Integrity Legal

2nd June 2010

This blog routinely discusses issues surrounding United States Immigration Law. However, this author must admit that we often fail to mention the human side of the Immigration and visa process. At the time of this writing the United States appears to be on the verge of making radical changes to the makeup of American Immigration law. This will likely occur through Comprehensive Immigration Reform of the US Immigration and Nationality Act and other pertinent legislation. The reasons for seeking reform vary depending upon the individual or organization. That said, the following excerpt from a news story posted on Yahoo.com poignantly elucidates the human aspect of the issues surrounding Comprehensive Immigration Reform (also known as CIR):

Seven-year-old Daisy Cuevas, thrilled to see herself on television with U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, didn’t quite understand the predicament in which she had innocently placed her undocumented Peruvian parents. “She laughed, she jumped up and down. She was excited” after the encounter at Daisy’s suburban Washington, D.C., elementary school, the girl’s maternal grandfather, Genaro Juica, told The Associated Press. The TV appearance made the pigtailed second grader a voice of the estimated 12 million immigrants living in the United States illegally — and a source of pride for Peru’s president, who visits Washington on Tuesday. “My mom says that Barack Obama is taking away everybody that doesn’t have papers,” Daisy told the U.S. first lady on May 19 at the New Hampshire Estates Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. “Well, that’s something that we have to work on, right, to make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers,” Michelle Obama replied. “But my mom doesn’t have papers,” said Daisy, a U.S. citizen by virtue of her birth. The color immediately drained from her mother’s face. She ran crying to call her parents in Lima, then went into hiding, fearful of being deported. These are tense times for people like Daisy’s mother, a maid who arrived in the United States with her carpenter husband when she was two months pregnant with Daisy. Daisy’s parents are fearful of U.S. anti-immigrant sentiment, which for many Latin Americans is epitomized by an Arizona law taking effect in July that gives police the right to demand ID papers of anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said it is not pursuing Daisy’s parents. Immigration investigations, it said in a statement, “are based on making sure the law is followed and not on a question-and-answer discussion in a classroom.” Nonetheless, Daisy’s mother asked the AP after the May 19 incident not to name her or her husband.

Many of those hoping for a “path to citizenship” for undocumented aliens in America feel that rectification of US Immigration policy can only be effected through reforming the Immigration laws. There are others who feel that the recently proposed CIR legislation does not go far enough in rectifying the inequities that currently exist under American Immigration law. A clarion call for further reform is especially noticeable from the LGBT immigration movement.

Hopefully, we will see Immigration reform soon, but in the meantime we may be able to learn something from this incident as it would appear that even children can see the “Equity Gap” that currently seems to exist in the realm of United States Immigration.


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