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Harvard 1, Miami Dade College 0? The Arbitrary Immigration Score June 23, 2010

Posted by legalethicsemporium in Immigration, Law, Ethics & Society.
Tags: , , , ,

Eric Balderas is 19-year-old undocumented immigrant who arrived in the U.S.with his mother when Eric was 4 years old.  He graduated at the top of his high school class and is studying molecular biology at Harvard on a scholarship.   However, all that he has accomplished was threatened a couple of weeks ago when he attempted to board a plane  to Boston from his home in Texas  having lost his Mexican passport.  Eric was detained by Immigration officials for five hours and released with a court date for a deportation hearing. However, after tremendous support from friends, advocacy groups and Harvard, the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decided not to pursue deportation.

Leslie Cocche, an 18-year-old, undocumented student at  Miami Dade College who is studying criminal justice , has not been so fortunate.  She was stopped and questioned at a Tri-Rail Station on her way to school in March. The Immigration official cuffed and arrested Leslie who was placed in a detention center for 11 days–subsequently her sister and parents have received deportation papers.  Leslie was brought to the U.S. from Peru when she was 10 years old and has been an honor student throughout school and performed over 400 hours of community service during high school.

So, why the discrepant treatment and what should be done about the hundreds of thousands of undocumented students that have come to this country with their parents?     The DREAM Act is a legislative proposal designed to pave a way to citizenship for students who were brought here as minors by their parents and  meet certain other requirements which include attending college or enlisting in the military.  The Act has stalled in Congress and frustrated proponents who see it as a way to solve the undocumented student dilemma, benefit the country and support motivated youth who will contribute to our country.  Opponents assert that these students should not be rewarded for the violations of the law committed by their parents and that the rule of law requires that we apply the law equally to everyone.

The issue is  further complicated by the inconsistent application of immigration law depending upon an individual’s location.  This inconsistency was recently documented in a study done at Stanford that reviewed immigration asylum cases.

So, regardless of which side of the issue that you may support, you still have to wonder why Eric was detained for 5 hours and Leslie was detained for 11 days….And why has Eric’s deportation been indefinitely deferred, while Leslie and her family are scheduled for a hearing  to determine whether they will all be deported to Peru?



1. John - June 29, 2010

IS there no common sense left in our polorized society. The solution here is simple yet apparently unattainable due to the disconnect of most people from the political process. IF the masses would pay attention (the vaunted silent majority) and demand that their Federal representatives secure our borders no matter how much it costs then perhaps we can bring some sanity to this issue. Until that happens our country will remain a magnet for those seeking a better life. If you allow an amnesty program without a secure border they will continue to come in even higher numbers.

Here’s some common sense: Get the horse before the cart. Control the flow of illegals entering. Issue a National ID card to all who are here legally based on their DNA signature. Allow those here illegally to come forward to be identified with the assurance that they can earn the right to be a Citizen through military or community service. Attending college is an opportunity to serve oneself and in no way constitutes service to this country. Those that choose to not be identified because they don’t want to serve should be deported. Parents and children alike.

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