Below are a few comments to the article of politics and DREAMERS. There were many more posts but they were negative and borderline insulting. This may not be the best way to handle the information from the other side. However, I am sure that the anti-immigrationists are over represented in the blog world , so for this time I'll keep them out of the conversation.
As a long-time international student advisor, I had to swallow my anger at hearing about refusals to treat all students equally and the outcry against undocumented students.
After calming down, I would want to suggest on a practical level that schools should not be ICE cops. Our jobs are to educate, not adjudicate. Having worked with INS law just for interntional students for almost 20 years, I know the rules are complex, often depending upon context and a variety of ifs, ands and buts. Moreover, schools do not have the authority to declare someone undocumented or out of status. That decision IS made by ICE or immigration judges.
Finally, I worry that we talk about illegal people...people cannot be illegal, only acts can be illegal. I worry that the anger and xenophobia expressed can become here what it became elsewhere in the 1930’s.
Theron, at 8:45 am EST on December 5, 2007
I want to support Theron’s comment regarding the inappropriateness of academic institutions attempting to enforce immigration regulations, as this task is clearly reserved for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The rules are indeed complex, and determining whether someone may or may not have valid immigration status can in certain cases be most difficult, even for those of us who have worked with the immigration regulations as long as Theron and I have. And, in any case, that determination can only legitimately be made by the immigration authorities.
This is the reason many of us who are familiar with immigration regulations oppose local laws requiring police, landlords, and emergency service providers to determine whether those needing assistance or service are in the US legally. Similarly, academic institutions should also stay out of the immigration enforcement business.
Immigration enforcement may appear a great hot-button issue that seems to some to allow a “bright line” distinction: one clearly either is, or is not, here legally. Unfortunately, the actual situation is much more complex than it appears at first glance. Sadly, complexity and critical thinking are not often brought to bear in addressing immigration issues these days.
debsailor, at 9:40 am EST on December 5, 2007
Although the United States (U.S.) Supreme Court’s ruling in Plyler v. Doe (1982) supported access to education for undocumented immigrants through high school. Currently, federal laws do not prohibit these students from enrolling in public colleges and universities; however, undocumented students are expected to pay out-of-state tuition fees regardless of their in-state residency.
The impact of equipping a population already contributing to the state will increase the economic significance of immigrants. The perception of undocumented immigrants as a drain on the economy and abusers of resources has proven to be untrue. According to Lippman (2006) Undocumented immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy through their investments and consumption of goods and services; filling of millions of essential worker positions resulting in subsidiary job creation, increased productivity and lower costs of goods and services; and unrequited contributions to Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance programs. Eighty-five percent of eminent economists surveyed have concluded that undocumented immigrants have had a positive (seventy-four percent) or neutral (eleven percent) impact on the U.S. economy (p. 1).”
As this debate continues to rage on what is lost is the contribution of immigrants to this country. The events of September 11th launched this country into an anti-immigrant frenzy that has not dissipated criminalizing undocumented children, who’s population is estimated at 1.8 million. As we seek to fill gaps and admit foreign scientist and engineers we should consider investing in a population that is already here seeking to contribute to American society.
Wil Del Pilar, Ph.D. student at Penn State University, at 10:10 am EST on December 5, 2007
Community college- undocumented
The U.S. Constitution protects the rights of everybody in the country, regardless of their legal status. That includes the right to an education.
Lorena, at 11:30 am EST on December 5, 2007
Sugar Coat This!
Undocumented people are poor and are human beings. To treat them as vermin or pests to be disposed of may be fine with the KKK crowd, but not for humanitarians that still believe that all are created equal and endowed by their creator, not Dick Cheney, the KKK, the Bush US Government nor David Horowitz with certain inalienable rights. Those are for all humans, not just those who have a piece of paper to be human in your eyes.
On the other hand, illegal immigration soared under Bush’s misrule and the misrule of the Republican dominated Congress even in the years after 9/11. If Republicans really wanted to stop this instead of profiting from cheap labor, they could have done it at any time! They seem to want a permanent, undocumented worker class with no chance of social mobility, rights and recognition. In other words, Republican hypocrisy simply says, “Sweep the floors, harvest the vegetables, pick the fruit, and clean the houses as long as you don’t try to rise above poverty, staying here is just fine. Try to dream the American dream and we’ll rip your guts out!”
Nice, these right wing social conservatives. I guess Jesus stood for the same thing, right? They’re only “illegal” when its inconvenient!
Diogenes, at 1:50 pm EST on December 5, 2007
As an undocumented high school student I truely do understand both sides of the “argument". Many times many of us do not see how we are affecting the ecomony, other individuals, the country, etc. I believe that a big problem when discussing “illegal immigrantion” people generalize. Not EVERY illegal immigrant is the same. Some of us DO want to be part of this amazing country. Some of us DO NOT want to cause problems. Some of us DO want to help the economy and other people, because legal or not, we see ourselves as an Americans.
I am currently a senior in high school, I have been applying to colleges, and I am SO GRATEFUL that I have the opportunity to pursue a higher education. And although I know I will most likely will NOT receive financial aid, I am happy to at least have the opportunity to make my dreams reality.
I just wished that people would understand that some of us just want an opportunity! THAT IS ALL!
I know that there is so much more to that...but I have hope that one day people will understand, and lend a hand to those who truely need it, legal or not.
S.E, at 3:25 pm EST on December 5, 2007
I can’t understand how someone could really think that a minor child brought in to the US illegally by his/her parents should be punished by denying education. If a student has gone through high school in the U.S. they had to have been brought in, and made no conscious decision to violate U.S. laws. Why should they be held accountable for the actions of their parents in this particularly destructive way. They will suffer enough without denying them education.
KBS, at 5:05 pm EST on December 5, 2007
It’s ridiculous that people think that by creating stricter laws and building a wall the problem with illegal immigration will be solved. People come to this country not to cause havoc or misfortune, but because US companie are MORE than willing to offer them jobs. If you want to solve a problem, you have to control the demand (US companies), not the supply (labor). But what many of conservatives don’t see is that the people that YOU ELECT into office are the ones creating the demand for cheap labor. Republicans support big business right? And who are the ones looking to hire this cheap labor?? Hmmm.... Your own government makes sure that nothing is done towards solving this problem. Think about your legal environment before trying to solve this problem by stepping on kids who only wish to CONTRIBUTE to you country!
Deisy, American Dream at CSULB, at 3:20 pm EST on December 6, 2007
for link to complete IHE article and comments click the title of this post