Monday, March 03, 2008

Jose: Deported

Last week my young friend, Jose appeared once again in federal immigration court here in Dallas. We pled his case with the federal prosecutor, begging him to exercise his administrative discretion and delay deporting our young friend until he completed college.

We informed him that Central Dallas Ministries committed to stand with him, pay for his higher education and support him in every other way as he completed college. All we wanted was a delay until he completed his education.

The prosecutor's office had indicated in earlier conversations that such an arrangement might be possible, even desirable.

In court those hopes were dashed.

The government's attorney argued that if he did it for Jose, he would be compelled to do it for every other young person like Jose. What he failed to acknowledge was our commitment as an organization to stand with the student over the four-year period in question.

Jose was brought to the United States as a child by his undocumented parents. Now he must return to a nation he knows nothing about. Sending Jose to Mexico would be about like my sending my daughters to Scotland when they turned 18.

Jose received a judgment of "voluntary deportation" in 120 days--four months.

The only alternative we and Jose have is to lobby the U. S. Congress for an individual bill declaring that he can stay in the country, a very unlikely prospect given the current climate regarding immigration.

It is a very sad development. I honestly don't know what we as a people are thinking. When will we wake up?

[Jose is pictured above standing at the left of a Washington Bureau reporter for The Dallas Morning News in the halls of a U. S. Senate Office Building where he had gone to lobby Senators on behalf of the D.R.E.A.M. Act that would have provided relief to young people such as himself. To learn more about the background to this case, enter "Monica" in the search box above.]



Anonymous said...

How terrible that his parents put him in this position. When the time comes, if he is unable to stay, hopefully one or both of his parents will return to Mexico with him, to help him.

Becky said...

Once he returns to Mexico, what are his options for reentering the US? Are there "legal" ways in place or him to come back for a college education?

Larry James said...

Anon, not as simple as your comment implies. I expect had you been in the shoes of Jose's parents, you might have done exactly what they did for the sake of your children.

Becky, there is no provision for this short of a decade-long wait. These children need special relief. What everyone overlooks is the fact that these youth know nothing about Mexico and have no significant contacts in that country.

belinda said...

This is absolutely heartbreaking!

It's doubtful that his parents had a clue this kind of thing would happen down the road . . . after all, this is America! There should definitely be some type of provision (Dream Act?) for this kind of situation.

What makes this even more frustrating to me is the idea that the majority of Americans seem to be only concerned with the Hispanic population coming from Mexico. What about the "Batistians" coming from Cuba - the idea of getting one foot on land?

Yours and Janet's blogs, as well as our own interactions with our friends at our local Mexican restaurant has been a real awakening. There HAS to be a way!

Anonymous said...

There are millions of illegals in this country. Why are they picking on Jose? What about his parents? Could he just "get lost in the crowd?"

Not that I'm for breaking the law but the powers that be don't seem to be in a hurry to deport the millions here.

DreamActivist said...

ouch... this is the predicament that all the DREAMers find themselves in... and some of us are fighting in court... i have a friend originally from Nigeria, came here when she was 4, who has a hearing in April... and we are trying to organize resources to lobby for her...this entire thing is ridiculous... please keep us updated on Jose...

Anonymous said...

In slightly different contexts many who post here complain about tax dollars being spent to educate undocumented immigrant children. Where are all those people now, complaining about the waste of taxpayer dollars in sending a kid we've paid 10's of thousands to educate "back" to Mexico?

Anonymous said...

I have never understood the taxes argument.

We do pay taxes - astronomical amounts for business, income and property especially, forget sales, and I know no one in my family has ever utilized any government health care or welfare plan...

Why else is Social Security still functioning?
We pour more billions into it each year and don't get to benefit from it either.

Sending DREAMers to a FOREIGN country and not utilizing your investment is indeed extremely idiotic and ludicrous.

-DREAMer with MA Degree sitting at home sipping Diet Pepsi.

Karen said...

I am very sorry to hear this tragic news about Jose.

