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Just spent an hour trying to comfort a student of mine. (Mostly trying to persuade her that she was going to enjoy spending the next several years in a wretched nation she's never been to and hasn't heard one good thing about (and neither have I).)

She and her husband have been married several years. She (let's call her Bobbie-Ann) is an American-born U.S. citizen. Her parents and grandparents are American-born. Bobbie-Ann is as American as French fries. Er, as American as pizza. I mean as American as bagels. Anyway you know what I mean.

A lot of people are under the impression that marrying a U.S. citizen automatically makes you a citizen, or automatically makes you eligible for citizenship, or automatically gets you a green card, or something like that. None of the above. You are eligible to apply for legal residency if you marry a U.S. citizen. That's all.

So they did that. And years went by. And their lawyer told them not to worry, that the paperwork was going through channels, and then the lawyer turned out to be a crook and vanished. And the INS (now under the direction of Homeland Stupidity, the same people who made FEMA what it is today) told them not to worry; even if the request for a visa was denied they would be notified, and there would be a hearing, and they would be notified again and Bobbie-Ann's husband would be given 30 days to deport himself.

(This was indeed the policy before the current anti-immigrant hysteria.)

Not hearing anything, they got another lawyer (this costs thousands of dollars, by the way) and filed the papers again. After waiting many months, they made an appointment and went into their local INS office to check on the status of the application.

At the office, they were separated. Bobbie-Ann was sent to another room, and hours went by. Eventually someone came and locked her in the room, explaining to her that it was "to be safe".

At this point, listening to her story, I wondered if her husband had turned out to be wanted for a felony. 'Cause I always thought the guy was too good to be true, y'know? But he wasn't wanted for a felony. He didn't even have any parking tickets. There had been an order of deportation for him for over two years. He had never been notified, let alone given a chance to deport himself.

At this point in the story Bobbie-Ann broke down crying and, when she got control of herself, said:

"And then they took him."

She was not allowed to say goodbye.

He has been held for the last two months in a locked facility in a state 800 miles away-- you can't call it a prison because the people held there have not been convicted of any crime. This means that, unlike prisoners, they are allowed to wear their own shoes. They can be held indefinitely without hearings because as non-citizens they are excluded from the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. (This is a new interpretation of human rights that wasn't popular in the pre-Bush era.)

Eventually he will be deported to a country he did everything in his power to escape from, a country I have never heard anything good about even from its own citizens, and a country I choose not to identify here because I'm afraid of prejudicing his case in some way. And a U.S. citizen who voted a straight Democrat ticket will go overseas too.

Will you feel safer? Because I won't. As I drove home I passed some police officers detaining a large group of Latin-Americans. Maybe they had been creating a public nuisance. Maybe not.

What was it that Niemoeller* fellow said? First they came for the immigrants. *update: [thanks for the correct name James]

Originally posted to SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:18 PM PDT.

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    •  Thanks. (265+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
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      I was nervous about posting this, because I know there's some anti-immigrant feeling around.

      -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:20:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You should not feel nervous ... (176+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sdf, wozzle, selise, Alumbrados, DC Pol Sci, TealVeal, matt n nyc, Buckeye BattleCry, SarahLee, AlanF, Tulip, yerioy, TaraIst, pHunbalanced, catfish, Mullibok, saraswati, ScientistMom in NY, Dems2004, janinsanfran, SusanG, Shockwave, wu ming, cotterperson, meg, Rat, x, frisco, theran, Ahianne, bumblebums, regis, kissfan, Eternal Hope, ReneInOregon, bronte17, KB, conchita, understandinglife, jem6x, biscobosco, jules too, cosmic debris, scamp, cookiebear, high5, oceanspray, Fe, juergendopp, ethans mom, lilnubber, Jesterfox, rioduran, splashy, bustacap, bewert, CocoaLove, celticshel, SensibleShoes, wader, hhex65, Dallasdoc, businessdem, Chamonix, brainwave, Kaya, JDPITALIA, yet another liberal, Catte Nappe, Mrcia, DriftawayNH, lecsmith, Eddie Haskell, AnthonySF, inclusiveheart, barbwires, walkshills, One bite at a time, AnonymousArmy, Ayanora, seanleckey, zett, WisVoter, Man Eegee, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, dnta, SanDiegoDem, Marianne Benz, akskye, rebirtha, Dawgbro, boran2, Sassy, vansterdam, slouise217, Tirge Caps, bjackrian, weelzup, ch kes, nehark, davidincleveland, joanneleon, deBOraaah, bellevie, Elise, coloradobl, Ja of Anoroc, Chinton, offred, clammyc, Simplify, station wagon, ChemBob, drewfromct, viral, maisie, Karmafish, ladybug53, annefrank, ivorybill, el zilcho, cerulean, kevn357, Floja Roja, zinger99, FindingMyVoice, Shaking the Tree, sandmancan, JanL, JPete, melvin, orphanpower, drag0n, begone, mariva, skywriter, occams hatchet, FrankFrink, Major Danby, Sanuk, PoppyRocks, BobzCat, Do Tell, Kingsmeg, awakenow, Ellicatt, Gorette, Yellow Canary, Dvalkure, Truza, KenBee, Naniboujou, MJ via Chicago, vome minnesota, Lashe, nonnie9999, ekruegr, Sonicreducr, imabluemerkin, happy camper, Demena, ER Doc, Andy30tx, Coffee Geek, Jiminy Cricket, means are the ends, grokgov, RantNRaven, Dreaming of Better Days, kurt, katasstrophy, DanC, ForFreedom, eastmt, old wobbly, turquoise

        ...about posting on this subject because we don't all agree about immigration. This story offers a perfect example of why those who believe deporting all unauthorized immigrants aren't thinking carefully enough.

        My wife, who supervises the largest English as a Second Language program in the United States, comes home with a story like this practically every day now.

        Muchos Kudos.

        •  Is she hiring? (27+ / 0-)

          I have a feeling a lot of my students (who are ESL teachers) are about to be unemployed.

          -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

          by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:35:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Constantly hiring in Los Angeles ... (20+ / 0-)

            ...Unified School District where there are about 1500 adult ESL teachers and 250,000 students.

            •  Wow, that's a lot of ESL teachers... (12+ / 0-)

              ...relying on immigrants to make a living!

              -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

              by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:01:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Earlier this month ... (7+ / 0-)

                ...we attended the CATESOL conference in San Francisco. 1910 ESL teachers and administrators from all over California and Nevada: inspiring stories, scary stories.

                •  Whats your take on SABE/2 ? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I find it alarming that California allows standardized testing to be administered in Spanish untill grade 11 (12 being graduation). While it sounds good on the surface, seems it's just a way of ensuring Federal money, without actually accomplishing any real education, at least any that would allow Spanish speakers the ability to aspire to a job over and above 'work Americans won't do'. Seems like a great situation for teaching for the purpose of causing dropouts.

                  Thanks No Child Left Behind, with such a worthy name how can you be so worthless?

                  I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit. ~Thucydides

                  by get up stand up on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:49:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Is it that bad to speak Spanish? (13+ / 0-)

                    By 2050 it's likely most Americans will.

                    Tons of research (I'm doing my dissertation on this) has shown, again and again, that Spanish-speaking students taught in Spanish score higher in English on standardized tests than do Spanish-speaking students taught in English.

                    The reason is simple: You only have to learn to read once. Any education you receive in your native language tranfers into your second language.

                    I am proficient in Spanish, which I began learning at the age of 26. There was never a day --not even a moment-- when I had to sit down and learn to read Spanish. My literacy and all of my education have been kind enough to accompany me into the Spanish language.

                    The same will be true for these lucky bilingual kiddies in California... only in reverse.

                    -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

                    by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:53:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Not a question of good or bad (5+ / 0-)

                      My question was referring to the prevalence (near tunnel vision) in primary and secondary education of the scantron on 'bubble' tests and the effects that the drive for funding has upon education. Has nothing to do with good or bad language, my personal view is stop whining and learn both. As an history student I study German, French, Latin, and Greek, and even have to wing it with Italian from time to time. My main point is that educators are being put in a tough situation with the politicizing of this issue.

                      As a grad student, I'm sure you realize that besides lower division undergraduate classes, writing and reading proficiency is key, rote memorization and regurgitation is useless, whatever language it is taught in. And fat chance getting your paper written in anything but English accepted at most American universities, and what is the quality of an essay constructed with a language that you haven’t had opportunity to work with as much as you could, because you were learning in Spanish to get better scores on Spanish stand. tests.

                      It's easy to say what’s wrong with Spanish. Nothing. It's a language and most Americans could use a few. The question is; is this really helping the matter?

                      Through this process are we not in effect capping education at high school for these folks? I'm not so sure these are lucky bilingual kiddies, as opposed to second class students in an overextended educational system. Remember, with No Child, there is next to no room for individualized programs according to student needs. Its take this test, get high enough scores, you get Federal money for stuff like art & music classes and other classes that don't revolve around filling in bubbles.

                      Call me an over thinking liberal intellectual, but in my conversation with primary and secondary ed. folks, this issue is not as cut and dried as it is made out to be. Politicians are leading this debate, not educators.

                      IMHO, this issue has a lot less to do with English vs. Spanish, amnesty vs. deportation, or closed vs. open border. This issue has to do with the Republicans claim to 'doing jobs American don't want'. Does that sound like a good arrangement? Sounds like a backdoor to slavery to me (at least the construction of a serf-like labor pool). Why should immigrants have a less than even chance to go further than 'doing jobs American don't want'? I apprecite your research, but for my money, immersion in English as soon as possible is preferable to an easy to swallow double standard. Notice that tese test only apply to grade 11. Reed between the lines. It's OK to drag along untill it's time to get a diplomma, then it's drop out city, just what those looking for cheep labor want.

                      I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit. ~Thucydides

                      by get up stand up on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:48:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  No. Learning Spanish doesn't guarantee (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ladybug53, ama, redcardphreek, Joelarama

                      that you will do fine in English.  I don't know who did the research you are talking about, but I can tell you from experience as a student in bilingual classes in high school and an observer of bilingual programs in elementary school that it isn't true.  The school system actually had some incentives for not teaching Spanish speakers English when I was taking bilingual classes.  They were trying to keep the enrollment up in the bilingual program to get funds.  Once the Spanish speaking student was determined to have learned English well enough to not require the bilingual classes to learn it, the student got put in regular classes.  There were Seniors still in ESL/bilingual classes.  Some of them were still taking Algebra and never took Geometry, Physics, Calculus or other courses they would have needed to get into a good college.

                      In a way, I feel that the other students in those classes were horribly cheated.  They were trapped in that program for years and they didn't really learn English while I got to be almost totally immersed in Spanish for the time I spent in the program before I had run out of courses.


                      by Turnbow on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:55:51 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  First, no one is anti immigrant. (4+ / 0-)

                      Ésa es vuelta republicana y mierda completa del toro.
                      (That is Republican spin and complete bull shit.)  People are anti illegals,regardless of national origin, which is a completely different story.  

                      Second, yes they have to learn to speak English.  Hell, Mexicans in Mexico can't even get a job there if they can't speak English.  I am tired of paying to translate everything into 40 different languages so people can read it.   In the school district in which I work, 59 different languages are spoken.   How are they going to work if they can't understand their employer????  

                      Nadie es contra inmigrante. Está sobre quién consigue decidir quién entra en este país, cuando y a porqué

                      When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' - Theodore Roosevelt

                      by dkmich on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:51:00 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No one is anti-immigrant? (8+ / 0-)

                        Dang, that's a relief. I must've been imagining things.

                        -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

                        by SensibleShoes on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 05:57:12 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I really believe that anti illegal gets (3+ / 0-)

                          inflated in to anti immigrant and then inflated again into anti Mexican specifically.  I am only second generation American born myself.  I love Mexico, and I plan to live there six months out of every year.  That changes nothing.  Immigration needs to be based on an orderly and thought out immigration policy - not on squatters' rights.  If we need to allow more immigration (not H1B visas)and paths to citizenship, let's do it so we can raise wages and protect rights for all citizens in this country including the duly processed immigrants.  

                          When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' - Theodore Roosevelt

                          by dkmich on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 08:29:33 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Saracasm is not helpful (0+ / 0-)

                          However much we would like it to be, this is not a simple issue. Sure, there are plenty of know-nothings out there (Republicans mostly) railing against "illegals" (i.e., damn furriners) who are mostly racists or xenophobes. But there are also genuine economic concerns and, in the comment above, a genuine concern about communication. Confounding these concerns with racism or xenophobia is unfair and unhelpful.

                          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                          by Alice in Florida on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:55:42 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Americans are not anti illegal because (0+ / 0-)

                          As I have been saying!  Americans want illegal immigrants around.  It's just Republicans frantic about losing the elections.  
                          Now it's all, "Oh mah Gawd! Looka alla dem little brown people.  They's taking our jobs!" yup yup.
                          Reality: Home owners know where these immigrants are and INVITE THEM IN TO THEIR HOMES to do repairs.  They sound pretty trust worthy to me.  Is it exploitation, sure.  But all this OUTRAGE it's fake.  The folks posting here about how horrible it is, are the same folks picking up Miguel on the corner.  The American people.

                          If we cared we would have had a working INS.

                          You said it SensibleShoes!

                          "And the INS (now under the direction of Homeland Stupidity, the same people who made FEMA what it is today) told them not to worry; "


                      •  Not my experience (0+ / 0-)

                        Growing up in soCal, it seemed to me that people were using the cover of "anti-illegal" -- which seems a little more defensible and a touch less racist -- as a cover over what was, basically, racism.

                  •  They don't seem to be able to get it right. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    At one point, you had to flunk the standardized test in English (25th percentile or below) to get help with English in a bilingual atmosphere and children who didn't speak Spanish were getting put in Spanish/English bilingual classes.  Now, they give them the test in Spanish until it becomes do or die instead of knowing where they are in English.


                    by Turnbow on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 10:33:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  kind of my take too (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      barbwires, ladybug53, ama

                      things that really matter get pushed aside for the question of singing the anthem in Spanish. Everyone gets to feel righteous about picking a side in that straw man battle royal, and any mention of actual education and the politics running roughshod over it gets pushed aside. Thank you for responding to the question I posed as opposed to the question you wanted to answer. At least I know one person isn't oversimplifying the issue to the point of being insignificant. Cheers!

                      I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit. ~Thucydides

                      by get up stand up on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:13:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  ya, but... (0+ / 0-)

                they all probably vote for Democrats, so what's your point?


            •  Here is an outstanding ESL teacher.... (15+ / 0-)

              Sort of a mini-happy story.  She teaches ESL and also has an art club.  She is teaching the students English, and their Republican schoolmates parents want the ESL kids to go to another school.  

              Elissa is teaching the students to blog with the other ESL students.  Here are some of their blogs.  Click on the movie of them imitating her laughing.


              The last laugh will be on the Republicans, because Elissa will vote them out.  She is a bright shining star.

              I feel bad for the young man kept in Bush prison and who will be deported.  Unless you deal with INS with a foreigner's perspective you will never know how awful they can be.

              You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

              by murrayewv on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:31:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  in Casper, WY (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee, ladybug53, Lashe, imabluemerkin, kurt

              they just ran out of money for ESL teachers. Next Friday are the last classes until (maybe) October.

              We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders. -- Noam Chomsky

              by kainah on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:34:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I would love to do that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              In Columbus, the largest city near here, there are immigrants from many African countries and really from all over.  
              Are there ESL aides?  

              War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

              by Margot on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 12:30:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for posting this story. (37+ / 0-)

            There are so many layers of WRONG here that it is hard to even start to address them.  The crooked immigration lawyer is a tragically common story.  The worst part is that if you do not retain a lawyer, your chances of getting status are low in this country.  The paperwork is more complicated and arcane than the most challenging tax return forms.  I have friends now living in Sweden because she American and he Swedish followed all of he rules, but the INS office lost his parole and because they had left the country legally and even though they had a copy of the parole, the INS said adios to him and he has no chance of reapplying.  It is wrong.

            •  You're right (8+ / 0-)

              These cases are very common in cities with large immigrant populations. Crooked immigration attorneys are worse than grave robbers, IMO, because they KNOW that the families in most cases will not complain for fear of deportation, whether real or perceived. They continue to screw up paperwork and move on to unsuspecting people just to collect more fees.

              Any true reform must include sanctions and disbarrment for this sorry lot of people.

              -7.38, -5.23 One day we ALL will know the truth about the 2000 presidential election. God help us all.

              by CocoaLove on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:52:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Strange. (26+ / 0-)

              I've never found the paperwork to be that challenging, and the one time I didn't get something from CIS, turned out to be the Post Office's fault rather than CIS.

              And there's usually something that can be done.  What you don't want to do is ever let your immigrant spouse/friend/employee get "out of status," i.e., don't let the date come when the visa/permission to stay in the country/whatever expires.  Send everything certified mail, and keep copies of everything.  When the return receipt comes back from the Post Office, staple it to your copies.

              This way, if you end up having to go down to the CIS office two days before the person is going to be out of status, you can take your paperwork with the receipt that proves CIS got it.  I've heard of people who did this and ended up getting temporary extensions.  If you end up in front of an immigration judge for a deportation hearing, you have proof that CIS lost the paperwork, and deportation is quite unlikely.

              The other thing you do is monitor the action dates for whatever petition you've filed.  There's a link on the CIS Webpage that shows the processing dates.  If the date that you filed the paperwork comes and goes and you haven't heard anything, call your Congresscritter and find out why.  They have email addys and telephone numbers that you can't get, and they're used to doing this kind of thing.

