Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Laws for Mexicans only

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If Emiliano were a DREAMER, would you give him a chance?

You have to wonder who becomes illegal and when. Seems to me that in college government class they never told us that we would become criminals for running a red light, which is the equivalent charge to being undocumented in the U.S.

Navarette writes about nativists in the U.S. being afraid of some type of colonization by Mexico. Its not colonization they are fighting - it's about who gets the privilege.

I can promise you if 12 million British showed up people might have some concerns, but they would probably welcome that our children would now have a British accent (this has lots of cultural capital).

As for fighting about this "official language" thing. If French were competing with English in the U.S. you know there wouldn't be a fight... how sheek! our children would now speak French!

It's all about the hierarchy of identity. The Brits and the French are way up there- if they are white. Mexicans and Latin Americans are much further down the list. This is not about being paranoid about prejudice - all you have to do is read a little to see this pattern (East Indians, East Asians, Africans are similarly seen in western Europe)

How many white British and French DREAMERS have you heard about?

Reminds me of a class in college where I almost got a "C" on a research paper." A fellow student (attractive male) also had problems with his paper but the female professor gave him an "I" (incomplete) which gave him a chance to fix it. I however, got the C for the same type of problem. When the other student and I confronted the professor she changed my grade to an "I."

Too bad we can't complain about Mexican, Columbian, Ecuadorian, and Vietnamese DREAMERS not getting fair treatment. While there is some chatter about improving the immigration system - it doesn't look like much is happening, except that ICE is detaining and deporting more people.


Deport this illegal immigrant, too
Ruben Navarrette Jr., San Diego Union-Tribune
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Let me say a few words in defense of deporting illegal immigrants. I wouldn't have thought such a defense would be necessary, because being in the United States without proper documents is a crime and the penalty is deportation.

But try telling that to the folks in Central California who are experiencing warm and fuzzy feelings for 17-year-old Arthur Mkoyan. The high school valedictorian in my hometown of Fresno, Calif., should be thinking about the same things that other graduating seniors think about this time of year - planning to go to college, going to parties and all the rest.

Arthur has certainly earned it. He studied hard to earn a perfect grade-point average. And, for his hard work, he was admitted to UC Davis, where he planned to study chemistry.

And yet, Arthur will probably never make it to freshman orientation. That's because, on June 20, the extension of his deportation order will expire and federal immigration authorities will likely apprehend the young man and his mother and send them to Armenia. His father is being held in a detention facility in Arizona until he can be deported. There is also Arthur's 12-year-old brother, a U.S.-born citizen who the family plans to take with them.

According to the Fresno Bee, Arthur's father came to the United States from the former Soviet Union in December 1991, and sought political asylum. Arthur and his mother joined him a few years later. No one came with the proper documents. And so, when their asylum application was rejected, and their appeals were denied, they were targeted for deportation.

That is as it should be. The law is the law.

Still, it's a heartbreaking story. Here you have an all-American kid who hasn't seen Armenia since he was a toddler, and who is now headed to a country where the people, language and customs are foreign to him. Besides, this is precisely the kind of young person we should want to keep in this country.

Say, maybe we can work out a trade. Armenia lets us keep Arthur, and we send a dozen of our lazier, less-productive U.S.-born teenagers who think themselves entitled to the good life but don't want to do the work to make it happen.

Many people are going to bat for Mkoyan - from Armenian advocacy groups to Republican Rep. George Radanovich, who represents part of the Central Valley and has many Armenian constituents. The family has also approached Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the hopes that she'll introduce a rare measure to grant legal status to a specific individual. There's also plenty of support for the young man on the Internet and on talk radio.

Not that it is likely to do any good. Arthur, and his parents, will probably be deported. And they should be.

I said the same thing six years ago when a similar story surfaced. In August 2002, the Denver Post ran a front-page story about Jesus Apodaca, a recent high school graduate with a 3.93 grade-point average who wanted to go to the University of Colorado but couldn't afford the tuition - because he was an illegal immigrant. In Colorado, the undocumented have to pay out-of-state tuition rates, which are higher than those for residents. A member of Congress involved himself in that case as well, albeit in a different capacity. Anti-illegal immigration crusader Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., called what was then the Immigration and Naturalization Service and asked them what they were planning to do about Apodaca. The young man and his family were apprehended and, last we heard, were slated for deportation. That won applause from many immigration hard-liners.

But here's the part that bothers me: I wonder why more of them - including Tancredo - aren't making a fuss over Arthur Mkoyan. The fact is, Apodaca didn't get nearly the amount of public sympathy that Mkoyan has received up to now.

Why the double standard? I believe it's because, while Mkoyan may not have a leg to stand on legally, he at least has the benefit of not being Mexican. Much of the immigration debate is fueled by a fear of a changing culture, competing languages, an altered landscape, and what loopy Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist calls the "colonization" of the United States by Mexican immigrants.

Arthur Mkoyan isn't considered a party to any of that. For some people, that makes all the difference. And, in some respects, that's the saddest thing about this story.

To comment, e-mail Ruben Navarrette Jr. at

This article appeared on page B - 9 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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