I'm so fed up with comments on this blog such as anon 8:06 a.m. The callousness and snideness are truly mind-boggling.

Nancy Pelosi (ah, I can hear the anti-immigration readers sharpening their nails right now) was eloquent about all of this on Charlie Rose the other night.

As has been pointed out, since it's always only Mexicans that are attacked here and elsewhere regarding immigration, I go back to the 'r' word: racism.

Sayuri Jane said...

The Dream Act needs to be passed because it is unfair to punish us for being brought here as children.
we love this country so much!!

Larry James said...

Sayuri Jane, thanks for taking the time to post here. We will continue to work toward passage of a DREAM Act.

Steven Baird said...

What are the options for going to Mexico and coming back on a student visa that you guys sponsor?

Anonymous said...

I am not against immigration as long as it is legal. It is unfortunate that he must suffer the consequences for something his parents did but it is the law. If we turn our heads to the law in will only continue to encourage more illegal immigration. As far as it being racial it does not matter, illegal is illegal. What does place more emphasis on the Mexican nationality to me is the fact of having to listen to Spanish messages first before I hear my native language. School messages, PTA meetings, customer service etc. We have gone more than the extra mile to accommodate and people are tiring of it. Maybe this is unique to our part of the country?

Sayuri Jane said...

Anon 10:05
I've heard it so many times the "I'm not against immigration as long as it's legal" line and I've come to understand that it's quite like the "I'm not racist, I have black/white/Latino friends" line.
Understand that there are laws that are unfair and there are no laws that can discourage a man, that can stand between a man and his hunger to feed his family, to give them a better life.
ps: why hide your ID?

Karen said...

Sayuri Jane's comment is very eloquent.

And I agree on the 'anon' bit, why do the most unclaimable things said on this blog come from people who refuse to claim them? How about a name, anon 10:05? Just make one up.

As to:

'If we turn our heads to the law in will only continue to encourage more illegal immigration.'

Have you ever driven 1 mile over the speed limit? Then you've broken the law. And I'll bet you've done it more than once.

'What does place more emphasis on the Mexican nationality to me is the fact of having to listen to Spanish messages first before I hear my native language.'

This is really just silly. How does it hurt you?

'As far as it being racial it does not matter, illegal is illegal.'

Really, it's being racial does not matter? I beg to differ, and I think the law is on my side on this one.

Anonymous said...

WHAT do you die-hards not understand about the word ILLEGAL?? They have come in illegally by the millions! Sure, some may be working,but not around here! They are committing crime. Look at the statistics - a large part of our prisons/jails are full of Mexicans. They are not "Hispanics", or "Latinos", or whatever they wish to call themselves. They are Mexicans from MEXICO! Just like Cubans are from Cuba. SEND THEM ALL HOME!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:08, would you admit that some laws are unjust and should be challenged, at times by civil disobedience or by simply ignoring them? Jim Crow laws of another generation would likely still be in place if people had not refused to accept them.

Your characterization of Mexican immigrants is simply offensive and it is completely inaccurate.

Finally, what if your ancestors had simply been "sent back"? Unless you are Native American, I think you'd best just be quiet. The nation is not short on racists, so you are no longer needed.

Anonymous said...

OK, the point on the messages in Spanish was to point out that may be one reason more emphasis seems to be on illegal Mexicans. It is thrown at us every day so it is hard not to be aware of the situation. In no way was it meant to be racist. If you will notice I ended with a question.
As for the laws of our country, I agree that many are or seem to be unfair but we still have to abide by them or pay the consequences. If we as U.S. citizens break the law and are caught we are fined, prosecuted or both. This applies to everyone in this country including illegal immigrants.

"Understand that there are laws that are unfair and there are no laws that can discourage a man, that can stand between a man and his hunger to feed his family, to give them a better life."

I agree with what you are saying on this but it still does not eliminate the risks you take when you break the law.

Larry James said...

Anon 10:01 pm, I can tell you no group understands the consequences of violating the law any more keenly than those who are here without proper documents--a civil, not a criminal matter--a fact we often forget.