              It's sad that it requires this, but basically, what you have to do is document everything and make sure CIS is doing its job.  Not to say that this is "Bobbie Ann"'s husband's fault.  It's not.  Nobody should have to endure the disorganized, underfunded bureaucratic mess that is USCIS.  But forewarned is forearmed, and everybody knows CIS is a mess, so keeping the eagle eye on it is really necessary.

              The biggest problem with CIS, by the way, is that they are underfunded.  And the reason they're underfunded is because their constituency -- immigrants -- by and large doesn't have the right to vote.  Once you become a citizen, you're pretty much done with CIS, unless you're trying to bring relatives over (as we are right now).  Yes, there are immigrant rights groups, and many of the ethnicity-based action groups (LULAC, NAPALC, et cetera) lobby for better funding for CIS.  But in the current budget environment (and really the budget environment that's existed for the last 25 years), upping CIS funding is a political loser for most Members of Congress when compared with the political boost that they can get from directing the same money somewhere else.

              The last time people listened to a talking bush, they wandered 40 years in the desert.

              by DC Pol Sci on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:58:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My friends are some of the nicest, coolest (11+ / 0-)

                warmest and "funnest" people I have ever known, but neither is the smartest.  Having said that she - the American - they are married by the way - kept a record of everything they ever did with immigration - but since the immigration office lost his parole they claimed that he was out of status and her copy of the parole didn't count even though it was their certified travel document for him...

                They locked her in a room by herself too and she is an American citizen.  It was awful all in all.  They had done everything without a lawyer and that was I think their problem because they didn't have an advocate to call bullshit on the immigration officer who essentially stamped the paperwork and said go away.  Now just so you know, I guess I live a relatively "international" life which has taken me out of this country to have my own adventures in foreign immigration and also has given me the benefit of knowing a lot of immigrants to this country.  These two people are not my only examples of huge problems with paperwork.  The two friends in Sweden don't have much money, but I have another friend who I helped get a green card many years ago who has one of the most expensive lawyers in New York, but that still didn't help her when she notified the government that they were moving and they still sent her notification of citizenship swearing in to her old address just days before it took place.  She didn't receive the letter until after the swearing in and she is told by her fancy lawyer that she can't become a citizen now because she didn't make it to the swearing in.  I could go on, but I won't.  

                I understand that there is no political will to fund or fix this problem, but I also think that it is important for people to understand that not everyone in this country who has a problem with their status is some sort of contrarian slacker criminal.  Lots of people just have bad luck in a system that is quite flawed to begin with.

                •  Not saying travesties don't happen. (13+ / 0-)

                  They do, and all too often (see my comment below on the lady deported to South Africa after her husband died).  But the procedure I outlined above will prevent about 99 percent of them.

                  Again, you have to make sure you stay in status.  If you file an application, you're supposed to get a "notice of action" (NOA) from CIS that says the application has been received.  If you don't get the notice within, say, 30 days after you get the return receipt for your certified mail, call your Congressperson.  Doesn't matter if s/he's a Republican.  Even the vast majority of the "kick all the illegals out" types have no brief against legal immigrants.  If you file all of your applications as soon as you're eligible to, the fact that CIS lost the application won't hurt you:  you just stop payment on the check, photocopy the copy of the application that you saved, sign it again to make it an original, and send it in.  Since you filed the first one as soon as you were eligible to do so, you still have enough time to send in a second one.  CIS actually loses a very, very small percentage of the paperwork that's sent to it.  The probability that they'll lose your application twice is next to zero.

                  As for your friend who didn't get the notice to appear for the appointment for her citizenship interview ("swearing-in"), the lawyer's advice baffles me.  Usually, this is just a matter of having the interview rescheduled.  Again, call the Congresscritter.  Document the change of address notice and send it certified mail.  Fax the relevant documentation to the Congressperson.

                  In the absolute worst case, if CIS decides to be real jerks, you have a choice between spending a couple of thousand dollars on a lawyer to sue CIS or simply submitting a new N-400 "Application for Naturalization" will have to be filed, and the fee will have to be paid again.  Essentially, you start all over.  But since, presumably, the woman was still a legal permanent resident (LPR), and since she apparently had met the time restrictions the first time around (i.e., been an LPR for five years unless married to a citizen, in which case it's three), she's still eligible to apply for citizenship.  She just goes back to the back of the line.  It's flatly false that she "can't become a citizen."  She just can't become a citizen based on the N-400 she already filed.

                  Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

                  by DC Pol Sci on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:48:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Have you thought about a career... (0+ / 0-)

                    in counseling immigrants?  Sounds like you could have a full-time job, make a decent living, and help out a lot of people!

                    •  I'm actually a law student... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Catte Nappe

                      ...and on the editorial board of an immigration law journal.  Additionally, I'm married to an immigrant, so I've been through the meat grinder myself.

                      So, yes, "counseling" immigrants may well be in my future, in the sense of being legal counsel.

                      Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

                      by DC Pol Sci on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:18:10 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Bingo (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Catte Nappe, ER Doc

                    My mother worked for a congressman for 19 years.

                    Her sole job there was to handle immigration.  She did it much better than many lawyers, and it was FREE.

                    She has many deeply grateful constituents who keep in contact with her to this day....they feel they owe her their lives...

                    After the rep's retirement, she went to work for a real estate lawyer, but does immigration, her 1st love, on the side.  (She handles everything paperwork-wise, but has a lawyer who she contracts with to represent anyone leagally.) She's charges now, but she's still a bargain.  She has saved many immigrants from deportation, many times thru very creative legal maneuvering.

                    I'm so proud of her.

                  •  Stay in status... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    You sound as if you are a lawyer who specializes in immigration or a well-trained Washington bureaucrat.  As a specialist in text linguistics, I can tell you that the documents that the CIS (previously INS)offers up to keep people "in status" are written for people with a graduate education, not an immigrant or even an ordinary US born citizen.  The documents are filled with multiple embedded sentences, multiple negation (both extremely difficult to process for ANYONE), references to specific passages of the US code, references to a multitude of other immigration documents,and obscure terms of immigration legal art.  Even your very casual reference to staying "in status" implies an assumption of a person who is well educated, a proficient English speaker, and represented by an immigration lawyer.  Take a look at the 485 sometime from the perspective of a new learner of English.  Fully a quarter of the sentences in the instructions alone are 4 or more clauses.  In written news reporting about 5% of the sentences have four or more clauses.  Some of the sentences are hundreds of words long.  Try answering "yes" or "no" to questions that are actually multiple questions in one (guess what? one missed piece of understanding gets you document fraud).  Most ordinary citizens in the US do not understand legal documents and most wouldn't understand most immigration documents put out by the US government.  There is no attempt on the part of the CIS to improve the comprehensibility of these documents.  Why do that?  More people might get in.  Your sympathy for ordinary folks is truly impressive.

                    Compass -7.63, -7.49

                    by cinnamon68 on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 06:02:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  All government agencies are underfunded and (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                understaffed to do the work they are supposed to be doing.  The money always gets syphoned into pork projects instead of being a part of a decent budget for proper functioning.  They also don't get more money than their budget if they have a crisis, so they save money until the end of the fiscal year in case of crisis and then buy stuff to keep their budget the next year that doesn't always really make sense.


                by Turnbow on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 10:42:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  In the break up of the INS... (5+ / 0-)

                  and the formation and organization of the new DHS, USCIS lost a lot of their budget.  Since USCIS is strictly fee-base - most of their budget then came from application fees.  It was bolstered by other portions of the old INS - like certain fees collected at airports.  But with the breakup - USCIS no longer got the airport fees, and thus had to raise application fees in order to boost back up their budget to run the agency.  USCIS doesn't get new fancy up to date technological equipment to "secure the homeland", or SUVs and cars to carry out "the mission", or even new computer equipment.  That kind of money in the DHS budget is going to the law enforcement portion of the agency...

                  The DHS budget and how it's portioned out is a travesty.

                  •  Which got separated out. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ladybug53, kishik

                    Previously, the border patrol were INS.  Now, that function has been combined with Customs in two new agencies:  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

                    As for the DHS budget, I'm not sure how much you know, but it is a huge travesty.  After it's portioned out, the agencies have to return parts of their budgets in the form of what the agencies call a "DHS tax."  So, for instance, when FEMA says it got X billion dollars, yes, it did, but it had to return Y billion dollars to pay for DHS central functions.  But it's treated as if it still had X billion dollars for purposes of determining whether it's adequately funded.  This actually ends up being a partial cause of the bungled Katrina response.  Many of FEMA's problems stem from it.  Example:  they couldn't hire procurement people, and as a result, a bunch of the disaster response contracts that needed to be in place weren't.

                    Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

                    by DC Pol Sci on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 06:18:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The first AG for DHS... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DC Pol Sci, ER Doc

                      started seriously looking into the budget and how money was spent the first year of the creation of DHS...

                      His first report gave no one stars.

                      Guess who didn't get reconfirmed/upped by the Senate?


                      That was Clark Kent Irwin.

                      What's very whacky is that Customs (former Treasury) always had a fairly good budget for equipment and such.  Combining Customs at the ports and INS at the ports now give them a MASSIVE budget (or rather budget that doesn't necessarily put them in jeopardy like many of the other agencies).

                      •  You mean IG? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        As in Inspector General?

                        Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

                        by DC Pol Sci on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 08:43:24 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Sorry! (0+ / 0-)


                          I've been flipping between gardening news and immigration stuff... I think I'm totally discombobulated!  LOL

                          IG - and the last name is ERVIN... sorry!

                          In any case, Clark Ervin, the former IG apparently was actually doing his job.  When it came to upping him for another year, strangely, nothing came forward, and he was quietly eased out of the position.  They finally selected another IG - who I believe was Ervin's deputy.  Not sure how this new guy is doing, but meanwhile DHS has had at least 2 years of non oversight when it comes to internal watchdog.

                          •  Homeland Security is a department that shouldn't (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            even be there and it is eating up needed funds for nothing.

                            Creating another step in communications just makes them less clear, it doesn't clear up communications problems.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but DHS was put in place because departments didn't communicate properly.  All you have by creating the department is another point of possible failure in the communications chain.  You don't get people to coordinate and communicate by creating another committee that has to be coordinated.  You get people to coordinate by telling them  they are expected to talk to each other, telling them how their efforts are to fit together, and holding them accountable for putting things together in a way that makes them work as a team instead of competing.


                            by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 01:47:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  DHS was created (0+ / 0-)

                            because they thought it would "strengthen" communication so another Sept 11 wouldn't happen.  Too bad it didn't include the main players who hold their cards close - like the FBI and CIA.  INS was part of it in the sense that they were never conveyed the information needed.  But what else is new.

                          •  Creating a new line of communication by (0+ / 0-)

                            creating a new department just created a new point of communications failure.  This was very clearly demonstrated by what happened during hurricane Katrina.


                            by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:50:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not that hard (7+ / 0-)

              There is a lot of paperwork required to immigrate to the U.S., but my husband and I were able to do it without any legal help. First, we bought books that described the immigration process in detail.  Amazon has a wide selection.  Then we searched the web for information. The most valuable source was, a newsgroup with a FAQ that pretty much walks immigrants through the process. Neither my husband nor I have any legal background. The process is confusing, but a reasonable intelligent person can deal with it if they are careful, detail oriented, and read carefully about what can go wrong.  Many people complete the process without a lawyer.  

              And there are always appeals. The people working for the INS know that their system is cumbersome and mistakes get made. Your friends situation doesn't make any sense.  Advance parole is a document that provides permission to leave the U.S. while your documents are being processed.  Here is information:


              As you can see, the INS "losing" the advance parole won't exclude the individual from coming back to the U.S. - the immigrant is given a card that is as good as a passport, not just verbal permission. They don't check with the INS before they let people in using advanced parole any more than they check the validity of every passport. There must be some reason that the individual was refused admission with his advance parole document.  The INS can be very petty about whey they refuse permission to enter the country, but they do have rules they follow.

              •  Advance Parole (6+ / 0-)

                I was specifically told (when I called USCIS customer support) that Advance Parole does NOT guarantee you the right the re-enter the country.  It is not the same as a passport and you risk losing your status as an applicant in the residency process.  The woman I spoke with (who was very intelligent and kind) said that it would be very risky to try and travel internationally.

                My husband and I just successfully got approved for his green card, without the help of a lawyer, but there was no way we were going to travel outside the country until we got that green card stamp in his passport.

                All in all, I was VERY impressed with the speed, accuracy, and professionalism of the USCIS staff.  Surprising, I know.

                •  Actually... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  betterdonkeys, ladybug53, ER Doc, kurt

                  ...advance parole is usually safe.  But there are exceptions.  For instance, if your husband was illegally present in the U.S. (i.e., out of status) for  180 days or more at a time, advance parole doesn't protect against a 3 or 10-year bar for admission to the U.S.  Others have reported problems with people who got married in the U.S. on tourist, as opposed to fiancee, visas and then filed for adjustment of status.

                  The kicker is that with advance parole, you still have to prove admissibility to the United States.  Even if you have a green card, though, there are situations when they will deny admission.  Don't worry--it doesn't sound like any of them apply to you guys, but they're cracking down on people who maintain U.S. green cards but don't really live here.  In the past, it used to be possible to maintain a green card by coming to the U.S. for two weeks once every six months (even though it wasn't legal).  These days, if the CBP officer looks at the computer and sees that you've been spending so much time outside of the U.S. that it doesn't look like you're actually a resident (remember, green cards are only for legal permanent resident aliens), s/he is likely to refuse entry.

                  My wife traveled outside the U.S. twice on advance parole.  She had no problems, but she came on a fiancee visa.

                  Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

                  by DC Pol Sci on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:12:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That makes sense... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DC Pol Sci, ladybug53, ER Doc

                    My husband came into the country on a 90 day travel visa and we married about 3 months after it expired.  I am still breathing heavy sighs of relief that we didn't run into any issues with his visa expiring before we filed the paperwork.

                  •  You won't be 'refused' entry... (5+ / 0-)

                    but will be given a choice to give up the green card (admitting you've abandoned residence), choose to go before an immigration judge to present your case (extraordinary reasons as to why you've been outside of the country and what's prevented you from staying in the US as a permanent resident) OR give up the card BUT elect to chose to go before the judge in the future.  Giving up the card - and granted you are admissable, will allow you entry.  You'll be allowed in as a "non-immigrant" - B2 NIV classification.  Your next entry you will have to present yourself as a visitor, not as a resident.

                    Important to keep the copy of the form filled out for your records. Especially if you give up your card, but are seeking to see the immigration judge at a later date in the future.

                    Advance parole is never a guarantee into the country.  And it's vitally important that the person who is entering on advance parole truly has a CLEAN RECORD or is carrying paperwork proving his/her innocence (like if arrested, paperwork dismissing or clearing the person of charges, if formally charged with deportation, paperwork from the immigration judge showing you overcame the deportation charges, etc)

                    And sometimes, just sometimes, and just as in other relationships - the spouse who is a non-citizen, either has truly forgotten some incident in the past which might have been major or minor that will affect his/her status (this CAN include administrative charges that preclude one from having an easy adjustment of status case, aside from any possible charges that could be considered criminal... INCLUDING INCIDENTS THAT OCCURRED IN THE PERSON'S NATIVE COUNTRY) or simply never told their US citizen spouse maybe because of shame or whatever.  So it's a huge surprise to the benefactor that something is keeping the process from going smoothly.

                    Immigration can really be complicated, but it's not always so.  Most folks don't encounter problems like this.  But the key is - if you do use an immigration attorney - check them out first.  Get references like you would when hiring anyone.  Unfortunately, there are plenty of immigration attorneys who rip people off or lose cases because of pure incompetence.  Also, never rely solely on the attorney.  Almost all applications come with fees and all come with extensive information and instructions.  Go to the USCIS site and go to look up the form, download it and READ THE INSTRUCTIONS yourself - so you understand what you are doing and WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING.

                    During the interview, it's always better to tell the truth.  If you are found to be lying (after signing applications stating you understand all the consequences of lying and perjury) your application can be denied on the basis then on Moral Charecter.

                    If you've ever been arrested, but the charges were dismissed or dropped, don't mark - No, never been arrested.

                    If you have been arrested and payed a fine or served time and was released and the crime was not one of those that preclude you from eligibility (like drug trafficking, felony charges, terrorist, affiliated with terrorist, etc) then you better have a damn good immigration attorney.  Anything that comes up as a criminal charge - even minor ones, sometimes can hold up the process because the USCIS adjudicator then has reason to check further into someone's background and to request a shit load more of paperwork from the applicant.  These requests, of course, can slow down the process.  And this is where descretionary denials can come into play.

                    Also - DHS/INS merely upholds the laws set by congress.  To change those laws you shouldn't attack INS/DHS, but work on Congress to change the laws (which at this point doesn't look promising with the current trend AND the mission that was set for Homeland Security)

                    •  And their budget... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      betterdonkeys, ladybug53, kishik

             also set by Congress.  Frankly, I'm amazed, given the size of the budget and the crushing workload, that the agency doesn't grind to a complete halt.

                      But individual CIS officials do indeed have discretion in particular cases.  Some of them use it wisely; some of them do not.  Like everything else, it's a judgment call.  Unfortunately, giving such discretion to overworked, underpaid individuals is a recipe for bad decision making, with sometimes disastrous effects.

                      Usually, these get worked out through the process (the immigration judges are the first and most important line of defense).  Sometimes, they turn into real tragedies.

                      Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

                      by DC Pol Sci on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 06:26:32 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  My experiences were positive, too (6+ / 0-)

                  All the INS people we dealth with were polite and helpful, although our personal involvement with people was minimal.   I don't mean that the advance parole is a passport, literally, just that it is a document, like a passport, not a simple verbal permission.  We never used one, actually. My husband entered on a K-1, so our adjustment of status only took a few months. There is no way I would have let him leave the country without that adjustment.  I feel sorry for people who decide to just marry and then start the paperwork. I understand it can take much longer to get conditional residency. And if the immigrant is in the country illegally, often their only option is to leave and apply from outside, which can take years.  I was separated from my husband to be for over a year, and it was hard.

