people."

You can bet that doesn't mean HER. She has made similiar comments many times.

I don't think Monica and her family has anything to worry about. I'm sure the amnesty bill will pass. I just wish they would secure the borders before they decide what to do with the 12-20 million illegals. As soon as the President signs the bill all will be legal with no fine, no going back to their country, etc. The fine only applies to those who seek citizenship. Not many actually would do that. Many people don't realize this, that there is a difference in being legal and seeking citizenship.

Arlene Kasselman said...

Please keep us posted on Monica's story. I have written letters to everyone I can think of from the Governor's office down.

SeriousSummer said...

I, unlike Larry, do not have the patience of Jesus Christ.

I am extremely tired of chris's racist posting, use of distorted statistics, and over all mouthing of the worst of the bogus attacks of the right wing parrots that believe anybody other than a white, protestant, anglo saxon, business person is not worthy of living, let alone living a decent life.

Let's look at a post from a few days ago: chris claimed (according to the right wing progandist organization the Heritage Foundation) that each immigrant household cost $19,588 per year more than it paid in taxes and that that would cost almost $1.2 million over a 60-year period.

Let's talk about how that is a lie with statistics:

1. It counts households rather than persons. The two largest government programs that the undocumented households can access are a) emergency medical care; and b) schooling for their children. Education expenses are by far the larger of these two.

Those children being born and educaated are overwhelmingly U.S. citizens--attributing the cost of their birth and schooling to their undocumented parents is nothing more than a complete, unmitigated attempt to distort the statistics.

It is a lie. And those that put it forward will pay, in this life or the next, the penalty for putting forth pernicious lies.

Second, the sixty-year period over which this expense is attributed, is another distortion. Most of the cost is for school through high school. No one I know has children in school for 60 years. To do that, if your first child was born when you were 16, then your last child would have to graduate when you were 81--presumably born when you were 63.

These distortions are so extreme that I cannot imagine, other than suffering from a mental illness, that any thinking person could put them forth unless--

please note--unless--they are looking, desparately, for some rationale to support their pre-existing racism.

These assertions should not be treated with respect, but rather with the contempt any good person should feel for those that seek to support their racism with spurious rationales.

I, for one, have had enough. I think such racist comments should be banned from this site.

I can no longer stand by and see racism tolerated.

John P. Greenan

chris said...

Well, no, the leading cause of fiscal deficit is not schooling or trips to the ER. The leading cause is low education resulting in low income and low taxes paid.

I would suggest you google Robert Rector on immigration. He is a leading and respected authority in Washington on poverty and the U.S. welfare system.

Not many people are aware just how this amnesty bill would affect this country, nor do the powers in Washington want you to know. That's why they want to get it through before the people find out.

Let's not get hostile now.

Anonymous said...

Chris, you exemplify hostility. It must be a full-time job researching your rationale for hatred.

It’s not ‘illegal immigrants’ who test the limits of Christian love. It’s bigots like you.

Larry James said...

Thanks for the posts, especially you, John. Of course, I agree with your point of view, as you know.

I certainly don't have the patience of Jesus Christ! My approach here is to post those things that I want to discuss. And, I have chosen not to allow someone like "Chris" to determine how I spend my limited time. The fact is, in almost every case, no one will ever be able to answer or quiet someone like Chris.

I try to treat everyone with respect, even the most foolish and narrow in their perspective. And, as I said, I don't have time to answer again and again some of the posts that are here. Plus, I am not sure how one "bans" someone from such a site as this.

Since beginning this site almost two years ago, I have discovered that readers like you help "set the record straight" again and again, which is also part of the power and beauty of this virtual community. Again, with limited time and some unanswerable readers, it has been, at least for me, the best approach.

Again, I appreciate you point of view. I agree with it. I love your commitment and your passion and I share it.

not made for tv said...

John, I think that we all have a point of view and then seek out data/"experts" to justify it. As much as I would like to think that we all seek out opinions that are counter to ours, the reality is that we all think we're the smartest person in the world and just want to find proof for it.

I think that you are right in your assessment of Chris's intent, but you must also acknowledge your own bias: towards unflinching acceptance, in contrast with unwavering rejection.

Of the two extremes, I think I'd prefer to err on your side... to err for love of neighbor rather than love of self.

Anonymous said...

13 years in the US and there was no opportunity to immigrate legally? Why that's just criminal.