Wednesday, December 3, 2008

DREAMers: Don't Follow Advice Blindly - investigate before you act

Daniela Aguado was told by university officials that she needed to go to Mexico so that she could take care of documentation that would make her eligible for a scholarship. THEY WERE WRONG. Daniela should not have followed their recommendations. Anytime you get advice regarding immigration issues, talk to a lawyer before you do anything.

Since she had lived in the U.S. as an undocumented person, she was not allowed back into the country.


LDS Membership to Church Leaders on Immigration: Take a Hike

BY DAVE BENNION
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 02, 2008 @ 08:26PM PST
Change.org

Daniela Aguado was a star student at her high school in Arizona and wanted to attend college. Just one problem: she was undocumented. Acting on some dodgy legal advice, she left the country to apply for a student visa to try to qualify for a scholarship to Brigham Young University.

"And that's when they told me I couldn't receive the student visa because i have lived in the states without a student visa before. And that probably I was taking advantage of the country and the government." Daniella recalls.

And now she's stuck in Mexico.

BYU was the university I first attended after high school. The school's motto is "The World Is Our Campus," an extension of the LDS church's goal to become a global institution. With over 50,000 missionaries spread out around the world, learning the language and absorbing the culture of almost every country on the planet, the church's membership is remarkably cosmopolitan. Many of those missionaries return to the States--or come here from their homelands--to attend BYU.

But that didn't stop Republican voters in Utah County--which includes Provo and BYU--from sending diehard conservative Chris Cannon packing in the primary election earlier this year. (This was a rare victory for a restrictionist politician--the trend has run the other way for the last two years.) The main reason for Cannon's defeat at the hands of former BYU football player Jason Chaffetz: he was too conciliatory to immigrants, and had some kind words to say about Utah's Latin@ population.

From the article, I see that Daniela attended church regularly with her family before they were separated indefinitely ... planning to attend BYU ... I'll go out on a limb and guess that she's a baptized member of the LDS church.

One who now can't attend the LDS school of her choice, find an LDS spouse there, excel in a career in the U.S., or even see her family in this country.

How this advances the goals of the church to keep LDS families together and build a global organization is not clear. The church itself intervened earlier this year when the Utah state legislature was on the brink of passing an Oklahoma-style enforcement-only bill. One member of the legislature characterized the church's position as "Take a step back, be calm, and above all remember that we are dealing with human beings here." The bill that passed wasn't good. But it could have been much worse.

But the individual members of the church who voted for Chaffetz weren't thinking about Daniela or her family. They weren't even listening to the church leadership. It's one reason the institutional church's worst enemy is sometimes its own membership (passage of Prop 8 is another, though that had support from the top).

2 comments:

Frankie Ray said...

In 2006, my lead foreman at my CD packaging company became a naturalized citizen. He came from Mexico to attend college at the University of Utah, studied nuclear physics, graduated, and worked for me for several years while he completed the process of becoming a citizen. It took him many years, a lot of fees, and many days off work while he met with whomever he had to meet with along the way. We were all proud of him when he became a citizen, although I knew he was leaving my employ to pursue a more lucrative career in the nuclear industry.

I bring this up because I do not understand your position that you have written about here in this article. It appears that you want illegal immigrants to get the same rewards that my employee earned and paid for over many years as he followed the existing laws. I dont understand why you see the 2 paths as equal in value.

When you wrote: "BYU was the university I first attended after high school. The school's motto is "The World Is Our Campus," an extension of the LDS church's goal to become a global institution."

I cant figure out what this has to do with whether or not people come here illegally or illegally.

When you wrote: "With over 50,000 missionaries spread out around the world, learning the language and absorbing the culture of almost every country on the planet, the church's membership is remarkably cosmopolitan. Many of those missionaries return to the States--or come here from their homelands--to attend BYU."

I cant understand what this has to do with illegal aliens. THese missionaries go to their foreign countries legally and then come home. What is the relevance?


When you wrote: "But that didn't stop Republican voters in Utah County--which includes Provo and BYU--from sending diehard conservative Chris Cannon packing in the primary election earlier this year."

Why would the fact that church missionaries go legally to other countries and learn about them and come home somehow mean that you would expect them to condone people breaking laws and coming here illegally?


When you wrote: "From the article, I see that Daniela attended church regularly with her family before they were separated indefinitely...who now can't attend the LDS school of her choice, find an LDS spouse there, excel in a career in the U.S., or even see her family in this country."

Why would you expect otherwise? My lead foreman who followed the laws and became a citizen can do all of these things. Our country isnt denying Daniela anything, Daniela didn't follow the law. I dont understand why you don't see that.


When you wrote: "How this advances the goals of the church to keep LDS families together and build a global organization is not clear."

I cant understand why you think the goals of the LDS church would somehow justify breaking the law. I don't think any church would condone law breaking in order to build a global organization, do you?

When you wrote: "But the individual members of the church who voted for Chaffetz weren't thinking about Daniela or her family. They weren't even listening to the church leadership."

Well again, my church leadership told me to remember humanity, not to condone law breaking. If Church leadership was indicating we should allow law breaking then I would certainly not follow that church. Would you?

Anyway, I don't understand that viewpoint. If we can disregard any laws we don't like, cant people who would discriminate against minorities be justified in not following those laws they dont like?

We have to be a nation ruled by law, nit by personal whim...which means you cant pick and choose what laws you want to follow.

My lead foreman from Mexico did it right and I congratulate him. Why would you dismiss him and disrespect his honorable path by allowing those who wont be honorable and wont follow it to have the same benefits without the work or honor?

Marie-Theresa Hernández said...

Thanks for your comment. To clarify I did not write the article, it was written by David Bennan from Change.org.

If your lead foreman was able to stay "legal" the years he was waiting for his green card then he is very lucky indeed. I do not know the student, but can say for sure, all the years she lived in the U.S. she would have gladly been on a "list" waiting for a green card.

You may not be aware that it is near impossible to get on any list. Even people who marry American citizens are being sent back to their countries of origin to get their documents in order, and often have to wait a year or more to return. And then, the whole thing can cost nearly $10,000, which very few immigrants have available.

The DREAMer student is a very honorable young woman. I find your saying that your foreman is "honorable" as if to say that the student is not. How can you judge her as "dishonorable" if she came here as a pre-schooler? What if the family came because they were starving? It is hard to imagine while living in our over fed nation that some people could actually not have enough to eat.

It is near impossible if you are from Mexico to come here as an international student. As you are well aware (I hope) the tuition fees are astronomical, as well as all the other fees just obtain a passport. This is not a realistic expectation from lets say Mexico where over 70% of the population lives in poverty.

One DREAMer student I know well, who is always on the Dean's list and plans to go to medical school, tells me that his entire family (including the grandmother) were living on the equivalent of $20 (dollars) a week in Mexico City before they immigration. I am sure your foreman never had to live in that type of poverty, if he did he would have never attended the university.

As far as the missionaries etc. I do not know why Mr. Bennan mentioned that, it is not very clear. The post has a link to the Change.org website, perhaps you can contact him.

Thank you for reading dreamacttexas