              •  You have the clear advantage of (8+ / 0-)

                having something better than an incomplete high school education and you speak English.  But thanks for explaining how easy it is even when the immigration office loses your paperwork and they tell you to get lost.  They followed everything to the letter.  I have seen the documents.  They still lost the battle and within the context of the "Post 9/11 Era" he is in limbo and now in Sweden.  Lucky for them he doesn't come from a dangerous and screwed up country.  Lucky for them she is automatically accepted as a citizen because she is his wife.  You infer that he did something that might be questionable and that is not the case.  But I am glad that it is not that hard.  I'll call them in Sweden now that they have spent all of their money on getting there and let them know how easy it really was even though they spent six years in the process of sorting it out.  They will be glad to hear it and when they put the money together to come back, I'm sure if they tell the next surly "Post 9/11 Era" immigration officer that it isn't that hard, it will all work out for them.  They followed all of the rules.

                •  You assume too much (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DC Pol Sci, ladybug53, ER Doc

                  I never said that they did something questionable.  I simply said that the INS could refuse to let people back into the country for petty reasons, but they had to have a reason. The reason doesn't have to involve somebody doing something wrong, it can be quite petty. Personally, I think that leaving the country while your documents are being processed is not a good idea. It doesn't take that long to get an adjustment of status if you married on a K-1 visa, and if you didn't marry on a K-1 you're just asking for trouble if you ask for special privileges. The advance parole is seen as a special priviledge, since anybody who leaves the country while their documents are being processed is considered to have abandoned their claim. The parole is given for emergencies where somebody simply must leave (i.e. a death in the family).  The reality is that most people who follow the rules end up okay.  But ANY violation of the rules, however petty and insignificant, my end up in heartbreak. Your friends may be nice and honest people, but a technical violation is a violation in their eyes, nonetheless.  It may not be right, but that's the way the system works. It's critical when working with immigration to make sure you have NO violations, technical or otherwise, and that you always err on the side of caution.

                  •  You're asking for trouble, agreed... (5+ / 0-)

                    ...even though you don't necessarily deserve trouble...

                    Marrying on a K-1 seems to make everything a lot easier.  When they look at your records, it shows them that you've followed all of the rules.  The K-1 is specifically a visa to come to the U.S. to get married.  CIS/INS usually looks askance at the I-485, since someone who declared when they got their visa that their intent was to be a nonimmigrant has changed his/her mind and now says s/he wants to be an immigrant.  The first thing on CIS/INS' mind is "immigration fraud.  The person intended to be an immigrant all along."  But although the K-1 is technically a nonimmigrant visa, it's just about the only one that doesn't actually require proof that your intent isn't to immigrate.  Same is true of the H-1B (though it's much harder to adjust with an employment-based visa, since there are numerical limitations).

                    The fact of the matter is that a lot of (but probably not "most" and certainly not "nearly all") the tourist visa marriages are indeed sham marriages.  CIS/INS is justified in their scrutiny.  Unfortunately, some genuine people get screwed in the process.  There has to be a better way.

                    Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

                    by DC Pol Sci on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:29:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The INS assumes 50% (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DC Pol Sci, ladybug53, Lashe, ER Doc

                      I've read that the INS assumes that half of all marriages for the purpose of immigration are sham marriages.  I can understand that, since it can often be very difficult to immigrate to the U.S. any other way.  When my husband and I applied, we were very careful to provide all kinds of proof that we were marrying for love, even including a copy of his extremely romantic marriage proposal (it was on a newsgroup) and multiple letters from people who knew us.  This is in spite of the fact that he is Canadian, and was hardly fleeing an opressive regime (although the government of Quebec can be a tad opressive at times ;-)).  I was nervous about our adjustment of status interview, even though we were like an old married couple from the start (we finish each others senteces and argue a lot <g>).  I can see how it could be difficult for people with different cultural mores to prove that they are marrying honestly, instead of simply to immigrate.

                      I think that many people who don't deal with bureaucrats don't realize how detail oriented they can be. Technical violations are simply violations to them, even if the intent was honest. It's a strange mindset that is a bit frightening when you come across it.  

                •  Oh, and they didn't teach me how to immigrate (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ladybug53, kishik

                  In college, I studied botany, not bureaucracy. I would assume that most people who apply to help their spousal immigrate would have a basic familiarity with english.  The initial immigration process is completed by the citizen, not the immigrant spouse.  Perhaps I've simply associated with a select crowd, but in my experience, just because somebody doesn't have a college degree (or even a high school diploma) doesn't mean that they are incapable of higher thought. Seriously - a college degree only gives you more knowledge, not a higher intellect.

                  •  My friend couldn't have lasted a week in (0+ / 0-)

                    a botany class.  Well actually she is one hell of a gardener, but you and I have brain power that is different from hers.  Your academic background and your IQ basically give you an edge.  It seems odd to have to point that out to you, but perhaps you haven't known a lot of people outside academia.  

                    And just to be clear for the thrid time: the record of his parole was lost at the immigration office.  The bureacracy seems to have no remedy for that other than to tell people to get lost.  At least that was what they were told by the immigration people they were dealing with and without any legal counsel.  "Basic English" isn't a language used in any government documents I have every dealt with so I have no idea what you are talking about there.  There are a lot of things I read published by the government that are either not really English and thus very unclear or so convoluted that they are clearly designed to confuse the reader into making mistakes.  I go back to my original statement about tax forms.  You basically need someone to tell you what the "standard answer" is for each of the damn boxes because if you try to do it yourself, you're probably going to make a mistake.

              •  It may not have been an *advance* parole. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dianem, ladybug53, Lashe, kurt

                There's also a status called "parole," which applies to people who are ineligible to enter the U.S. but who are admitted for emergency or humanitarian reasons.

                Inclusiveheart didn't say what kind of "parole" applied in his/her friend's case.

                Again, locking the citizen spouse in a room is illegal.  CIS/INS only has the power to detain aliens.  People need to start filing false imprisonment suits.  It's a common law tort, and relief should be available under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

                Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

                by DC Pol Sci on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:17:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You can get such books at (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dianem, ladybug53

                a public library as well.

                •  I lived in a small town (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Catte Nappe

                  The library was a good one, but not very wealthy.  Most of the books there were quite old. I didn't look, but I wanted to be sure to get the most current information possible.  And books just don't give you details like knowing that even if you check off the box labelled "never married", you have to write "None" in the space for previous spouses or you risk having your documents returned.  Not kidding.

                  Actually, the internet was a lot more useful than any books we read. has a faq that is extensive, detailled, and current.  And they have an active group with people who are in all stages of the process. I would recommend that anybody who is planning on immigrating or helping somebody immigrate via marriage read the faq and get at least peripherally involved in the group.  Most libraries have computers for internet access. Even if there is a lawyer involved, it's a good idea to learn as much as possible. Not all lawyers are competent, and they can't know everything about every case.

            •  Immigration rip offs. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe, ladybug53, Lashe

              We have friends here in Europe who spent 7 years in the U. S. as illegals.  They're fine, hard-working people, not university-educated.  They were ripped off several times by con artists who promised them green cards, but most egregious was their wealthy employer who used them as something close to personal slaves for five years on her Long Island estate.

              Despite this experience, they've been very kind to us, and in many ways, they still love the U. S.

            •  Immigration and taxes (0+ / 0-)

              should both be simple enough for any one with a high school education to get the maximum effect. That should be one of the targets of a high school education.

              Illegal immigration will not be resolved until our processes are simple and effective and efficient enough to respond to the needs of our economy. Breaking the law to enter is not a good policy, either for the immigrant or the US. Disregard for the law, as the first incident of interaction with America, is a bad start. Worker status for folks who don't want to assimilate should be available, but secondary to folks who do want to assimilate.

              Ban Intolerance Now!

              by brahma on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 07:06:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I should point out that ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...her ESL program is for ADULTS.

        •  I have been wondering if I should (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          go back and get a teaching degree in ESL. I think I would really enjoy it but I think it could be very wearing at times because there would be many very sad stories mixed in with the good ones.

          •  It's the best $#%$%#ing job in the world. (5+ / 0-)

            I train ESL teachers. Mine get hired before they've finished the program.

            -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

            by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:07:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I educate pre-service ESL teachers too (5+ / 0-)

              To teach ESL is a great job for the satisfaction in seeing the progress of students.

              In terms of benefits, unless you teach in the public schools, I would not consider it the best ?????? job i the world.

              That being said, I have one of the great teaching jobs in the world.

              Oh, and my spouse is not a US citizen, but we had no trouble in 1982 when we got married and she got her "green" card.

              Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren. Brecht.

              by MoDem on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:27:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks to all of you for all your comments (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              on teaching ESL. You are really making me revisit the issue.

              •  There are a lot of ESL teachers on dKos. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Didn't you write to me once about this?

                -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

                by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:11:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not ESL, but wanted you to know (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SensibleShoes, ladybug53, Lashe

                  That I had emailed my senators, and this was the last comment you made.

                  Here is what I wrote.  If you or anybody has ideas please say so.  I tried to make it middle of the road, but specific to the concern of people married to US citizens.

                  Within the current debate over immigration there are a number of things that have gotten lost.  One of them is the deportation of immigrants married to US citizens that have not yet achieved legal resident status.  In some cases it may ultimately be determined that they may not be granted citizenship, but this should only be after an extremely careful review with adequate chance of appeal and reconsideration based on correction of initial causes of rejection.

                  Please act quickly to prevent the deportation of any person married to a US citizen, unless they have been convicted of a crime in the US.  Depending on individual circumstances it would be best to allow them to reside with their family, but there may be some cases where detention is required such as a pending criminal investigation.  The vast majority of people affected by this are not criminals, but people who have come here for a better life or to escape persecution.  If they are deported it means a horrible choice for a US citizen, to either go with their spouse to an undesirable or dangerous environment, or stay here alone.  Either way it reflects very poorly on this nation.

                  We are all immigrants or the children of immigrants in this country.  There are many questions to resolve about immigration policy, but deportation of persons married to US citizens should not be one of them.

                  As I re-read it, I suppose I should have said 'serious crime', but I think the spirit is there.

                  Live Free or Die-words to live by

                  by ForFreedom on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 09:40:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No, I didn't, Sensible. It must have been someone (0+ / 0-)


                •  I think it was me, sensible.... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ladybug53, sleep deprived, Lashe

                  Incredible diary, btw.  I am sitting her dumb struck.  Why do I continuously think of the movie Midnight Express when reading about the USA?  And thinking.. geeze... we're a lot like Turkey -- once you hit a black hole in the US system, you're a gonner.

                  LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

                  by letsfight on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 10:18:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  teaching esl (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SensibleShoes, lecsmith, ladybug53

            is, as others have noted, endlessly rewarding.  I loved it so much I'm thinking about teaching English in Brazil.

            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

            by vejoaronda on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:44:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think people here are anti immmigrant (4+ / 0-)

        Anti illegal immigration mabey. Anti guest worker program definetly.
        We need to come up with proper framing since legal, illegal, and guest workers are lumped together when they are seperate issues.

        "Just when they think they know the answer, I change the question!" -Roddy Piper

        by McGirk SF on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:07:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Correction (6+ / 0-)

        I was nervous about posting this, because I know there's some anti-immigrant feeling around.

        I'm usually put into this camp. But I'm against ILLEGAL immigrants, not all immigrants.

        I'm disgusted by this story for several reasons, but the main two are the failure of the government to help this man become an American as he wanted to do, and the failure of the government to devote resources to REAL issues, like port safety. ARGH!

        The poor family. 8-(

        I don't like Bizarro World... I want to go home to America.

        by willers on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:31:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  are you against (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          illegal immigration or illegal immigrants?  There is a difference.

          If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

          by vejoaronda on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:50:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The statement (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            was "immigrants", which is what I was speaking to. And unless I'm mistaken, you can't have illegal immigration with out illegal immigrants.

            I can guess where you're trying to make me go with this, so suffice to say I'm not against any individual human being if they're acting honorably and honestly. I'm not so happy with lawbreakers.

            I don't like Bizarro World... I want to go home to America.

            by willers on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:12:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  come on (0+ / 0-)

          Why now.
          Because Republicans are failing in the polls so NOW it's a problem.  Bush comes to Texas to court the Hispanic vote and happily speaks Spanish but now Oh no!  The Anthem should be in Spanish.
          See the truth for what it is.  Racism pure and simple.

          •  Don't care about the timing (0+ / 0-)

            You must have posted your message in the wrong place, as my comment had absolutely nothing to do with Bush, the Hispanic vote, etc.

            I don't like Bizarro World... I want to go home to America.

            by willers on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:13:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It has been a problem for a long time (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sleep deprived

            Bush's duplicity on the issue is apparent in the fact that all his "guest worker" program would do is allow the same people to be exploited legally instead of illegally.  It doesn't solve the problem at all.

            Legalization or amnesty are not the answer.  Fixing the mess that is the INS so that stories like the one above don't happen and closing the border to illegal entrants in a civilized manner where possible (and never in an uncivilized manner) are part of it.  Making employers able to and required to check the status of people they are going to hire is part of it.  The third part is giving Mexico incentive to solve its own problems and do more to stop the illegal flow of people into the U.S. from Mexico.  This might be accomplished by sending Mexico a bill for services rendered to Mexican citizens here that are undocumented entrants.


            by Turnbow on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:14:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  how (0+ / 0-)

              are we going to close the border in "a civilized manner"?

              If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

              by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 08:16:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  By building a fence and using cameras and (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                enforcement agents to curb the traffic.  A fence isn't uncivilized.  Gun posts are.  A fence isn't uncivilized.  Mine fields are.

                The problem needs to be attacked from three directions.  Stopping employers from hiring people who enter illegally, encouraging our neighbors to patrol their side of the border properly, and making it known that we are serious about having a border by making it apparent with a fence.


                by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 01:59:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  a fence (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mariachi mama

                  is uncivilized.  Take a look at massive barriers throughout history.  Not the most progressive solutions, are they?

                  Secondly, how on earth are we going to build and maintain a 1,951-mile long fence?  Can you show me where in the world a barrier approaching anywhere near this size has worked?  See Land of Enchantment's excellent diary about the virtual impossibilty of building a barrier on the southern border.  Not to mention the prohibitive cost.

                  "Fence"-type thinking is neo-medievalism, and it's really worrying.

                  Oh, and it wouldn't be a "fence."  It would be a wall.

                  If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                  by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:54:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Do you own property? (0+ / 0-)

                    I do.  I also had occasion to be a long time observer of several different situations involving boundaries of property.  

                    There are fences that define a line.  There are properties where no real line is defined.  There are properties where barriers have been erected.  There are properties where one neighbor endeavors to move the property line by erecting a fence on land that isn't his.

                    When a normal fence is on the line, it generally doesn't get crossed by the neighbors.  The property line is well defined and is respected.  This is the normal situation.

                    When no real property line is defined, even for a part of the length of the property line, one neighbor tends to encroach on the other's property.  One of my neighbors wanted to set up that situation.  He asked to remove the fence between our properties from the street to the back of the driveway.  It turned out that he wanted to move in a huge boat and use part of our driveway for parking it.  I refused before I even knew what he had wanted to do.  It avoided a large problem, and we never developed any real animosity toward one another.

                    Across the street, neighbors had taken down their fence.  One of them started parking his vehicles on the other side of the property line and putting his garbage containers there.  The other neighbor got angry.  They fought.  They called the police on each other.  They can no longer communicate.

                    In another case I know of, a fence was put up that didn't follow the property line when a property was being sold, and took away access for one neighbor to clean his chimney.  After attempts to reason with the neighbor who had moved the fence and proof that another fence had existed on what the neighbor who couldn't clean his chimney thought was the logical property line a dispute ensued.  Surveyors were brought in and it was determined that the fence was not only in the wrong place, but that the builders of the houses on the block had made a mistake and the line was not between the two houses, but through the chimney of the person who had kept his neighbor from getting to his chimney.  Several feet were also added on the other side to the property of a third neighbor.  Luckily that was the extent of adjustments necessary.  The dispute was very bitter and lasted over a period of thirteen years while everything finally went through the court system.  The neighbors have been next door to each other and haven't really talked to each other for over thirty years.

                    Not having a fence or very well defined border is not a good thing for next door neighbors, whether they be countries or just families.


                    by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:42:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  no (0+ / 0-)

                      The conflation between national lands and private property is not valid.  They aren't remotely the same thing.  As a citizen you don't "own" the national lands - it's not your property.

                      You should also think about scale.  The border is 1,951 miles long.  The comparison to "my neighbor had a fence" is fallacious.

                      If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                      by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 11:28:03 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The Great Wall of China goes over twice that (0+ / 0-)

                        length and is much wider and taller than what I am talking about.  It isn't impossible, or even completely impractical.

                        As a nation we do "own" the national lands.  It is not personal property, but national property.  I am a stakeholder in it, and our government at all levels controls, sells, taxes and maintains our national lands and infrastructure.


                        by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 11:56:47 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  P.S. In each of the cases I talked about (0+ / 0-)

                          I can point to countries that have nearly the same situation and who end up having the same type of results adjusted for scale.  There are cases in international law.  There are present day disputes.


                          by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 12:00:14 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  umm please let me know about them n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 12:13:21 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, there is (0+ / 0-)

                            Israel's situation, which has included both a case of moving into other people's territory because the line was not defined well and also building a fence over the line.  The neighbors are at each others throats.  There is Kashmir, which was a border left partially undecided (open) between Pakistan and India.  The two have been jockeying for position and trying to claim it.  They aren't happy with each other, either.

