Just watch.

Now go here.
Via Andrew Golis.

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16 Comments

  1. Destra
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Man, it sucks that his parents put him in that position. It’s terrible when parents’ illegal activities impact their children’s lives.

  2. femmex82
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Thank you Feministing! Not too many people know about stories like this one (which there are millions). I also came here at the age of 6, I am now in my 20′s, managed to actually get a bachelor’s degree only to find myself unemployed, a housewife and pretty much giving up on all my dreams of having a career and a master’s. There are times when I feel like I am the only one…thank you for this. **Also, blaming the parents clearly shows a lack of understanding of the imm experience. It’s the gov. that knew millions of people were coming over in the 90s, did nothing to stop it (business profited) only to now blame everything on hard-working imm’s and deny us any chance of legalization that should carry part of the balme.

  3. SoM
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    On the most basic level, it does not make sense for a nation to educate undocumented children, only to kick them out of the country once they become adults. Why not give them the opportunity to become citizens and allow them to contribute back to the system from which they benefited?

  4. Alice
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 10:49 am | Permalink
  5. MLEmac
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I don’t think immigrants should have to seel their bodies to uncle sam for citizenship. I definitely believe that any immigrant who joins the army should automatically become legal and on his way to citizenship, but there needs to be another method for people who don’t want to join the army.

  6. ReedRudy
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Two things:
    Thank you for mentioning this topic. I have a dear friend from high school who was rescued from her abusive parents by her aunt and uncle from El Salvador when she was a toddler to the US. She has been raised here by her aunt and uncle who were never her “legal parents” because her real parents had refused to sign the necessary forms. She got into Berkeley with a full ride. They found out she was an illegal immigrant and wouldnt admit her. Now now schools will admit her unless she pays an internation fee (which she can’t afford). No place will hire her. Just as Berkeley denied her, she got leukemia. She has no health insurance and her aunt and uncle are going to make her leave soon. She has no hope or chances despite the fact that she worked to her best ability to become a successful American. The American dream has failed her and her life is in shambles.

  7. ReedRudy
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Oh and the other thing I forgot to mention is that I’m really sad that this page keeps popping up Miller Lite ad. Miller is known to have some of the most misogynist add campaigns known to woman, comparing a female body shape to that of a beer bottle.

  8. Posted April 1, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I heard this story on NPR not long ago – really heartbreaking, but worth listening to.

  9. Arbuthnot
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I registered to post a comment here. I am seventeen and a Canadian, so I can sympathize with this young man on some levels but others are alien to me.
    I think it speaks volumes how he begins in a very articulate fashion, but when he tries to break down the reasoning for his plight he just… can’t explain the logic. Because there is none.
    Heartbreaking.

  10. Posted April 1, 2008 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Actually, there is reason for his plight. All countries have laws regarding immigration processing and border control. There are legal ways to enter the US and become a citizen or a refugee or asylee. To those who pursue the long, legal road of gaining recognized status, those who skip it are the ones slowing down the process for everyone.
    I work with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who fled their countries because of politically-motivated torture or persecution. They are often mistreated throughout their whole journey, including when they arrive in the US, where they are sometimes detained as if criminals. It’s utterly tragic and needs to be fixed.
    However, to think a looser immigration policy will remedy that is not only naive, it is injurious to the origin countries of folks who simply “want a better life” and are not fleeing a well-and-founded fear. The reason being, if every ambitious, educated, democracy-seeking Columbian comes to the US, that weakens Columbia and makes it more prone to corruption. Our government can help those people on a much broader scale and with lasting impact if it instead a) stops exploiting the countries that produce the most displaced peoples b) pressures governmental reform diplomatically and c) invests in campaigns for global health, education and human rights — and sets a real example.
    I know it sounds coldhearted or simplistic along the lines of “teach a man to fish,” but in reality behind every sad story like Juan’s there are systems of negligence and victimization that perpetuate themselves when we choose to deal with the individual crises alone. And allowing countries to hemorrhage their brightest, bravest citizens will not fix that.
    It’s important also to remember that the US has absorbed wave after wave of immigrants, but we tend to airbrush out the historic details of the process, which sometimes involved people returning to their home countries if they could not or preferred not to assimilate. It can’t be compared really to the current culture of social programs and assistance.
    That said, in this case, there definitely needs to be a system in place for people like Juan to be informed of his rights and his options so he can get citizenship if he qualifies. The system might always be complicated out of necessity, but it should strike such panic in the hearts of people.

  11. CrispyClaire
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Everyone in the USA is a ‘foreigner’, apart from the native americans. Why lose good and dedicated citizens like these people? It’s ridiculous.

  12. Marissa
    Posted April 1, 2008 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Very similar story on This American Life (not this past weekend, the weekend before). It’s much more detailed and moving; I recommend it highly.

  13. Posted April 1, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    There is legislation called the DREAM Act that, if passed, would give some form of legal status to young people who were brought to the U.S. years ago as undocumented immigrant children who have since grown up here, stayed in school, and kept out of trouble and wish to attend college or join the U.S. Armed Forces. I wrote about it last week on my own blog, but Wikipedia gives a good summary there is more information here.

  14. Posted April 1, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    If the above link doesn’t work for you (it isn’t for me), here is the URL to learn more about the DREAM Act: http://www.nilc.org/immlawpolicy/DREAM/index.htm

  15. galatea_chained
    Posted April 3, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I really wanted to sign this, but I get a File Not Found Error when I try to look at the privacy policy.

  16. Posted April 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I obviously meant to write that the system SHOULDN’T strike fear into the hearts of people!

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