Last week I had a meeting with Jose. [Use the "search" tool to read more about his case and that of his cousin, Monica.]
Jose came to the United States when he was a very young child. No one in the family had the documents needed to be in the country legally. Like almost all immigrants to the U. S., Jose's family came to find and to make a better life.
Today, Jose faces deportation. Recently, Jose married his sweetheart, an American citizen. He is in the process of working through the system so that he can stay in this country. He will be required to leave and go back "home" to Mexico, even though he won't know anyone when he arrives. He is nervously trying to line out his plan with high hopes of returning to his wife as soon as possible.
Like in the case of lots of controversial issues, once you know someone personally who faces a very difficult situation like Jose's you just look at things differently. Jose is a fine young man. He comes from a very fine family of extremely hardworking people. He has never been in trouble with the law. He has been a good young man. He is exactly the sort of person we need to stay in the country.
I'm wondering why our leaders can't step up and deal with immigration reform so that we create a new way for our neighbors to the south to come and go to the benefit of all concerned.
Because of my friendship with Jose and his family, the following story about a federal court's ruling on the very harsh immigration laws now in force in Alabama caught my eye.
We've got to find a way to do better and to do the right thing by our fellow human beings. After all, we are a nation of immigrants.
Court Rules Alabama Can Detain Illegal Immigrants
by The Associated Press
October 14, 2011
A federal appeals court issued a ruling Friday that temporarily blocked parts of an Alabama law requiring schools to check the immigration status of students but let stand a provision that allows police to detain immigrants that are suspected of being in the country illegally.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the order after the Justice Department challenged what is considered the toughest immigration law in the nation. The opinion also blocked a part of the law that makes it a crime for immigrants to not have proper documentation.
A final decision on the law won't be made for months to allow time for more arguments.
Since a federal judge upheld much of the law in late September, many frightened Hispanics have been driven away from Alabama, fearing they could be arrested or targeted by police. Construction workers, landscapers and field hands have stopped showing up for work, and large numbers of Hispanic students have been absent from public schools.
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