                            There is the Chamizal decision where a border moved itself and territory was claimed.  There are others, but I don't have the energy to look them up right now.  These you also might be familiar with without too much trouble checking them.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 08:07:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I cannot believe (0+ / 0-)

                            you are using Israel and Kashmir as examples.  This is just inconceivable - Israel and Kashmir are two of the most war-ridden areas on the planet (Kashmir is the most).  Are these examples to follow?  Do the same solutions make sense?  No and no.

                            Again, as with the Chamizal example, none of these barriers are remotely comparable in terms of scale.  Not even close.  The Chamizal border was like what, a mile long?  And the dispute was because of the river moving south - how is this comparable to the current situation?  It's not.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 09:29:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  great wall of china? (0+ / 0-)

                          I cannot believe you are using this as a positive example, something worthy of emulation.  It's estimated that more than one million people died during it's construction.  Not only that, but it wasn't effective!  Regardless, the comparison is downright silly.  You're talking about a wall that was built in the 3rd century BC to keep out invading, horseback-riding Mongols.  Please explain to me how we face a similar situation on the southern border?

                          When you respond please remember that the great wall didn't even work.

                          And you missed the point about the property.  The difference between private property and the commons is that the commons are guaranteed to everyone.  You seem to have a respect for the Constitution, so I'll let you in on a secret.  The constitution does not give rights to CITIZENS, it gives rights to PERSONS.  They clearly defined "everyone" on the receiving end of public goods to be everyone, not just citizens.

                          If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                          by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 12:12:56 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Are you being intentionally dense? (0+ / 0-)

                            The Great Wall was constructed centuries ago with methods we wouldn't use today.  Nobody would have to die in order for us to build a fence on our border today and it would not have to take as long, be as high or as wide as the Great Wall.  It could be done, and should be.  I didn't claim it would eliminate illegal immigration, just curb it.  I also didn't claim it was the only thing needing to be done.

                            National lands are not "guaranteed" to foreigners.  They are allowed to visit, but have no representation in the decisions about those lands that are made.

                            The Constitution applies to the people of the United States and, to a point, to persons IN the United States or its territories.  It gives no rights to people outside our borders and doesn't guarantee all of them to foreign visitors.  Voting, for example, cannot be done by foreign visitors.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 08:18:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you are proving my point (0+ / 0-)

                            The Great Wall was constructed centuries ago with methods we wouldn't use today.  Nobody would have to die in order for us to build a fence on our border today and it would not have to take as long, be as high or as wide as the Great Wall.

                            These are the precise reasons that it's not comparable to the US-Mexican border situation at all.  The comparison is just laughable.

                            The Constitution applies to the people of the United States and, to a point, to persons IN the United States or its territories.  It gives no rights to people outside our borders and doesn't guarantee all of them to foreign visitors.  Voting, for example, cannot be done by foreign visitors.

                            Again, I encourage you to take a look at the Constitution.  The rights it details are guaranteed to people, not just "people of the United States," as you claim.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 09:33:35 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So you think a foreign person can vote in our (0+ / 0-)

                            elections???  NOT.  The Constitution does NOT allow that.

                            Are you talking about the Constitution of the United States of  America, the Declaration of Independence or some other document?

                            I think you are forgetting a crucial word when you write "people".  It is not "people", but "the people" meaning  "the people of the United States".


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:26:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  no i don't (0+ / 0-)

                            I did not say that all people should be allowed to vote in our country.  I'm sorry, it doesn't say people it says "persons" (I said "people" my second post).

                            As I've said, I'm talking about the Constitution.  You seemed to like it, so I brought it up.

                            All persons in the United States have rights, regardless of their immigration status.  This is settled law.

                            I look forward to your responses to my many other comments.  In particular I'd like to hear your opinion on the "the US doesn't squelch third-world democracy" thread.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:38:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Person turns up a lot, but only in one place do (0+ / 0-)

                            I find that it refers to just anyone where that part of the Constitution hasn't be replaced by a later statement that clarifies it.  That would be in the amendment regarding capital offenses and the requirement that a grand jury present an indictment.  It is only trials for the worst of crimes where there are rights given to the accused as a person regardless of citizenship.

                            Where it appears in other places, person or persons is clarified by the rest of the paragraph it is in to mean citizens unless an amendment has changed that section to reflect such.  Well, except for allowing taxation of income of pretty much anyone.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 03:00:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  EVERY person in the country (0+ / 0-)

                            is protected by the bill of rights, regardless of their immigration status.  Every single one.  Illegal immigrants have a right to emergency medical care.  They have a right to earn minimum wage and to prosecute (via the dept of labor) employers for back pay or if they have been abused without fear of deportation.   They have a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to take fifth amendment, and the right to organize for political or social change.  They have the right not to reveal their immigration status if questioned, the right to call their consulate if arrested, the right to an attorney and the right to a fair trial.

                            This is settled law.  It's fine to state that you don't believe that illegal immigrants should be afforded these rights, but to state that they aren't is false.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Mon May 01, 2006 at 09:36:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i'm also (0+ / 0-)

                            glad you seemed to have abandoned the ridiculous "great wall" analogy.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:39:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  About the wall, how does (0+ / 0-)

                            the fact that it is more practicable to build the wall where and how I want it built than it was to build a longer one centuries ago all of a sudden make the new wall a bad idea?  It is easier, cheaper (in time and lives) and quicker than one that has been built.  That would argue that it isn't impossible or impractical.  You said that the wall would not be doable.  A longer one was done centuries ago with less technology.  That means your idea that it can't be done is hogwash.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:42:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  your logic (0+ / 0-)

                            is faulty:

                            That means your idea that it can't be done is hogwash.

                            You claimed the Great Wall, which was constructed over 2000 years ago, was proof positive that it could and should be done today on the southern border.  I didn't say it couldn't be done.  I think it would be insanely costly (in terms of dollars and lives) and ultimately ineffective.  Your bringing up a massive wall which didn't work does not contradict these statements.

                            My point was that the comparison was completely flawed.  Firstly, it was designed for entirely different purposes.  Secondly, it didn't work.

                            Explain to me why the fact that a ineffective wall was built 2000 years ago in order to expel invading Mongols tells us that it's a good solution for illegal immigration in America?

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 02:54:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The Great Wall was not entirely ineffective. (0+ / 0-)

                            I never said that the construction of that wall was reason that construction of a wall should be done, only that it meant that construction of a wall on our border was possible and practical.

                            It should be done because it would promote respect for our border and decrease, though not eliminate (unfortuanately), illegal immigration.  I said that several things have to be done to control the problem of legal immigration, not just the construction of the wall.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 03:05:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'll also remind you (0+ / 0-)

                            that it took about 2000 years to build.  I'm not sure how this makes you think it's "practical," and I know you keep talking about our fabulous construction abilities, but have you actually thought about any of the practicalities?  I may have already linked this for you, but if not, take a look at Land of Enchantment's excellent diary about the difficulties of building a wall.  Do you deny that it would be tremendously expensive and politically impossible?

                            It should be done because it would promote respect for our border and decrease, though not eliminate (unfortuanately), illegal immigration.

                            There are ways to do this that do not include a wall.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:55:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  two faced (0+ / 0-)

              forked tongued, fence sitting, poll taking guy.
              If a guest worker program is something Bush wants shouldn't he be flying  all over and speaking to specially selected groups with sound bites and photo ops. with illegal immigrants? Like he did on social security?

          •  not be (0+ / 0-)

            too quick to push post.
            must go back to English class

      •  Some anti-immigrant feelings around... (17+ / 0-)

        Boy, you're not kidding.  Just down the road from you over here in Raleigh I can't go to any meeting, game, grocery store, etc without hearing more and more complaints about "those Mexicans."  

        There's a nasty undercurrent of prejudice and bigotry that still runs through many of the "old timers" in the area.  They're usually pretty good about covering up public comments about "coloreds"  (used locally only to refer to African-Anericans) but the frequency and bitterness of comments about immigrants driving badly, working illegally, being responsible for crime, for school crowding, for taking jobs away from "college students and senior citizens" has rocked my head back a bit in just the last week or so.

        Come hear the voices crying in the wilderness at

        by mrsdbrown1 on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:59:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which is why the boycott Monday may prove to be (4+ / 0-)

          a negative in the long run, as more and more are speaking out openly against "those immigrants"--lumping legals and illegals together.  It is based on the same prejudice that prevailed big time years ago against African-Americans (and still does somewhat today).  Much of this country is not very tolerant.

          •  i don't think (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc

            it's a good idea to not stand up for your rights just because of what ignorant people will say.

            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

            by vejoaronda on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:52:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It isn't what they will say as much as what they (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              might decide to do.  The boycott is likely to backfire big time.  Some email in answer to a question about it on "Cafferty files" pointed that out pretty clearly.

              People don't think of these protests as being about LEGAL immigration, only ILLEGAL.  They are not all that wrong in that assumption.


              by Turnbow on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:19:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I had a friend (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrsdbrown1, TexMex, gatorcog, ER Doc

          forward two anti-Mexican screeds to me and about 30 others on her list. One was from Michele Mangalangadingdong and the second from some wingnut named Frosty Wooldridge at called "Where's the outrage?" in which he blamed all crime in the Southwest on the "Mexican invasion."

          I asked her to stop sending me such rants because they turned my stomach.

          This is classic "blame the victim." Demonizing people who come here for a better life will not solve the problems outlined here. Diversity does not equal violence and disorder. The Republicans who are cutting funding to the cities (a traditionally Democratic stronghold) and public schools (which conservatives shun and denigrate), thus exacerbating the poverty and ignorance they pretend to care about, should look in a mirror before posting screeds like this.

          And Michelle Malkin is as unhinged as her book title, and her eliminationist rhetoric is something no Christian worth his or her salt should stand for.

          [name redacted], please stop sending me this stuff. It just turns my stomach. Brown and black people do not frighten me. The ones doing the yelling in these emails are the ones creating the very problems they rail against, including the "uncivil society" they blame on liberals and progressives. I am a liberal, and proud of it, and find it's perfectly in line with my faith.

          Another professed Christian on her list, who had the same reaction as I did, also had the effrontery to quote Jesus' words about "welcoming the stranger" and "if you do it unto the least of these, you do it for me" back to her. A third said that while they were concerned about illegal immigrants "taking over," they chided her for sending such harsh essays along, and that as Christians we should work together to fix the system, not condemn those who want to come here for a better life.

          I guess my friend didn't expect dissenting responses (people who send this kind of crap never do), because she wrote me a pouty followup, characterizing the above responses as "slamming" her, and blaming the decline in public education on mainstreaming immigrants:

          If the government wants them to learn, give them their own schools, but not out of the pockets of the American people trying to make something for themselves. ...  We are major Bush supporters, but you can bet we are not in line with him when it comes to his new workers plan, at least not while our borders are wide open to let them keep floating in as they wish to suck off the American dole. ... People who come here seeking a better way of life should at least be able to respect the country who is giving them so much, instead if degrading our flag and showing such disdain for our nation.  How something like this doesn't stir up inside you really is beyond me.  And I guess it's not for me to understand. ... I am usually not so outspoken about views that I have, but you have prompted me to let it roll.  Being slammed so volitily [sic] twice in the same week tends to bring it out of me. ... We are certainly not afraid of black, brown or yellow people and have always been open to sharing and learning with those of other cultures.  Seeing it a little bit more to the middle and not so far left wouldn't be such a bad thing.

          As a parting shot, she said that the reason oil prices were going up because the oil barons are not "allowed" to have control of their own industry.

          I am astonished that in this day and age, a half-century after Brown vs. the Board of Education, people still advocate apartheid for nonwhite children in public schools. But I suppose I shouldn't be.

          My response to her response was to simply point out that I hadn't accused her of bigotry and racism, but had I just told her how I felt -- and that my other comments were directed at the two authors, not her.

          I then referred her to David Neiwert's site for a more extended explanation of why I disagreed with her two favorite pundits. I ended by sending my warm regards to her and her husband, and wished them both a blessed Easter. But I haven't received a response, and I doubt that I will. I also doubt that she'll go to Orcinus to read the link I sent -- or if she does, I doubt she'll admit it. But I had to try.

          Sigh. Rebutting this kind of shit has apparently cost me a 25-year friendship, and makes me despise the rabid right all the more.

          There is but one surefire way to vanquish conservatives, and that is to beat the shit out of them."--David Podvin

          by Sharoney on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 12:23:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And this is why (8+ / 0-)

        I have so much anti-anti-immigrant feeling these days.  It wasn't immigrants who allowed Bush to have a second term, and it wasn't immigrants who couldn't even bring themselves to disapprove of him until their precious gas got so expensive.

        I say, let 'em stay. Maybe those conscience-free Red Staters will learn something from them.

        •  they did a study (9+ / 0-)

          where people who lived in areas with a lot of immigrants (illegal and otherwise), in big cities or on the coasts etc, had a considerably higher opinion of immigrants than did people from areas with few immigrants.  This means that most of the anti-immigrant hate comes from people who are never around them

          If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

          by vejoaronda on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:42:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Being against illegal immigration isn't all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            about hate.  Most people who are against illegal immigration are just angry that the law isn't being enforced and that the borders aren't secure.

            That would be where I am.

            I am multilingual and from an area with a lot of immigrants.   I don't hate anyone.  I still think we have a border and laws.


            by Turnbow on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:24:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              refrain from using the "legal argument."  Some laws deserve to be broken.  I believe that oftentimes mitigating circumstances dictate that many immigration laws be disobeyed.  You may not, but your argument shouldn't be that "people are breaking the law," it's that these laws should not be broken, and to make that argument you have to talk about immigration law itself and the circumstances in which it is violated.

              Secondly, as for "secure borders" - it's a helluva a lot easier to get in from Canada - should we put troops up there, too?

              I'm not certain how you know what "most people" think about immigration, but I know from experience that there is a lot of opposition to nonwhite foreigners period.  That goes for dKos, too.

              If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

              by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 08:20:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't care whether they are non-white. (0+ / 0-)

                I care whether they are legal entrants into the country.  Most of the illegal entrants are coming in from the southern border.  Even non-Latino illegal immigrants are using that route.  The Canadian border is not nearly as great a problem as the border with Mexico.  The great majority of the illegal entrants in the country come through the southern border.  That said, more enforcement on the Canadian border would be fine.  

                For me it is about the law, and the law doesn't deserve to be broken.  If a law is wrong, you don't just break it, you go about getting it changed to make it work properly.

                There is no way we could just go without immigration law.  There would be a flood of people coming in.  Our system wouldn't be able to handle it.

                It is possible that we need to raise some quotas, but it is hard to tell with the lack of respect shown our existing laws and rampant illegal entry.  We would be able to tell what the quotas should be a lot easier if the illegal immigration was stopped.


                by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 01:09:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  example (0+ / 0-)

                  Jim Crow laws.  Should people of conscience have waited around until they were changed (certainnly unlikely at the time) or should they have been violated at every opportunity?

                  Obviously, if a law is "wrong enough," you do break it.  I believe that many immigrations laws meet that standard.  You may not, and this is where the argument lies, not "the law is the law so you can't break it."

                  Also note that I never said that your concerns were motivated by race.  But you claimed to speak for "most," and I said that my experience conflicted with your conclusion that "most" aren't motivated by concerns about race.

                  As for border security - why are you worried?  Most people who worry about border security are worried about terrorists etc entering the country.  Most of these same people are solely concerned with the southern border, and this is why I bring up the Canadian border - it is much easier to enter the country illegally from Canada than it is from Mexico.  In fact, government agents recently smuggled (as a test) hazardous nuke material across both borders legally, so it remains unclear whether or not militarizing either border would significantly hamper any efforts to harm the country.

                  You, of course, may be more concerned about the economics etc, and thus a focus on the Mexican border seems to make sense.  If you are worried about the economic effect of illegal immigration, I'll refer you to this California study, which examines the economic effects of both legal and illegal immigration - some of the findings may surprise you.

                  If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                  by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 01:50:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There are problems with 'studies' done about the (0+ / 0-)

                    effects of illegal and legal immigration.  First, they don't always separate out the two, which are wildly different sets of people, very well.  Second, anything said about illegal immigration is hard to verify, since people who enter illegally are in fear of deportation and not very forthcoming. Third, there is no way of comparing what is right now and what would be if the illegal immigration was not there.  We don't know.  Any attempt to project what it would mean would be gross speculation.  Much of what we think we know about the way things are turns out to be guesswork at best and projecting from guesswork only adds to the lack of accuracy.


                    by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:18:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  did you read the study? (0+ / 0-)

                      get back to me what you do.

                      If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                      by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:44:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I read it. It had problems. (0+ / 0-)

                        There were critical places where they didn't separate data for illegals from that regarding legal immigrants or say which group they were talking about.  They also seemed to make some strange assumptions about the growth of population of the citizens that have been born in the U.S.  Some of the data was borrowed from a research organization that has a bias.

                        The report also went back and forth between using data that was for the entire country and that which is only for California.  You can't get an accurate picture of California doing that.


                        by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 11:42:36 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  next time (0+ / 0-)

                          you critique something, it might be helpful to use proper nouns.  Like, for instance which research organization has a bias?  Which were the "critical" places where they didn't distinguish between the two groups?  What were the "strange assumptions"?

                          It seemed to me that the report was very well-cited and its conclusions seemed well thought-out.  Despite the fact that the study drew on national and California-specific figures, it never conflated the two and employed them appropriately.  It's hard for me to take your criticism seriously and respond when you're so vague about it.  I look forward to your response.

                          If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                          by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 12:17:11 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, since you won't be bothered to check it (0+ / 0-)

                            yourself, I will lay some of it out for you.

                            Pew Hispanic Center isn't exactly a non-biased source of data.

