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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 09:58 AM
Original message
Defying Cops and Klan, Immigrants Trek 1,500 Miles to Washington
Source: ABC News

Undocumented Students Cross Five States in Support of Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2010

When Gaby Pacheco, an undocumented immigrant, came face to face with members of the Ku Klux Klan in February, she didn't even flinch.

Flanked by three fellow undocumented South Florida college students, Pacheco gritted her teeth and kept putting one foot in front of the other.

Some of the Klansmen yelled epithets as the students walked a stretch of road outside Nahunta, Ga., calling them "Mexican dogs" and "homeless prostitutes," and threatening to "eradicate" Latinos from the U.S., she said.

But Pacheco and her friends, who embarked Jan. 1 on a 1,500-mile journey on foot from Miami, Fla., to Washington, D.C., said slander would not distract them from their goal: immigration reform that might bring them U.S. citizenship.

The students' so-called "Trail of Dreams," which took them through five politically conservative states, ended in the nation's capital earlier this week -- just in time for them to add their voices to the festering national debate over immigration. The four are expected to take part in a May Day immigration protest in Washington tomorrow.



Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/illegal-immigrants-seek-...
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. Takes a lot of courage. Did the Tea Baggers walk that far to get to DC a few weeks ago?
Something tells me the buses were parked a couple of blocks away.

"The students' so-called "Trail of Dreams," which took them through five politically conservative states, ended in the nation's capital earlier this week -- just in time for them to add their voices to the festering national debate over immigration. The four are expected to take part in a May Day immigration protest in Washington tomorrow. "

I can only imagine (since I cannot listen to them) what Rush and the other RW talking heads will have to say about the May Day protests and the cause of immigration reform. My guess is it will include requests for ICE to drop a new on all the demonstrations and deport everyone caught there.

Unfortunately for Rush, "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman Brandon Alvarez-Montgomery told ABC News the agency is aware of the students and "respects the rights of individuals to advocate for reform of our nation's immigration laws." (ICE Director John) Morton described individuals like Matos, Roa and Pacheo -- who were brought to the U.S. illegally as minors and have grown up here -- as "very tough cases, very hard cases" that involve sensitive and compelling circumstances to be addressed by ICE on a "case by case basis come up with something that's a little more across-the-board thoughtful."

"We want to put a face to the numbers" of illegal immigrants, Pacheco said. "These students are Americans," said Mario Diaz-Balart. "They don't know any other place. We have to deal with that reality... They never made any decision to break the law, and to punish them for a decision that an adult may have made is against everything that we stand for as a country."

"In the most recent ABC News poll on immigration, 61 percent of respondents said they would support a program giving illegal immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements. Thirty-five percent said they oppose such a plan." (I think if you substitute "amnesty" for "the right to live here legally" the results are quite different. The beauty of how you word poll questions.)

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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
2. Why this exaggerated immigration enforcement zeal will soon pass:
Because every time that the immigration authorities detain a person who is without documents, they have to ascertain the status of the person. It takes a lot of personnel and, in many cases, court personnel, to do the job.

Strangely, the same people who want to see every child with a non-European last name deported, don't want to pay the taxes to hire the public servants - police officers, jail guards, judges, court clerks, etc. to pay to separate citizens from non-citizens and non-legal-residents. Determining who is here legally and who is not takes work, time and money. It isn't just a matter of showing your documents. Some people were born at home in the U.S. and don't have papers. Some people have the right to citizenship or ;egal residency but don't have papers. Each person deserves the opportunity to get legal advice and appear before a judge when appropriate.

This is a passing fad. Sorting this out will just cost too much money. And don't think that people can just apply for papers. Very often, it isn't that easy.
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
3. consider that in mexico merely being in the country illegally
would subject them to a potential 2 yr prison sentence

and even if present LEGALLY, they would be prohibited from ANY sort of political protest, candidate support, issue support, etc. under mexican law.

