Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DREAM Act needed NOW!

Eric Balderas is the latest student to make the case for immediate passage of the DREAM Act.  Fortunately, Balderas' case has been temporarily resolved so that he can remain at Harvard University to complete his education.  Still, he has absolutely no assurance that he'll be able to remain in the United States to serve and to build the nation he has called home since he was 4-years-old.

Check out the NPR report on his case:

Undocumented Harvard Student Faces Deportation

by The Associated Press
June 11, 2010

An undocumented Harvard University student is facing deportation to Mexico after being detained by immigration authorities at a Texas airport, the students said Friday.

Eric Balderas, 19, who just completed his first year at Harvard, said he was detained Monday by immigration authorities when he tried to board a plane from his hometown of San Antonio to Boston using a consulate card from Mexico and his student ID.

"I'd made it through before so I thought this time wouldn't be any different," Balderas said Friday in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "But once ICE picked me up I really didn't know what to think and I was starting to break down."

Balderas, who previously had used a Mexican passport to board planes but recently lost it, said he became despondent and thought he was being deported to Mexico immediately, only to be released the next day. He said he has a scheduled July 6 immigration hearing.

"All I can think about was my family," said Balderas, who doesn't remember living in Mexico.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, Mark Medvesky, confirmed that Balderas was released and said his hearing will likely be in Boston.

Harvard officials immediately threw support behind Balderas.

"Eric Balderas has already demonstrated the discipline and work ethic required for rigorous university work, and has, like so many of our undergraduates, expressed an interest in making a difference in the world," said Christine Heenan, Harvard's vice president of public affairs and communications.

The case also sparked a buzz on social media sites and among student immigrant activists who see the Balderas situation as the ideal test case to push the proposed DREAM act — a federal bill that would allow illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship via college enrollment or military service.

To read the entire report click here

To sign a petition in support of the DREAM Act click here

The time is NOW to act to save an entire generation of students in whose lives we been investing for years. 


Anonymous said...

I sometimes have trouble with this -- every individual story has merit and tugs at ones heartstrings, but a lot of individual stories creates a flood and undermines respect for the law.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:31:

The Dream Act is not in any sense "amnesty" for adults who broke the law. It is specifically for kids brought to this country by their parents, at a time when they had no choice in the matter. The applicant must have a clean record and go to college or serve in the military - i.e. they haven't caused problems and are on their way to "making something of themselves." Whatever your thoughts about immigration in general, the Dream Act seems to me like a no-brainer. There is no moral culpability on the part of these kids, and we have invested a lot of money in them (through at least an education). Not to mention that it seems like the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

He could try this:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:09

So are you saying send the parents back but allow the kids to stay?

Anonymous said...

Illegal immigration is an unstoppable force. Whatever it was, whatever the citizens had or thought they had, the US is changing and nothing can be done to stop it.

The question is, what will the US become? Underlying this question is the debate about what principles and values should we strive for as this new entity emerges. If we attempt to fight for a certain form - like the idealized USA of the first half of the 20th century - then the outcome can not be a stable or productive representative government. We see the initial affects of this unstable form, right now.

If we coalesce around a set of core values then the aspirations of most of the wave of immigrants will work for, not against, a new emerging stability.

In other words, the Dream can work for us IF students like Mr. Balderas are required to work for their success & can match the combined effects of talent/skill/effort to reward, and are required to pay back a fair share of their rewards to society (and no more than a fair share). Then they will value a stable society and will work to ensure it works.

This position represents a real change for me, based partly in despair and partly in a drive for a rational process. As a nation we could have gone about this change in a much better way. Many people - the lower middle class, in particular - will pay a steep price for the halted and disjointed transition that has just surfaced.

What do you do when you've worked hard, maintained a humble and restrained set of goals, made progress an inch at a time, leaned on a set of seemingly stable commitments, only to have the rug pulled from beneath you? You thought your own personal values and effort would take you through any storm - because things always work out in the USA - and then find yourself pushing the tip of a pen to a welfare application? There seems to always be someone looking out for the poor. And the wealthy? Well.

Thought shift. Value shift. Identity shift. Trust? No way. Hope? Maybe in a few generations.

Anonymous said...

undocumented thoughts about things undocumented...

undocumented vehicle registration (grand theft auto)

undocumented possession of rock cocaine (illegal possession)

undocumented transport of a minor (kidnapping)

undocumented connection to a cable outlet (cable theft)

undocumented shooting of a deer out of season (poaching)

undocumented removal of a candy bar from 7-11 (shoplifting)

undocumented sale of tickets to a major league baseball game (scalping)

undocumented payment of a traffic ticket (bribery)

undocumented weight loss program (rigging the scales)

undocumented pay raise (raiding the till)

undocumented voting (a Cleveland or Baltimore or Detroit or Chicago election)

undocumented wife (mistress)

undocumented gay brothel operator (Barney Frank)

undocumented mistress (Governor's night out)

undocumented rocket scientist in secret lab in New Mexico (Chinese spy)

undocumented electronic transfer of funds (white collar crime)

undocumented display of youth in an election campaign (botox injection)

undocumented retention of wages (income tax evasion)

undocumented carpentry in Boston (union busting)

undocumented use of a public restroom (anything you do on a streetcorner in Paris)

undocumented immigrant (Harvard student)

undocumented farm laborer (progressive slave)

undocumented slave (taxpayer)

undocumented presidential candidate (Commander in Chief)


Anonymous said...

Anon 9:28:

Yes. These kids are no longer kids by the time they apply. Under the DREAM Act, their parents could still be subject to removal.

Anon 11:11:

undocumented list of undocumented things undocumented as to their undocumentation .... Huh?! I was hoping for something that was actually clever, even if I didn't agree with it ... that was just wierd.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:23:00:

Yes, I thought it was wierd when I wrote it.

But then, its just plain wierd when the word "undocumented" is used to describe a person who has violated the law by being in the US illegally. It's meaningless. Like most of the things on my list you have to invent a context in which it will make sense.

If I robbed a bank, left the bank, & later fell to my guilty conscience, could I go back and fill out a deposit slip to document my transaction? Would that make it OK?

Of course not. Send the young man home along with all his undocumented relatives. If he/they can prove legal birth, then he can apply for a legal US birth certificate. Meanwhile, undocumented does not equal legal immigration. And there is no in-between state.

(I thought the French bathroom line was pretty good.)