                            Statements like,
                            "On the other hand, immigrants who enter with skills that are needed in the U.S. economy or with capital to form new companies can raise incomes for existing workers. Evidence suggests that the immigration of entrepreneurs into Silicon Valley has had positive economic effects for existing residents" are misleading in that they do not divide the immigrants coming in illegally that are used by companies that "need" overly cheap manual labor from the legal immigrants that come in due to their education and expertise .  They are in different parts of the job market.  The statement makes it look as though illegal and legal immigration could be the same in their relation to being positive for the economy.  They aren't.

                            "Almost all of California’s workforce growth between 2005 and 2030 is likely to come from immigrants and their children."  How is that possible?  Are they saying that non-immigrants aren't having any children?


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 03:35:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  as to the pew research center (0+ / 0-)

                            do you even know what it is?  It's a nonpartisan, non-advocacy group.  Anyway, the Pew Hispanic Center is only one of their sources, the report was prepared by the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy - too partisan?

                            The report clearly differentiates between illegal and legal immigration.  The report is called "The Impact of Immigration on the California Economy" - that includes both legal and illegal immigrants.  The terms are very clearly defined at the beginning of the report, I suggest you take a look.  I think it's fairly obvious that most illegal immigrants entering the country don't have the capital to start a company etc, but you may not, in which case I again direct you to the definition of terms.  When statistics and conclusions are relative to one group and not the other, the report is very careful to point it out.

                            The report doesn't say that non-immigrants aren't having children.  Again, you miss the point.  What they're saying is that the growth of the workforce (not the population) is mainly due to immigration.  This could mean a few things.  It could be that native-born Americans are moving out of California for work, or it could mean that the birth rate for native-born Californians is at replacement level.  Replacement level means that the birth rate averages out at two kids per couple.  If every couple had two kids, the population wouldn't grow, each couple would just be replacing itself.  This is how it's possible for native-born Californians to have children but at the same time have these children not increase the size of the workforce.  Fairly simple.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:07:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Everybody CALLS themselves non-partisan and (0+ / 0-)

                            non-biased and non-advocacy.  I don't think Pew Hispanic Research Center is unbiased.  The preparers of the report use their data.

                            The report defines the groups, but makes statements that don't really differentiate.  You say it is obvious that they weren't talking about illegal immigrants, only legal immigrants.  If that is what they are saying, why not use the term they had defined?  Instead, they just write "immigrants".  They did the same in other places, too.  It doesn't let you know whether their data actually separated out the two groups or not.

                            Not all couples are both working, therefore one of the people in a couple that has one wage earner is not part of the workforce.  Also, children go into the workforce before their parents come out in most cases.  Some people have more than two children.  Growth of the workforce is not based completely on replacement.  To say that almost all growth in the workforce will come from immigrants is gross speculation at best.


                            by Turnbow on Mon May 01, 2006 at 09:20:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's strange (0+ / 0-)

                            that you would consider a group "partisan" without (apparently) any indication that it is so.  Are you the only one who gets to be "moderate"?

                            I don't think Pew Hispanic Research Center is unbiased.

                            Any sources for this assumption?

                            Again, the report defines its terms very well.  When they say "immigrants" they mean "immigrants."  When they say "unauthorized" immigrants they mean "unauthorized immigrants."  When they say "legal immigrants" they mean "legal immigrants.  Therefore, if they say "immigrants" it means that the data and their conclusions do not differentiate between the two groups.

                            To say that almost all growth in the workforce will come from immigrants is gross speculation at best.

                            Again, you make an unsupported claim.  See this link for stats from 2000-2004 about California fertility rates.

                            In 2004 California's three largest immigrant groups - people from Latin America (2.6), Asia (1.9), and the Pacific Islands (2.4) - had considerably higher birth rates than whites (1.8), blacks (1.6), and American Indians (1.0).  Replacement rate for a developed nation is 2.1 births per woman.

                            It's important to note that these numbers don't have anything to say about immigration numbers themselves - that is, they don't account for the increase in population due to actual immigration to California, just the fertility rates among immigrants who already have immigrated.  We would have to add

                            These studies are more outdated, but for a more general perspective of these trends, see here and here.

                            Your point about children entering the workforce before their parents leave it is misplaced.  You're correct in this assertion, but it has no bearing on the contraction or expansion of the workforce, and this is because the workforce already includes people of all ages.  That is, in the workforce we already have people in their late teens and twenties as well as people nearing retirement age.  If California's native-born population was at replacement level, then as young workers entered the workforce, roughly the same amount of elderly workers would retire.  As it is, the native-born California population is actually below the replacement rate, so this is not so.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Mon May 01, 2006 at 10:04:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Now you are being completely incomprehensible. (0+ / 0-)

                            I base my idea about Pew Hispanic Research Center on past observations of work they have done.  I don't believe things coming out of MEMRI, which claims to be unbiased, for approximately the same reason.  They have demonstrated bias.

                            First you say that it is obvious that they meant legal immigrants even though they didn't write "legal immigrants", then you turn around and say the data must have reflected both legal and illegal immigrants.  Which is it???

                            Your replacement theory still fails, as there are workers staying in their jobs for longer periods than before in certain parts of the economy and others that are retiring early.  It doesn't necessarily all balance out.  You are claiming a balance that isn't in evidence.

                            Besides, below all of this argument are statistics that are very likely to be faulty.  Back 45 years ago, people tended to get into a career and stay in it all their working lives.  That is not nearly as true today.  People are moving from career to career and company to company much more often.  There is a lot more "contracting" and the phenomenon of "permatemps" has emerged.  There are also a lot of people who have retired from one job and return to the workforce in another.  That didn't happen in a time not so long ago.  Something else your theory doesn't account for is the effect of things like the tech-bubble burst that hit  Silicon Valley and the rest of the tech sector (unmentioned in the report), which threw many previously high paid workers out of a job and into completely different careers, made them leave the state or threw them into poverty sometimes.  


                            by Turnbow on Mon May 01, 2006 at 11:03:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  none of your economic assessment (0+ / 0-)

                            has anything to do with what I'm talking about.  Do you disagree that the size of a state's workforce is largely related to the size of its population?  Yes, people move around in the work place, yes there was a tech boom, but the fact remains that the main drivers of population growth are also the main drivers of increases in the workforce.  You disagree?

                            Again, because you can't come up with any links supporting your assertion, I'll assume it originated less from solid reasoning and more from a gut feeling.

                            I'm also still looking for your defense of Pinochet and the rest of the vicious autocrats supported by the US.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Mon May 01, 2006 at 11:30:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are telling me this is a correct assessment (0+ / 0-)

                            of California's situation and future.  I don't agree.  I didn't try to come up with any links.

                            You seem to be willing to just accept anyone's statistics.  I'm not.

                            I learned not to.  A textbook full of tables and graphs and statistics that were supposed to be what was used to prove the point of a writer was the assigned text for a class I took long ago in college.  I noticed that something didn't seem quite right. I couldn't put my finger on it right away, but I noticed that the language of the text shifted in a way that seemed designed to give one a certain set of conclusions no matter what might really be true.  I started adding the tables up.  Guess what I found.  NOTHING WORKED.  The tables and graphs didn't add up.  The percentages didn't add up.  The book was full of garbage numbers.  The author must have been relying on the fact that most people look at a graph or table and assume it to be accurate without even checking if it adds up.  Even a phonied up table is usually made to add up correctly by fudging.  This author didn't even bother to do that.

                            When I went to the professor's assistant (he wasn't available at the time) I was told to ignore the fact that the data didn't add up.  I was told that the fact that it didn't add up didn't invalidate the conclusions.  I was told that all was correct regardless of mathematics and the use of language.  That didn't set well with me.

                            Ever since then, I look at statistics and written works, especially those that deal with social issues, with a very skeptical eye.  This one didn't pass muster for me.  You are trying to rationalize it, much like the professor's aid did.  


                            by Turnbow on Mon May 01, 2006 at 12:07:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  haha (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm glad your one experience in college with a single text has biased you against statistics to the point of not even bothering to look them up.  Are my numbers about birth rates suspect?  On what do you base your assumptions, if not statistics from somewhere?  Can you claim that you have enough experience to know the real numbers?  Did you do your own flawless study?

                            This is just silly.  You don't have any proof that with this study "the numbers don't add up."  To claim they don't without any proof is called "being irrational" or "employing illogic."

                            Again, I can't wait to hear the continuation of your defense of the US's support of Pinochet.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Mon May 01, 2006 at 12:17:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All the numbers in the report are suspect. (0+ / 0-)

                            You are asking me to take a leap of faith that I no longer am willing to take.

                            You didn't provide your own numbers on birthrates, did you?  If you did, I don't remember seeing it.  You cited the report, but you were not the source of its numbers.

                            I already told you I don't trust the source of the data used to make the report.

                            The numbers used in the report don't have enough information behind them, other than their source, for anyone to know whether they are true.

                            It is less important that I have proof that the numbers don't add up than that you have proof that they do.  You have provided none.

                            The experience with that text was a turning point, not the extent of my experiences and not the last time I found actual proof of faulty statistics.


                            by Turnbow on Mon May 01, 2006 at 12:42:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  P.S. Try to remember that these people are (0+ / 0-)

                            giving you statistics about people that don't even want to be found, will you?  How could they be accurate?  Even in the best situation in all other regards (great data collectors, good collection methods, excellent wording of questions, etc...)data about people who have a wish not to be found has to be suspect.  Illegal immigrants don't want to be found and deported.  Even if I believed all the other variables were on target (which I don't), I couldn't believe any of their numbers about a hidden population.


                            by Turnbow on Mon May 01, 2006 at 12:57:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are focused on the leaders we supported that (0+ / 0-)

                            you feel were bad.  I have never disagreed with your assessment of them.  That was not my point.

                            You have never mentioned any alternative to them that would have been better.  I have asked repeatedly.

                            You say by supporting these people, for example Pinochet, we squelched "legitimate democratic movements".  You have not provided ONE example of a movement that we squelched that was democratic.  You just want me to defend the people we did support.  I don't defend them.  I just say that there wasn't a better alternative at the time.

                            Let's get out of South America and Central America a minute.  I will give you an example of what I am talking about.

                            The Shah of Iran was a monarch.  He wasn't the most democratic person in the world.  We supported him.  First, we supported him against Mossadegh because Mossadegh was a madman and not all that nice himself.  Later, we supported the Shah due to a wish for stability for the country in a volatile region that had no real democratic movement.  Then Jimmy Carter came into office and, with the best of intentions, started complaining about the human rights situation in Iran.  There were abuses.  Lessening them, however, weakened the monarchy.  A real monarchy, as opposed to one with a figurehead run by a parliament, is basically a dictatorship.  Dictatorships are maintained by keeping absolute control.  Any let up in that control brings the downfall of the dictator (or Shah in this case).  When President Carter asked that the Shah relinquish some of that absolute control, he doomed the monarchy.  Carter had not considered what forces would take over if he did this.  Iran ended up with a theocratic, oppressive regime instead of its King.  The people were made worse off.  They would not have been much better off if the Socialistic oppressive group or the Communistic oppressive group that wanted to replace the Shah had been put into power.  The people already had the best available alternative.  There wasn't a wonderful, democratic leader in the offing.

                            Now, Iran is led by a theocratic, oppressive council and a president who is certifiable.  The people have been unable to get reforms.  There is another frothing madman at the helm.  

                            Was the Shah really so bad, compared to what is there now and what followed him directly?  My answer would be no.


                            by Turnbow on Mon May 01, 2006 at 12:30:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the US SUBVERTED democracy (0+ / 0-)

                            How can you claim otherwise?  We'll use another example -  Brazil.  Joao Goulart was democratically elected to VP and he became pres when Quadros resigned (as per the Constitution of Brazil).  This, from Wikipedia:

                            From 1961 to 1964, Brazilian President João Goulart had been initiating economic and social reforms; policies which aggravated Brazil's elites and threatened U.S. and Western interests in the country. Philip Agee, a former CIA officer, has noted that the Agency had spent between $12 million and $20 million in support of anti-Goulart candidates, and in February of 1962, U.S. President John F. Kennedy expressed his own support for the anti-Goulart candidates in a memo written to the United States Agency for International Development. In 1964, Goulart was overthrown by a military coup backed by the CIA, and a military regime lasted from 1964 to 1985. During this time, there was intense economic growth at the cost of a soaring national debt, and thousands of Brazilians were deported, imprisoned, or tortured. Politically motivated deaths are numbered in the hundreds, mostly related to the guerrilla-antiguerrilla warfare in the 1968-1973 period; official censorship, though not stringent, also led many artists into exile.

                            The "democratic alternative" was Goulart.  The US subverted democracy by supporting the coup.  Why is this so hard to understand?

                            The same thing happened in Chile.  Love him or hate him, Allende was democratically elected, and the US subverted democracy by supporting the coup.

                            It's late now, but tomorrow you can look forward to similarly damning examples from all over the globe.

                            The US supports fascism and you say there is no other option?  Talk about a shameless apologist.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Mon May 01, 2006 at 10:39:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  What makes you assume that most concern over (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    the illegal entry of people into the country is about race???

                    Look, I realize that there are people who are racially prejudiced, both white and non-white, in this country.  They are not really in the majority.  There are many more bigots than there should be, but assuming that they are in the majority on either side of this issue isn't correct.

                    I'm not going to pretend I don't care about the law in order to push the idea that I am not racist.  The immigration laws are not even close to "Jim Crow".  They are fairly reasonable, and much more reasonable than they have been in the past.  If they need some more improvement, I don't see why it can't be done.  The immigration quotas are reviewed and could be changed.  They have changed over time, not always getting lower.

                    Don't expect me to defend the way the present administration has conducted border security on any border or security at sensitive sites and ports for that matter.  I am angry at the windowdressing posing as "homeland security" policy.


                    by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:39:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i'm glad you acknowledge (0+ / 0-)

                      that "the law is the law" is not a valid argument.  In my opinion people wh don't agree that many immigration laws are downright immoral (the country quotas, for example) aren't looking at the history.  Basically, if your sympathy for many illegal immigrants can't extend so far as to invalidate said laws, then you're either not liberal or don't know the history.

                      Again, this I understand that this is my opinion.

                      Also, what makes you think it's not about race?  I worked for immigrants rights for more than ten years in NY, and let me tell you, probably about 80% of the opposition was about race.  And that was in New York (and the surrounding areas).  I know it's much worse elsewhere.

                      If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                      by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:49:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  of course by New York (0+ / 0-)
                        I meant NYC.

                        If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                        by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 03:45:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  80% of the most vocal opposition, maybe. (0+ / 0-)

                          There are an awful lot of people who are opposed to illegal entry who just aren't always vocal about it.

                          It isn't about race for most.  I know that I used to underestimate the amount of racism in this country, but I have a pretty good handle on how much actually exists now.  It isn't a big problem with the majority of people, though the minority that are bigoted is larger than I once thought.  I had a fairly sheltered childhood in a non-bigoted home.  When I learned that there was more than an absolutely vanishing number of people stupid enough to be racist, it was a shock.  I recovered and readjusted.  You seem to have the opposite problem and haven't reevaluated yet.


                          by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:34:25 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  umm no (0+ / 0-)

                            I too had a semi-sheltered childhood etc.  I'm constantly "reevaluating," and my conclusions keep getting bleaker and bleaker.

                            Silent opposition really isn't opposition at all, if you take my meaning.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:09:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I didn't say silent. I said they are not the (0+ / 0-)

                            most vocal.  You don't have to be out on the streets screaming into a bullhorn in order to be opposed to something.  Some people write.  Some stuff envelopes.  Some make phone calls.  Not everyone gets in front of TV cameras.


                            by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 11:33:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not talking about people (0+ / 0-)

                            in front of tv cameras.  Again, I am mostly speaking from experience here.  I have been working with illegal immigrants for a long time.  I'm not talking about people screaming into a bullhorn.  I'm talking about school board members, city council members, store owners, employers, police officers, state legislature members.  My conclusions result from my dealings with these people.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 12:19:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And your conclusion is that they are only (0+ / 0-)

                            motivated by the race of the illegal immigrant and have no real concern about the law.  You contend that they would have a latino illegal immigrant deported, but would not deport a caucasian illegal immigrant.  Have your observations included any caucasian illegal immigrants?  Are your observations not perhaps slanted by the fact that the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants are non-Caucasians?  Did you consider that when drawing the conclusion that race was involved?


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:23:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  no (0+ / 0-)

                            I do not conclude that they "have no real concern about the law."  They may very well be concerned about the law, but they are also motivated by race, which should not enter into it.

                            In fact, yes, I have had many experiences with caucasian illegal immigrants, as my work was not limited to Latino groups.

                            One of the most striking examples took place in a large city outside of Manhattan.  There was a significant population of Polish illegal immigrants which rivaled the size of the Latino and Brazilian populations.  Most of them were also day laborers.  All of the day laborers would wait in front of the same facade of stores, next to a gas station, for employers to pick them up.

                            The storeowners continually called the police on the workers from Central and South America but not on the Polish laborers.  The police regularly harrassed the Latinos and Brazilians, but was very friendly with the Poles.  Employers, too, would regularly abuse and refuse to pay the Latino and Brazilian workers.  Several times the property of these workers (specifically tools and automobiles) were stolen or damaged by the employer.  None of this ever happened with the Polish workers.