THAT is ironic

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Flaneur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. So?
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. it;'s called compare and contrast
to give perspective

hth
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Demstud Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. It's irrelevant
It's not relevant to our situation in the slightest.
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. oh noes. i wasn't 100% on topic
on DU

wow. that's unusual :l

imo, it's an interesting tangent, and offers PERSPECTIVE

PERSPECTIVE... it's what's for dinner
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Like the Statue of Liberty says:
" Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
' With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!""

With time the last sentence that used to be visible on the inscription has been eroded away: "Unless your home government is stupid and hypocritical in which case just go home."

I bet Ellis Island could have turned away a lot of potential Americans (not my ancestors, I hope) if they had followed the "stupid and hypocritical home government" exception to welcoming immigrants.

These kids should pay for the Mexican government's stupidty and hypocrisy?
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. No, their parents' stupidity and hypocrisy.
Edited on Fri Apr-30-10 01:14 PM by superconnected
So, by your logic, am I to assume that you find it okay to enter any country in the world and settle there illegally? And you also find it fine to bring your kids, and that you demand your kids even though not born there and having entered illegally to be considered citizens? What other illegal behavior do you think is fine to do to foreign countries?

The statue of liberty is a gift from France. It is an ideal, not our stated law. It stands accepting people who come in and request citizenship legally. No wait, it WELCOMES THEM, as they request to coming here legally.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I was commenting on a post that use the Mexican government's studpidity and hypocrisy
as somehow relevant to what these kids were doing. Since you didn't comment on that, I'll assume you agree that the nature of the government in an immigrant's home country is irrelevant to the discussion.

You may assume that I wish that I could settle in any country. If I were a European, I would have 30 countries to chose from in terms of where I might wish to live. (Germans can even live in France. Given European history, they must wonder why we are more afraid of Mexicans than the French are of Germans.) Unfortunately, the US has agreements with exactly zero countries allowing us to do what Europeans now take for granted. (Not too surprising since Europeans live under progressive governance to an extent that is hard for us to imagine.) As it is, I realize we are behind the progressive countries of the world so I can not move to any country I want.

You seem to live in a very black-or-white world. To me the fact that these kids are here illegally - stupid (or desperate) parents - is part of the story, not the whole. I would consider their situations as significantly different from a 25 year old guy who's lived his whole life in Mexico, sneaks across the border and gets caught. He's on one end of the spectrum. Goodbye!

A young adult brought here as a kid and who may not even remember life in Mexico, at the very least, presents more of a gray area for balancing strict law enforcement and a degree of compassion. To some extent we are punishing them for the sins of their parents. (I know that some will say, "You can't show "them" any compassion. "They" will just take advantage of your compassion in the future.) If you prefer a "Deport 'em all! Strict law enforcement with no compassion!", you and I just have different opinions. (FWIW, I don't know of any progressive organizations or politicians who are urging a "Deport 'em all" policy towards illegal immigration.)

I realize that the Statue of Liberty does not have the force of law. It is an ideal (we agree). However, it stands for what it's inscription says and how people choose to interpret its words. There is not authority that determines "the words on the Statue of Liberty really mean the following ..." To you it may stand for "accepting people who come in and request citizenship legally", but that is a matter of interpretation not fact. The phrase "From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome" is not followed by any qualifier on who is welcome. That is how others choose to interpret the inscription.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yeah, Mexico is full of illegal US Americans
:sarcasm:
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paulsby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. mexico is full of illegal hondurans, guatemalans, etc
hth

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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. Honestly, they should be deported.
Edited on Fri Apr-30-10 01:00 PM by superconnected
I don't agree with any of the slurs and hate crap going on about them. I just don't think people should come here against the laws of our country to get in, and then march across the United States to make a statement about it.

Which other country in the world would ALLOW that and not deport them? I'd like to just move to Canada and stay without filling out the request for citizenship, oh wait, that's illegal. Unless you support 20 million US citizens, illegally walking across the boarder to Canada and setting up homes there, then I don't think you have much place to speak if you're against deportation of illegals.

Arrest them.
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