                            There was predictably a lot of tension between these two groups, and this made it very difficult to deal with either of them.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:39:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Lou Dobbs

                  •  Wow, what a compliment. I'm not Lou, though. (0+ / 0-)

                    He is also not the source of what I am saying.  I felt this way about the borders long before he started talking about them and we don't agree on absolutely everything.


                    by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:22:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  it's the (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      can't do this before that.  So, we can't fix the latter till the former is fixed.  Look at the border.  It's long, it's hot and it's hard to enforce.  Picking up people and shipping them over while their children are here is painful and cruel.  The solution to the immigration problem should be thoughtful and intelligent.   But look who's president. ugh

                      •  I'm not going to defend Bush. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        I haven't heard of many parents getting deported while their children stay here.  I realize that sending children born here back to their parents country of origin is sending a citizen out of the country, but I don't think they are stopped from going with their parents.  They also don't lose their U.S. citizenship.  They can return later.  I don't see how you expect people who didn't create this nasty situation in the first place to feel guilty that it has been created.  The parents had part in its creation and had control over their own actions.  There comes a point when people have made their own lives hell and there is little that can be done to make it all good while still having laws.

                        I know it should be a thoughtful and intelligent solution.  I also know that there is no way to make a solution that pleases everyone.  Being as equitable and sane about it as possible is all one can do.

                        Yes, the border is hard to enforce.  We need to do a better job of enforcing it and hire more people to do the job.  We need to remove incentives to cross illegally.  We need a proper fence.  We need to provide an incentive for our neighboring country to do a better job on its side of the border.  If there were good (though not perfect, which is impossible) enforcement from both countries, there would be a lot less illegal crossings and contraband.


                        by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:53:46 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  this is ignorant (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          mariachi mama

                          The parents had part in its creation and had control over their own actions.  There comes a point when people have made their own lives hell and there is little that can be done to make it all good while still having laws.

                          Ever been to the third world?

                          You know who's responsible for that third world?

                          The WEST and the US.

                          If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                          by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:57:03 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, I have been outside the country. (0+ / 0-)

                            I hate to tell you this, but the "West" is not the big bad boogey man that has kept the world from developing.  The rest of the world is in part responsible for its own problems and has a responsibility to work for its own betterment.  I know the developed world has not been perfect, but the responsibility for all the world's ills doesn't belong to the United States or the "West".  Some of that responsibility lies with the people of the nations that are having trouble.  They need to take some responsibility and start working to better their own situations.

                            There is room to help, but some of the effort has to come from the people themselves.  We can't do all of it for them, even if we wanted to, and we can't really stop them from helping themselves.


                            by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:46:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you might want to do some reading (0+ / 0-)

                            Try any decent textbook that covers the last few centuries of human history.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:54:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  oh, also (0+ / 0-)

                            note that I didn't ask if you had been "out of the country," I asked if you had been to the third world.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:58:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •   I am pretty well traveled. (0+ / 0-)

                            I have been to many countries.  Not all were in the "Third World".  Some were.

                            A "decent textbook" wouldn't make stupid assertions about the ability of a more developed country to shut down the efforts of a people in a poorer country.  If countries were basically slaves under the more developed countries forever and couldn't break free, America would be part of some empire that started in prehistory or something.

                            Yes, we needed some help now and again.  No, we didn't have everything handed to us on a silver platter.  Part of what made America what it is now was effort on the part of Americans.


                            by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:12:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  P.S. When I travel, I don't spend all my time (0+ / 0-)

                            in tourist traps.  I wander the streets.  I eat in places I find walking around and don't look for American food.  In a lot of the places I have travelled, I speak the language.


                            by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:15:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  history (0+ / 0-)

                            If countries were basically slaves under the more developed countries forever and couldn't break free, America would be part of some empire that started in prehistory or something.

                            No, it would be part of some empire that started pretty much after WWII.  Umm, which it is.

                            Part of what made America what it is now was effort on the part of Americans.

                            The main part of what made America what is now was effort on the part of Europeans to decimate virtually every native population on the continent.

                            For the past half-century or so the United States has economically, militarily or politically subverted every single genuinely democratic movement in any developing country remotely related to its interests.  We were best buds with practically every right-wing dictatorship Latin America has seen.  And you're trying to tell me that the US isn't largely responsible for the terrible violence and poverty that plagues the region?  That the destructive social dynamics that lead to this suffering isn't directly descended from the brutal colonial domination of native peoples?


                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:21:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What 'genuinely democratic' movement are you (0+ / 0-)

                            talking about?  I haven't heard of or seen any real ones around.  There aren't any in Latin America or South America.  None in the Middle East, really.  There have been some very small glimmerings in some countries of the Middle East, but they are just the most tiny movements to become more democratic, and the Bush administrations policies are likely to snuff them out indirectly.  Iraq is not becoming democratic.  It is splintering and becoming highly unstable.

                            I guess I should warn you that I don't consider some "democratic" countries to really be democratic because there are some basic democratic principles they don't follow.  For example, I don't consider Israel to be a democracy because it only gives lipservice to freedom of religion and defines itself as a "Jewish State".  I have the same problem with any declaration of State religion.  It was one of my problems with Iraq's "adopted" Constitution.  I have a high standard for what I am willing to call democratic.  Our own government during the present administration fails to meet it through its actions that contradict our Constitution.


                            by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 11:25:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  evidently you know nothing (0+ / 0-)

                            about Latin American history.  Ever hear of Pinochet?  Videla?  Médici?  Banzer Suárez?  Castelo Branco?  Stroessner?  Ríos Montt?  Noriega?  I could go on.  These are all Latin American dictators supported by the US.  What?  I thought that Americans love to spread to democracy to the far reaches of the globe, right?  Give me a break.  Here's a quick overview of some of the autocratic governments the US has supported.  You might also want to check out the Sandanistas and see what happened with that.

                            Latin America is swinging left (thank god), and the US is too distracted in the Middle East to do anything about it.  Yesterday Morales, Chavez and Castro signed a free trade agreement.  As Latin America tilts left and the standard of living improves, illegal immigration will slow (it already is).

                            Please, before you make statement's like "I haven't seen any around," make sure you do your homework (this is where the textbook comes in).

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 11:57:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You haven't listed ONE really democratic movement (0+ / 0-)

                            All you have listed is juntas that would replace dictators and dictators that you seem to like.  Nothing really democratic.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 03:40:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  again (0+ / 0-)

                            these are dictators the US SUPPORTED.  Dictators squelch democracy.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 04:42:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Getting rid of a non-democratic government (0+ / 0-)

                            and replacing it with another government doesn't make the second one democratic.  NONE of the people and groups you mentioned are democratic.  You can't squelch democracy if there is no available democratic movement in the first place.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:07:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  oh my god (0+ / 0-)

                            You must not be reading what I'm writing.  I listed dictators the US supported!  Every single one of them was terribly repressive.  Every single one of them persecuted any kind of political resistance.  And they were supported BY THE US.  Are you next going to tell me that Latin America doesn't know political resistance?

                            I cannot believe you are suggesting that the US support of Latin American dictators has no relation to the terrible social/economic circumstances that plague much of the region today.

                            Seriously, do you know anything about Pinochet?  Wikipedia him.  You might learn something.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:12:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  When did the U.S. support Chavez or Castro? (0+ / 0-)

                            You listed dictators supported and not supported by the U.S.  You listed NO democratic movements, then you tell me democracy is being squelched.

                            Pinochet was a dictator.  What was the democratic alternative that was squelched?

                            You can't squelch something that isn't there.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:29:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  because you apparently can't be bothered (0+ / 0-)

                            to wikipedia him, I'll reproduce the text here:

                            After the military's seizure of power, Pinochet engaged in brutal political repression, aiming to destroy all remaining support for the defeated Popular Unity (PU) government. In October 1973, at least 70 people were killed by the Caravan of Death. Almost immediately, the junta banned all the leftist parties that had constituted Allende's UP coalition. Much of the regime's violence was directed toward those it viewed as socialist or Marxist sympathizers, though dissidents who spoke out against the government were also persecuted. Those murdered during Pinochet's 17 years in power are said to have "been disappeared." It is not known exactly how many people were killed by government and military forces during the 17 years that he was in power, but the Rettig Commission listed 2,095 deaths and 1,102 "disappearances.", with the vast majority of victims coming from the opposition to Pinochet at the hands of the state security apparatus. Torture was also commonly used against dissidents. Thousands of Chileans were expelled from and fled the country to escape the regime. In 2004, the National Commission on Political Prisoners and Torture produced the Valech Report after interviewing an estimated 35,000 people who claimed to have been abused by the regime. About 28,000 of those testimonies were regarded as legitimate. According to the Commission, more than half of the arrests occurred in the months immediately following the coup (approximately 18,000 of those testifying claimed they were detained between September and December of 1973).

                            Pinochet's rule was frequently made unstable by protests and isolated violent attacks. Isolated attacks by armed groups opposed to the regime increased government paranoia allowed the dictatorship to justify what they termed the "cycle" of oppression.

                            In contrast to most other nations in Latin America, prior to the coup Chile had a long tradition of democratic civilian rule; military intervention in politics had been rare. Some political scientists have ascribed the bloodiness of the coup to the stability of the existing democratic system, which required extreme action to overturn.

                            The situation in Chile came to international attention in September 1976, when Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean ambassador to the United States and minister in Allende's cabinet, was assassinated by a car bomb in Washington, D.C.. General Carlos Prats, Pinochet's predecessor and army commander under Allende, who had resigned rather than support the moves against the democratic system, was assassinated under similar circumstances in Buenos Aires, Argentina, two years earlier.

                            If that's not subverting democracy, I don't know what is.  Again, ALL of the dictators I listed were supported by the US.  All have similar records of repression.

                            I don't mention Chavez because he is not a dictator.  From the Western news media you wouldn't know it, but he has repeatedly been overwhelmingly elected.  In fact, it's funny that you should bring him up because the US actually financed the short-lived coup against him - that's right, the US tried to subvert a legitimate democratic movement!  Please remember to that Chavez has participated in elections certified as legitimate by the Carter Center.  Because there was so little transparency, the Carter Center was not able to determine whether or not our most recent presidential elections were legitimate.  And yet we're trying to throw out Chavez.

                            Castro is another matter entirely.  Many of the Latin American leaders in that original list were supported specifically because they were anti-communist (the same reason that Castro was villified).  The other main reason Castro was villified was because he kicked out American interests.  For a more balanced picture of Castro, I suggest you take a look at Oliver Stone's Looking for Castro.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 05:50:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I suppose Allende was a saint. (0+ / 0-)

                            Does "legitimate democratic movement" mean socialist or communist to you?

                            Democratic doesn't mean what you seem to think it does.  A left wing government can be just as oppressive and rotten as a right wing one.

                            I have an idea for you.  Something I did that opened my eyes.  Try and write a Constitution that creates a real democratic republic, one that will last.  There is something about writing the thing that makes you realize just how hard a real democratic republic is to create.

                            The countries that get touted as democracies or democratic these days generally aren't.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 07:16:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  P.S. I suggest starting with our Constitution (0+ / 0-)

                            as a base.  I haven't found another as democratic or well structured.


                            by Turnbow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 07:19:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you're putting words in my mouth (0+ / 0-)

                            Allende was no saint, but he was a helluva lot better than Pinochet, and he was democratically elected.  To me, subverting democracy means denying and oppressing the people.  In this respect, Pinochet comes out ahead of Allende every time.

                            The fact that you are defending the US's backing of Pinochet is just unthinkable.  Are you sure you're a democrat?

                            I shudder to think of what your Constitution would look like.

                            The countries that get touted as democracies or democratic these days generally aren't.

                            You seem extremely well-read on the issue.

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 09:13:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You can take a look at it on (0+ / 0-)


                            by Turnbow on Mon May 01, 2006 at 05:31:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Some things have an order that they have to be (0+ / 0-)

                        done in.  If you try and put the parts together in the wrong order, you wind up with a mess.

                        That isn't my fault, or Lou's.


                        by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:55:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

                          and you're going about it in exactly the wrong order.  First you aggresively fine employers who hire illegals so the demand for illegal labor goes down and illegal immigration slows (this is already happening).  This must be accompanied by a sincere effort to allow illegal immigrants already in the country to legalize their status.  Then you fix the quotas so those who really need to immigrate legally are able to.

                          Then and only then does some sort of increased border security make sense.  Why on earth would you do that first without addressing any of the underlying factors that lead to illegal immigration?  First you must address the major impetus for illegal immigration (illegal hiring) before you try to close the border.

                          If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                          by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 05:20:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Wait a minute. (0+ / 0-)

                            Why MUST there be a legalization of illegal immigrants???  I don't think there should be.  There is no reason we MUST allow our laws to be broken.

                            My way works better.  You don't clean up the water before you fix the leak.  That isn't productive.  Stopping the leak comes first, then you clean up the spill.  Then you adjust what ever needs adjusting to prevent future problems.  You have things backwards and illogical.


                            by Turnbow on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:26:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  somehow (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't understand how comparing illegal immigration to "a leak" and illegal immigrants I guess to water molecules is "logical."

                            But I'll play ball.  Let's say you've got a flood.  A big flood.  Do you wade through the water to find the leak or do you first shut off the water main?  That water main is called "demand for illegal labor."

                            If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

                            by vejoaronda on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:56:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  The machines let Bush have his second term, not (0+ / 0-)

          voters.  They were probably responsible for the first one, too.

          by Turnbow on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 11:21:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually this speaks to why reform is needed (5+ / 0-)

        only in political lala-land is reform analogous with round them up and deport them. Reform is changing the current system where such seemingly common situations are unaddressed and left in a vague grey stage of 'normal procedure'. Round them up and ship them out is actually the opposite of reform in that current system does just that now, no reform needed. I've said it several times in the last few days. Along with global warming, immigration is the last issue that needs politicizing. It's like doing brain surgery with a chainsaw.

        I am not blaming those who are resolved to rule, only those who show an even greater readiness to submit. ~Thucydides

        by get up stand up on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:43:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't be's a story that needs (17+ / 0-)

        telling. And I looked up the Constitution because I was sure that the wording gave rights to PERSONS, not just citizens. It does. The only parts of the Constitution that refer to citizens instead of persons are the ones that refer to the qualifications for public offices. All other references are to persons or the people. No mention that the Constitution only protects citizens. Historically, it has been deemed to protect anyone on American soil or in an American Embassy or other sovereign property. Even immigrants, legal or illegal, have rights under the Constitution, even if this administration doesn't think so.

        What happens when Bush takes Viagra? he gets taller. Robin Williams

        by Demfem on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:52:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wonderful point (0+ / 0-)

          I wish I could recommend you again.  I will on your next comment.

          If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

          by vejoaronda on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:43:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I had my citizenship interview almost 2 years ago (6+ / 0-)

          I knew they were going to quiz me on US government, so I made sure I knew the answers to the 100 questions on the INS website.  As it turned out, the immigration officer asked me only 3 or 4 questions before passing me.  One of the questions I was asked was "Who does the Bill of Rights apply to?"  I knew that one.  I knew that the obvious answer -- US citizens -- was false, and I could see that he was looking specifically for that answer to catch me in a gotcha (because I stumbled over my words initially, and as soon as the word citizen came out of my mouth, he looked about to jump all over me).  The correct answer, as you point out, is all persons in the US.

          So the immigration officers know.

      •  This guy didn't come into the country illegally. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        He just got messed up during the process of getting a green card.  That is totally different.

        There are people who come over here on visas and stay forever without trying to or wanting to become citizens.  There are people who come in with no visas at all.  Those are the people who should be getting deported, not someone caught in the situation you are talking about.

        by Turnbow on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 10:27:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not anti-immigrant (0+ / 0-)

        Anti-illegal immigrant.

        I can't stress the difference enough.

      •  Call Senators and Congressmen (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SensibleShoes, Lashe

        It might be too late for "Bobbie-Ann", but then again it might not.  If she and her husband are willing we can make try to help them and make a cause celebre.

        Ask her if they still have any fight left in them and make sure that the story really is what we have read here, post another diary with their real names and then we can start a calling/ letter writing campaign to ask her congresscritter and Senators to intervene on her behalf.  I am sure that you could get thousands of calls and messages to her Senators to do something about it.

        This stupid disruption of people's lives has to stop and we can do something about it. the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent
        -G.W. Bush
        -7.00 -7.74

        by Luam on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 05:54:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I really think on this site... (0+ / 0-)

        It is not so much anti immigration sentiment as much as some distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. You should have heard the callers on CSPAN today, not just Republicans, upset about illegal immigration. It is a huge issue which really fires up people on both sides. Try as he might, the moderator could not get people on Open Phones to talk about other news stories. I had been hoping some calls would deal with the stories on illegal spying that are being written about today or something else.

        Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 10:19:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't confuse legal emmigration with illegal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was nervous about posting this, because I know there's some anti-immigrant feeling around.

        As long as the emmigration process is conducted legally, most of the so-called "anti-immigration" folks (at least on dkos) don't have a problem.  

        Pain is temporary and sorrow is fleeting, but hope, determination and courage in the face of adversity are forever.

        by Zen Warrior on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 11:51:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Stolen (13+ / 0-)

      This country was stolen with force and violence from the Native peoples who inhabited it. The borders of nations are nothing more than imaginary constructs that have proved indispensable for whipping up "team spirit" and nationalistic fervor among the masses to do their masters' bidding. It

    •  Stolen (0+ / 0-)

      This country was stolen with force and violence from the Native peoples who inhabited it. The borders of nations are nothing more than imaginary constructs that have proved indispensable for whipping up "team spirit" and nationalistic fervor among the masses to do their masters' bidding. Itis

      •  Sorry (3+ / 0-)

        about the double post, not sure what happened. I wish I could delete it. I was going to say it is about time that we got beyond the hypocrisy and xenophobia and realized that we are all tied at the root. It's bullshit to let the politicos get away with dividing us on these issues.

      •  yep (0+ / 0-)

        The borders of nations are nothing more than imaginary constructs that have proved indispensable for whipping up "team spirit" and nationalistic fervor among the masses to do their masters' bidding.

        Same with the rest of the world.

        If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

        by vejoaronda on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:40:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  immigrant detention centers (34+ / 0-)
    I've heard terrible things about these immigrant detention centers.

    And do you mean Martin Niemoeller (where you said Littell)?

    When they came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

  •  Has she contacted her senators and reps? (15+ / 0-)

    With the current immigration debate and irresponsible republican hysteria I would think that at least a Democrat would be interested in preventing injustice.

    You have gone to lengths to protect her privacy, but does she have a legal defense fund?

    While the MSM will probably not be interested in this initially, some energy on the blogs might prod them.

    Live Free or Die-words to live by

    by ForFreedom on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:25:07 PM PDT

  •  I am so, so sorry (26+ / 0-)

    This story touches home in so many ways for me.

    I am so sorry your student is going through this.

    And I am so so horrified to be living in a country with citizens who believe doing this is the American way.

    •  This is devastating (6+ / 0-)
      They can just take your family away now!  This is America?  I can't believe this.

      In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

      by yet another liberal on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:41:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  'Protecting the Innocent' (10+ / 0-)

       I met a fella on the street the other day while that old tune and the phrase was playing in my mind.
        I was comparing that to what I have always thought government was for at it's most elemental, and how this crew of sick twisted criminals and rapture rightists have turned our once good country upside down.
         And then, by coincidence of timing, I started a conversation with this young man who was carrying a musical instrument and a little dog.
        He was wandering around trying to put his life back together, as he was deported from Canada.
        He said he had an apartment, and friends and had been there a couple of years. He came back to the US to visit family, and when he went back they interviewed him at the border. Him being an open, unpretentious, and trusting young fella, said he was going home to Canada. When asked where he was born he said US.
        When asked for his immigration papers, he said he had none as he wasn't planning on staying forever but was living there for a result he was sent away.
         He then bought a return ticket and tried again. This time he was jailed and flown to LA...from Vancouver. His little dog, who was with him, was put in a "doggie jail". When he protested that he had an apartment and his belongings in Nova Scotia they still wouldn't let him in. Now he has a record with Canadian immigration, and he thinks a facial picture and even an optical scan (this last I doubt..but maybe).
         Living in coastal southern california, I'm used to just this kind of story and circumstance. I've had friends, neighbors, and coworkers whisked away without a bit of concern for the safekeeping of their goods, or pets, or jobs, and it's also common to be denied even the most basic ability to contact relatives! I'ved jogged down the street after an INS car while my friend tried to pantomine his wife's phone number at her work, so I could let her know.
        It's also common for a person to be snatched up and their vehicle abandoned to accumulate tickets, vandals, or thieves. If towed, that has been legal thievery, as the storage and towing fees are always in the hundreds. Tow operators often steal everything inside (think 'Repo Man').
        These stories and situations are heartbreaking on so many levels. There has got to be a better way.
        Good luck to this young man who is scared yet cheery, and he is young, clever, and free. He also has his little dog.

        This diary is a horrific story. Good luck to you and yours Sensible Shoes, all the best.

      Somebody, do something, I got kids I care about, fer crying out loud!

      by KenBee on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:32:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  recommended (23+ / 0-)

    It's these kind of stories people need to hear to put a face on immigrants. Thank you for sharing it, SS.

  •  Highly recommended (14+ / 0-)
    there are so many of these stories over the last couple of weeks it's frightening. And small businesses are getting hammered. One of my daughters suppliers had to shut down because a raid just yesterday took over 25 of his workers and 200 people didn't show up for work on a construction site in florida because they were affraid. I am going to an immigration march on Monday and I hope everyone else is also.

    To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

    by Tanya on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:44:15 PM PDT

  •  please let her know (10+ / 0-)

    many good wishes and prayers are coming her way.

    i dont know where the detention center is, but if it is close to wilmington, de, i can offer her a place to stay if she would like.  

    please update if a legal defense fund is created, i would be happy to assist.

    'life is like Sanskrit read to a pony'~lou reed

    by 73rd virgin on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:46:37 PM PDT

  •  You didn't say where her husband was from (12+ / 0-)

    but I'm betting it's not Canada or a country in Western Europe.

    Sometimes I feel so ashamed of my country.

    •  You'd win that bet. n/t (3+ / 0-)

      -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:48:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If it makes you feel any better (9+ / 0-)

        My husband, who is from Australia, just got approved after several years of gut-wrenching nerves.  Even though we got a great lawyer, who used to be an immigration judge (who also said not to worry), the whole process just oozed of arbitrariness.  

        I went through shattering interviews where I was accused of being a lesbian just because my business partner is female, of hiding something because property I owned  wasn't also in my husband's name - even though that was ILLEGAL in that state given his status - I could go on and on.  One interview was so bad the lawyer could not understand what was going on and it was very touch and go for a while.  I swore they found out I was a Democrat!

        And anyhow, with the separation of church and state, you would think it would be against the law to be interviewed in an office absolutely covered with pictures of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.  Then being asked to swear to God....

        Although somehow we persuaded someone that everything was legit (without handing over the videotapes!), and no paperwork got lost, but for over 2 years we expected the worst, and I feel terrible that the worst has happened to your friend.  Going back to Australia is very bearable - it sounds like where she is going is not.

        Let us know if she sets up a fund, as I will definitely help.  

  •  How did the husband enter the county (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, ConservativeDemocrat, Lashe


  •  this is happening to a friend of mine (21+ / 0-)

    His wife is about to be deported. Now, she's gotten into some trouble with the law, which I won't go into here, but I will say that this sort of legal trouble is familiar to many many many citizens of the US, naturalized or otherwise, and isn't generally considered to be an issue on job applications. Her parents are here (not legally) and her father is terminally ill. Our estimates are that she will be deported by August. Her husband will accompany her.

    Until then, she remains gainfully employed and beloved at her place of business. And she speaks fluent English - MUCH better than our 'president'. And with a much more pleasant accent, imho.

    "Poverty or wealth can make all the differences in securing the substance or only the shadow of constitutional protections." -Wiley Rutlidge

    by asimbagirl on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:51:06 PM PDT

  •  there is another diary on this issue (5+ / 0-) that I think we all shoud read.

    To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

    by Tanya on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 04:51:46 PM PDT

  •  Jesus...what a terrifying story! (7+ / 0-)

    I would have beat the crap out of someone...gotten hysterical...screamed until their ears bled. I'm sure "Bobbie-Ann" did.

    I'm appalled.

    Is there anything we can do to help people in these situations?

  •  Nothing makes me angrier... (26+ / 0-)

    than the notion that if you are not a citizen, you are not protected by the Bill of Rights.  The Supreme Court, long ago ruled on that idiocy.  Hogwash!

    From an article I wrote some time ago:

    The accused, in such instances "don't deserve the same guarantees and safeguards that we use for an American citizen," says Dick Cheney. But citizenship is not the issue. Jefferson used the words, "all men." He said nothing about citizenship, and we echo Jefferson's sentiments in our Constitution. The Fifth and Six Amendment that guarantee due process and the right to be represented by counsel are issued to "person[s]" and the "accused." There is no requirement of citizenship nor residency. Of such language, Justice Brennan wrote in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), "Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is a 'person' in any ordinary sense of that term." And in those instances where such identifications exist, "protection extends to anyone, citizen or stranger, who is subject to the laws of a State, and reaches into every corner of a State's territory." [Emphasis added]

    Certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man. - OWH

    by blockbuster on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:00:41 PM PDT

    •  And yet I think most Americans (8+ / 0-)

      agree with Dick.
      It's scary, because --even before 9/11, it was a sign of just how weak our hold on our freedoms was.

      But I can't say I was really scared till today.

      -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:15:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well... (6+ / 0-)

        When I grew up we were taught about the Bill of Rights, from elementary school through high school.  Now days more and more people seek to actively teach their bigotry at home, and deny the schools of the most basic lessons.

        A friend of mine, who married a Canadian went to Canada with her husband to meet his parents.  On their way back, at the US border check, they found a pot pipe that he had forgotten was ever in his car.  He was told that he could never again return to the US.  My friend now lives in New Zeland with him (he had duo citizenship in that country), and I've never seen my friend since.

        We have a lot of work to do once we can get these right wing bastards out of government.  But, good cheer!  We WILL take America back.

        Certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man. - OWH

        by blockbuster on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:31:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's another document, too... (5+ / 0-)

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.

      Funny, it doesn't say that all 'citizens' are endowed with unalienable rights...


  •  This woman wasn't sexually harassed by Clinton (5+ / 0-)

    Alas, she is being ignored by the "liberal" mainstream media.

    Check out my lte archive at and feel free to use my ideas for your own lte's.

    by DemDachshund on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:00:47 PM PDT

  •  Here are some options (16+ / 0-)

    You hint that he's going back to an unpleasant country that he escaped from.  He might be eligible for withholding of removal based on the Convention Against Torture.  It would help to know what country, and it would help if he found an immigration non-profit to help him, rather than an incompetent private attorney.

    Asylum seekers now have to apply for asylum within one year of entering the United States.  This is a stupid law in itself, so even if he faces torture in his home country, he's not likely to be granted asylum - which leads to citizenship.  He can only remain in the United States in limbo.  

    At minimum, find a lawyer who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers association.  Immigration law is complicated, and they need someone who knows the law.  

    He's probably screwed, but hey, that's DHS for you.  This is why I have to fight my anger toward the "get tough on immigration" crowd.  They don't know the law; they think they are just evicting a bunch of migrant farm workers (who are people too, but less sympathetic than the husband of a US citizen.)

    •  He already applied (7+ / 0-)

      for asylum and was denied... but I think they have got a good lawyer now. And yeah, I figure he's screwed no matter what.

      -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:02:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. Listen - the above was good advice (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        subtropolis, neroden, Lashe, kurt, old wobbly

        To oversimplify, you have three ways to stay in the country if you're at risk of being deported to a human-rights-violating country: (1) asylum, (2) withholding of removal, (3) relief under the Convention Against Torture.  Sometimes these are all lumped together in what is called an "asylum" claim, but that's misleading and the differences are critical.

        Asylum gives you the most privileges, but it has various statutory bars and is discretionary (though generally granted.)  Withholding and CAT relief require a higher level of proof of prospective harm, but they are mandatory.

        Here's a link to the AILA site and here's one to what looks like a pretty decent primer on asylum law.

        Regina Germain's AILA’s Asylum Primer is a great source of information on this.

        My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

        by Major Danby on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 10:26:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I feel for your friends (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've been hearing so many stories about things like this, it's just disgusting.

        It doesn't matter what people have fled from. Under the current system, it's all about power games, apparently.

        What about the man's employer? Are they willing to help? Have they tried contacting the governor? Definitely get this into the papers/news. Sometimes the publicity leads to enough outcry that the INS almost has to do the right thing - eventually.

        These are just a few of the stories I've heard in MN:
        Cynthia Lamah

        Inna Riabovolik

        Ionko Ionkov and Petia Lazarova

        Wadie Al-Saeed (and his American wife Jennifer, and son)

        One that appears to have finally worked out: Andrew and Blanka Danecek (and family)

        Ignorance killed the cat. Curiousity was framed.

        by Lashe on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 07:36:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If it's one of the 'right' countries.... (0+ / 0-)

      If you can first prevent him from being deported based on the Convention Against Torture, you might be able to find a country (such as Canada) which would accept him as an asylum seeker.

  •  Which wretched nation...? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catfish, cookiebear


    Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

    by SFOrange on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:07:48 PM PDT

  •  There has to be more to the story (4+ / 0-)

    I mean, without knowing the exact details, it is hard for me to know who is in the right here. We don't have the whole story. I'm not saying that this woman's husband isn't a vicitm, but are you sure that you have all the facts?

  •  Thank you and ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... here's the link I posted at DU:

    I'm all out of words ...

  •  Jesus, what a story (4+ / 0-)

    I don't know what else to say.

  •  call their State Rep, Governor, (6+ / 0-)

    US Senator, US Rep, local news, local paper.

    Call LegalAid. Call the local Law College if there is one.

    Call every talk radio station.

    Here in Portland last year a woman who had been living here for 30years, married less than 2 was forced to sell her home and was deported to Canada. Her crime? None, her husband died. The law states that a immigrant must be married at least two years to remain in the US. I have heard recentley thought that the law may be changed.

    "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers." Voltaire

    by Esjaydee on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:33:08 PM PDT

    •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There's an exception in the law if your spouse dies.

      INA Section 216(c )(1)(A)

      (c ) Requirements of Timely Petition and Interview for Removal of Condition.-

      (1) In general.-In order for the [2-year] conditional basis established under subsection (a) for an alien spouse or an alien son or daughter to be removed-

      (A) the alien spouse and the petitioning spouse *(if not deceased)* jointly must submit to the Attorney General, during the period described in subsection (d)(2), a petition which requests the removal of such conditional basis and which states, under penalty of perjury, the facts and information described in subsection (d)(1)

      The last time people listened to a talking bush, they wandered 40 years in the desert.

      by DC Pol Sci on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:13:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I cant find the reference to the woman (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lashe, lazybum, kurt

        who lived here for 29 years...but here is the story of the widow who WAS deported to South Africa after her husband of 11 months died in a car accident.

        The widow of a U.S. citizen must return to her native South Africa because her husband died after less than two years of marriage, a federal judge has ruled.
        U.S. District Judge Owen Panner ruled that immigration officials had reasonably interpreted that the two-year rule was firm, and that Carla Arabella Freeman must leave the country because she and her husband, Robert, hadn’t been married long enough before he died in a 2002 car accident.

        She eventually won her appeal fighting her case from SouthAfrica.

        I'm still searching for links to the story about woman I cited first.

        "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers." Voltaire

        by Esjaydee on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:39:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ohhhhh...I found the articlel... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ppluto, sleep deprived, BachFan, Lashe, kurt

          ...and read the whole thing.  It's a different situation than the INA Section 216(c )(1)(A) situation I noted above.

          She was pending adjustment of status.  That's a little bit different.  If she already had "conditional permanent resident status" (CF-1 or CR-1), she could have self-petitioned to remove the conditions two years after the "conditional permanent resident status" was granted.

          But she was pending adjustment of status, which means she wasn't even a legal permanent resident yet.

          The dispute here was over the meaning of the word "spouse."  If she's a spouse at the time of the processing of her application, she's entitled to adjustment of status.  If she's not a spouse, she's not entitled to adjustment of status.  CIS said since her husband was dead, she wasn't a spouse.  The Ninth Circuit ruled that one's status is determined at the time of the filing of the application rather than at the time of processing of the application.  The Ninth Circuit's opinion is here.

          The fact of the matter is that the statute is very poorly worded and confusing.  But the Ninth Circuit does an excellent job of wading through the morass, and after you read Circuit Judge Fisher's opinion, you think the whole thing is as clear as day and that they had no right to deport her.

          The law ends up being that as long as the petition is filed before the death of the spouse, the spouse can stay.  If the petition is not filed before the death of the spouse, then there is a two-year waiting requirement.

          Sorry for the technical legal analysis.  I have a professional interest in it.  I'm on the editorial board of an immigration law journal.

          Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

          by DC Pol Sci on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:26:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  All I can say to this is... (9+ / 0-)

    My husband is SO DAMN LUCKY he got his legal residency status in 2000, after going through 3 YEARS of waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more.

    Also damn lucky that we had a good lawyer.

    My heart goes out to both of them, and I cannot imagine the agony they're going through now.

    Was their lawyer not present during the appointment?   If not, that seems a bit strange to me.   Our lawyer, or a rep, was with us each of the 3 or 4 times (for one reason or another) we visited the INS.

    What has the attorney said, what is the attorney doing for them?

    •  Not really (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Margot, Lashe

      My spouse came to the States in 1982 under a visa that said she had 90 days to marry.

      We married in Chicago in a civil ceremony, and WITHOUT any lawyer, went to INS.  After waiting three hours, we saw an official and in 15 minutes she got her green card.  We then went and got her social security card.

      It was much easier in the early 80s.

      Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren. Brecht.

      by MoDem on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:43:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Has your friend considered (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DC Pol Sci, sleep deprived, Lashe

    trying to become a citizen of another (good) country?  There are plenty of other countries that accept immigrants that might allow her and her husband to become citizens.

    Jesus is coming soon to apologize for allowing the Republicans to breed. -homemade bumper sticker, Tulsa, OK

    by tryptamine on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 05:53:37 PM PDT

  •  Does he happen to be in York, PA? (12+ / 0-)

    It's a big detention center for the INS. If he is, let me know - we're just down the road, and I'll try to get in to see him.

    Street Prophets: where the cookies live now...

    by pastordan on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:00:08 PM PDT

  •  Even back in the 90s it was hard (10+ / 0-)

    A friend of mine had to get his congressmen involved because the jerk at the embassy in the PI was of no use at all.  His wife was a Filipina, and, contrary to what this guy thought she wasn't a hooker (I am not denigrating hookers; if there weren't johns the profession would die out, and we should legalize anyway it for the protection of the sex workers).   So what was the jerk's punishment? He got transferred to the Tokyo embassy (which I woudl think would rank higher on the list of desirable stations than Manila ), where my friend went to finish up the paperwork. The jerk saw him and literally hid behind a filing cabinet so soemone else would handle it.

    ANd yes, they eventually got it straightened out.

    Another friend of a friend was a high-paid acocutnant in ROme--and married na AMerican. SHe made more thn he did.  When she shwoed up at the embassy for her itnerview, the first questions he was aksed was about her salary.

    She confirmed that the info was correct.

    The Grand Inquisitor then asked, "When was the last time you prostituted yourself?" Not "have you ever" but "when".

    SHe told him never.

    He aksed "then how did you make this much money?"

    She told him to check with her employer.

    SHe got her green card--but he never apologized for assuming any female foreign natioan making a decent salary had to be a prostitute (despite the fatc htat her degrees and her employer were ont he dmaned paperwork).

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:00:14 PM PDT

  •  Most of us here have heart (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej, lirtydies, sleep deprived, ER Doc

    Discussing this here is a good decision. I appreciate learning and knowing what is happening to real people. I regret that I don't have any suggestions but feel others will continue to add thoughts. I regret our present government is so heartless and has no shame and no good arguement to treat citizens and immigrants - even illegal immigrants as they do.

  •  i just came inside... (19+ / 0-)

    i was talking to my neighbors.
    i live in a condo--well, more descriptively, what they call a villa. there are 5 units in my building, connected by side walls. i am the only 'american' in my buidling. it wasn't always like that. when i first moved here, just about everyone was 'american'. now, all my neighbors in my building are from colombia.
    jorge (who pronounces his name george) and christina were the first to move in. that was probably about 4 or 5 years ago. they have a little girl named natalia, who will be 2 this august. i guess i made a mistake when i said i was the only american. natie was born here. she is a citizen. next door to me are nelson and sandra. they've been here about 2 years. they just had twin boys last month, who are the other american citizens in my building, as they were born here too. on the other side of my unit is jose. i don't know his wife's name or his kid's or the name of the other guy who either lives there or hangs around a lot. i smile, wave, and say hello, but i'm not all that crazy about jose. there is another family of a mother and 2 kids who live on the other side of jose, but i don't really know them at all.
    my neighbors work hard, own their own homes, and are far more industrious than i am when it comes to landscaping and home improvements. their english is not great, but a helluva lot better than my spanish. we have no problems communicating. sometimes, they might not understand a particular word in english, but we laugh while we finally get to the point we want to make to each other.
    jorge and christina and natie just got back from a visit to colombia. i hadn't seen them since they got back. i went out to get the mail, and they were unloading groceries from their van. hugs and kisses all around to welcome them back. jorge noticed that my spare tire was hanging rather low on my pt cruiser. i always thought it was supposed to be that way. he told me to get my keys. i did, and he cranked something in the trunk that made the spare disappear under the car and click into place. i've had the car for almost a year. it always makes a strange noise that no mechanic could figure out. everyone thought it must be the brakes, but they are brand new, so i am anxious to see if it was the spare tire that was the culprit all along. that's what happens around here. we look out for each other.
    while i was outside, they asked me if i saw that illegal immigrants were rounded up in several different locations in town. nelson came outside and joined the conversation. they asked me what i thought about what was going on.
    i've been saying for weeks that i am not sure where i stand on the immigration 'crisis'. i do wonder why it is suddenly a crisis. it's been going on for years and years and it was never a crisis before. same thing with social security--it was suddenly a crisis before the election. nothing changed despite its crisis categorization.
    i looked in the faces of my neighbors, my friends. i had my answer. do i want the criminals--the real criminals--out of the country? yes. do i want the people who have been here for so many years that they are already americans to be kicked out of the homes they have made for themselves and their families? no.
    that's what i told jorge and christina and nelson, while i gave natie cookies and played games with her and her dora doll.
    do i want the government to tighten the borders? yes. why not use the money that they would otherwise use to corral people, imprison them, and deport them, and spend it on border security instead?
    should we define our immigration policy by whether a spanish accent is mexican, colombian, or cuban? why is one dry foot okay but another not okay? are haitians any less oppressed than cubans? i would venture to say that their plight is worse than those living in cuba.
    i apologize for the length of this comment. i didn't start out to write a novel. i just think there is a time where common sense and practicality have to take center stage.
    this is sort of like therapy. you can go back and stir up all your childhood fears in order to figure out why you feel the way you do today. on the other hand, you can say that your life from now on starts at this moment, and what happened in the past may affect your life now, but it will not rule how you feel now. you go on and make the best of the situation you are presently in.
    i think that is the thinking our country should have now. start from where we are. let's make this a better place for everyone who lives here.

    I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

    by nonnie9999 on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:09:00 PM PDT

    •  Eleven million taxpayers (6+ / 0-)

      suddenly drop off the tax rolls because they've been deported... now that would be a crisis.

      -9.0, -8.3. The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:14:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that you've hit on something. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ablington, TexMex, ER Doc
      'Immigration' is the new 'gay marriage.' By that, I mean that this is the meme that will be used to get people to vote against their own interest, and also will be used to divide opposition to continued Congressional Rethug-Nazi control. The social psychologists among the Republinazi strategists are obviously top-notch, because the current immigration meme seems to be working like a charm.

      Yes, the Niemoller quote is prophetic:
      "First they came for homosexual couples, but I was not homosexual, so I did not protest. Then they came for the Arab-Americans, but I was not Arab-American, so I did not protest. Then they came for the immigrants, but I was not an immigrant, so I did not protest." Who will the next targetted group be? Is it in you?

      -7.25/-6.41 Service [to others] is the rent we pay for the space we occupy. -Rev. M. L. King, Jr.

      by sravaka on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:54:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What do we think (8+ / 0-)

    those holding cells are in the new Halliburton camps?  They were specifically constructed for this purpose, housing illegal immigrants until they can be flown to Honduras or wherever.  

    This has been going on since September of last year.  By now, well over a hundred thousand have been deported by plane.  I've seen the stories cited here, though not frequently.

    It's clear that the order has gone down to make no exceptions for compelling circumstances like this person's.  No mercy (that was the old Jesus, not the new GI Jesus).  

    My guess is that the only way to circumvent this is to beg or bribe a Republican member of Congress (preferably a senator) to intercede, though I haven't head of even that succeeding.  This is, I guess, "compassionate deportation".

    "... Just so long as I'm the dictator." - GWB, 12/18/00

    by Bob Love on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:17:41 PM PDT

  •  Apartheid (9+ / 0-)

    I lived a sheltered life and never knew the word until high school. I remember two phrases from the day in 1976 when my eyes were opened to the South African policy.

    1. No travel without papers.
    1. Imprisonment without cause.

    Anyone know if we've surpassed South Africa in prisoners per capita?

  •  Please keep us informed on this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Margot, SensibleShoes, zinger99, Lashe

    especially if she will allow you to provide more information that will allows us to help.  If she is not comfortable with that I think we all understand-at least I do.

    I respect you for protecting her confidentiality.

    Live Free or Die-words to live by

    by ForFreedom on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 06:54:22 PM PDT

  •  I don't see how you can bias the case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I fail to see how telling us where he came from and how he came would bias us.  This is definitely relevant. I'm very familiar with the spousal immigration process, and I suspect that there is something you aren't telling us. The INS does screw up. I'm not going to suggest that they are anything resembling infallible.  They lose documents, and can be very unforgiving of people who don't follow the rules. But they don't simply deport people for no reason.  Generally, when they deport somebody, it is because they broke a rule. For example, couples who marry and then leave the country before they file for adjustment of status (like taking a honeymoon in the Carribean) will find that the non-citizen cannot re-enter the U.S. until the adjustment of status (to a permanent resident) has been completed, which can take many months.  Some couples decide to cut corners and marry while the non-citizen is in the country on a non-immigrant visa.  This can get the non-citizen deported, since it is illegal to enter the country for the purpose of immigration without jumping through the proper hoops. It took my husband, who is Canadian, and me about 6 months to get permission for him to travel to the U.S. to marry me. We had to essentially complete the immigration process, providing complete backgrounds on both of us, proof that I could support him, his military and police records, and much more.  The final application was literally a half inch thick. It's an arduous process, but we did it ourselves without a lawyer by carefully following advice from a newsgroup dedicated to helping couples like us.

    Your friend needs to do some serious homework and not just trust a lawyer to take care of everything. There is a newsgroup that may be able to advise her, calld They can provide information about options as well as time-lines about how long it is currently taking various INS agencies to process documents.  There is also a lot of information about spousal immigration on the web, and she should start reading so that next time she hires a lawyer she isn't so dependent on his competence.  And she will need an advocate at this point, since once someone is deported it gets harder to come back into the U.S. But if she is familiar with the process, she will be able to select an advocate that will work more effectively and will know if she is being taken adavantage of. I wish her luck.

    •  of what relevance (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SensibleShoes, ch kes, zinger99, Lashe, lazybum

      is where he came from?  Aren't all people the same?

      If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

      by vejoaronda on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:38:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  of coures, I mean (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SensibleShoes, ch kes, zinger99

        don't all people have the same rights.

        If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

        by vejoaronda on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 07:38:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The immigration process varies slightly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sleep deprived, Lashe

        The basic proces is the same, but some countries have expedited processes for immigration, and some are treated differently by the INS because there is a lot of immigration fraud in those countries. It's harder to immigrate from some countries because it's hard to get the necessary documents.  It has nothing to do with people being the same, and everything to do with it being easier to immigrate from some countries.

        Why do you believe that people here are going to be biased against somebody merely because of the country they came from?  I would assume that most people here recognize the basic humanity of people all over the world, not the opposite. This is DailyKos, not Free Republic.

        •  you'd be surprised (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          about the level of anti-immigrant sentiment on dKos that is, yes, directed at particular nations and/or particular ethnic groups.

          I apologize as I seem to have misread your comment.  There's just a vocal minority on dKos that engages in the kind of prejudice you describe.

          If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

          by vejoaronda on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:14:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Its not just bad companies... (12+ / 0-)

    One of my employees was Canadian.  He has been here for years.  He went to college here.  He married an American.  He works here and owns property and  pays taxes.  

    It became an issue because there was a chance he would have to fly overseas and he couldnt go.

    The problem was that he had paperwork just lanquishing.  Maybe a year or year 1/2 is what they were telling him.  He was just lumped in with millions of others trying to get citizenship.

    His situation was that he could stay here indefinatly.  Live, work, die.  He just couldnt leave the country.  If he ever left the US would not let him back in.  To his house. His job. or his wife.

    Its no wonder there are so many illegals.

  •  I really hope (0+ / 0-)

    something good will happen for your friend.All I can do is pray.

  •  disappeared in Amerika (2+ / 0-)

    "There is no limit to what you can do if you have the power to change the rules." -Josh Marshall

    by grollen on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:05:52 PM PDT

  •  The purge is on.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cletus from Canuckistan

    ...its just to make a show for the elections in November. They have at least agreed not to deport all 12 million.

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Fri Apr 28, 2006 at 08:48:22 PM PDT

  •  Listing of Monday's Events (2+ / 0-)

    Here is a comprehensive list of nationwise events.  If you can't attend one of the rallies, please consider wearing white as a sign of solidarity for human rights and peace - that is why we are marching.  Paz

  •  Rumors rampant in this area (3+ / 0-)

    I live in an area with a large Hispanic population. Just yesterday my brother was telling me that there are widespread rumors in the community about people disappearing. Apparently, these rumors are very widespread amongst the Spanish community in the local towns. There are stories of buses and taxis being stopped and people being taken away. This sounds ridiculous to me so I decided to see if I could find any local reports on the topic. All I could find was this article -- Accident highlights fears of immigrants.

    STAMFORD -- Tensions over the nation's immigration policy sparked a flurry of rumors within the Hispanic community this week about police arresting people lined up at the city's day laborer pick-up zone.

    So I figured it was just a wild rumor. Nevertheless, people seem to be holed up, very few day-laborers at usual locations and streets deserted. I figured it was just paranoia.

    Then tonight I see this AP article Raid Rumors Spark Fear Among Immigrants and I realize that these rumors are prevalent across the country.

    MIAMI - Rumors of immigration roundups have prompted thousands of illegal immigrants to stay home this week and are making some afraid to participate in a national immigration protest planned for Monday.

    The question is -- are they just rumors or is there some element of truth to them. If they are just rumors as both articles suggest, is someone feeding them to intimidate the Hispanic community? If so, is this an effort to scupper the planned boycott on Monday?

  •  terrible creepy and evil (8+ / 0-)

    My wife reported a similar case a month ago here in N. Cal.  The wife is a US citizen and worked at a hospital in "housekeeping" until about 10 years ago when she and her husband opened a resturant which they've been running every since. Apparently the husband got behind or missed some paperwork on his green card. They came picked him up and sent him to some detention facility in Arizona. He'd been a working resident for 30 years. No word on how, when, if he'll be able to rejoin wife and family.

    I am truely ashamed of this country.

    •  This is truly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sleep deprived, Lashe

      alarming.  Kind of Nazi-esque.  I know rumors are rampant, but I also know there is enough truth out there under the fog of hysteria to scare the hell out of me--because I know what the Bush Team (backed by its myriad network of carefully placed enablers) is capable of.  I don't trust this alien government that has somehow invaded my country.  It's like somehow a toxic substance is being fed intravenously into the bloodstream of this nation, and we have yet to produce the antibodies capable of combatting this poisonous concoction.

      Transparency holds the key to their undoing--it's the "antibody" that will expose and defeat them.  But how much tissue, how much American flesh, will be destroyed before our system kicks in to save us?  The extent of the scarring is yet to be determined.  I fear the American character will be permanently disfigured.  

      I just hope this next election produces enough change in our Congress to begin the lifesaving transfusion we so desperately need.  And, I hope it's not too late.  Iraq, Iran, the Katrina aftermath, immigration are all festering wounds in need of immediate attention.

    •  What I don't get (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lashe, ER Doc, vejoaronda

      I don't understand how Americans can have immigrants living, working, paying taxes, and raising families in the USA and not deem them citizens. If they're contributing members of socieyt, they should just be called citizens at some point.

      I really don't understand all this hatred of Mexican and Central American immigrants. At the same time, I do agree that our country is unable to support the load. Hell, we can't even support ourselves. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to help. How is America considered a wealthy super-power again?

      I live in CA and anyone who hires someone to take care of their lawns seem to hire immigrant labor (mostly Mexicans, but some central Americans too).

      Every corporation I've worked at or visited has used immigrant workers in the janitorial services.

      When I went back to San Antonio, TX to visit my family, I noticed how integrated Mexicans are into every level of society. Since my family are Mexican Americans, it may be that I see a different side of the city than others.

      The difference was really intriguing. What is it? CA has a lot of agricultural immigrant workers who slowly work their way into the lower echelons of the job market.

      It's a complicated issue, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of rational thought being directed at it.

      •  complicated? actually, no (0+ / 0-)
        knowledge of the issues surrounding immigration are proportional to the observers distance from the US economy, current and historic. but that reads complicated!

        put another way: the less one know about other people and their cultures, the less one knows about policy determinants, real and imagined input to formulating US law which is in itself NOT a model of democracy.

        a la colbert: all you need to know
        (a) US slave trade finances "technical" innovation and national account growth since 250 years ago. "elites", our reps, haven't forgotten this.
        (b) slavery is primarily a function of EU "race" difference, ideology and aggression against "brown" not pink "primatives". "elites" haven't foresaken imperialist justifications for progress.
        (c) no other nation (except perhaps geo-isolated S. africa) has operationalized slavery over the period like the US. "elites" have not adjusted, intellectually or financially, to the colonial independence wave 1930-1970. notably, OPEC still hurts.
        (d) your questioning today's political dysfunction, sociopathic priorities, is not irrational. not hardly. it is therapeutic.

        Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

        by MarketTrustee on Wed May 17, 2006 at 12:29:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Americans Abroad (8+ / 0-)

    I left the U.S. in the 90's and now reside in the Czech Republic.  There have been reports in the Czech press lately about harassment of Czechs even when just applying for visas.  The selection process makes little rhyme or reason.  And, there have been inflated statistics bandied about, some from the U.S. embassy, concerning the number of Czechs who have overstayed their visas to try and live black in the U.S.  Of course Czechs ain't mex-CANs (or Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Columbians, or any other of American peoples from south of the Rio Grande).

    It being election season in the CZ, the foreign minitser here has made noise about becoming stricter with Americans, Canadians and Australians living here illegally.  Estimates vary but there are probably at least 20,000 undocumented Americans living and working in this country.  Something like 3,500 documented.  

    This story sounds like one of the more horrifying urban fairy tales expats here tell about dealing with the Czech foreign police.  While at times the bureacracy in becoming legal is trying, in comparison to the U.S., the Czechs are extremely generous and you meet helpful people in most of their embassies in Europe.

    I can imagine the outcry in the U.S. press if the Czechs where to round up 15,000 Americans and hold them in detention centers while chartering the jumbo jets to send them back to Crawford.  Instead, quietly, the Czech government is upgrading the status of U.S. citizens to simplify the process getting residency.

    Of course, here they've have to live with Terezin (Theresienstadt - Nazi jewish ghetto and stop over to Auschwitz), and Jachymov (Uranium mine work camp where Communists sent undesireables) on their collective conscience.  America should be better than having to experience these darker angels of human nature.

    •  America doens't really have a conscience (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zinger99, Lashe, ER Doc

      Of course, here they've have to live with Terezin (Theresienstadt - Nazi jewish ghetto and stop over to Auschwitz), and Jachymov (Uranium mine work camp where Communists sent undesireables) on their collective conscience.  America should be better than having to experience these darker angels of human nature.

      Or maybe it just doens't have a memory.  In any event, most Americans haven't heard of Manzanar, and if they have, it's because Michelle Malkin told them it was a great idea.

      America hasn't been able to collectively admit that Vietnam was wrong or that we lost.  Appealing to America's conscience isn't a high percentage move.

      If you think you're that far ahead, then get the chips in the middle of the table!

      by theran on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:25:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Zing. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, Lashe

        ". . . most Americans haven't heard of Manzanar, and if they have, it's because Michelle Malkin told them it was a great idea."

        Well put.  Our own little . . .

        And for anyone wanting to give me a ticket for violation of Godwin' Law - tough.


        We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

        by BenGoshi on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 05:56:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The difference between the US and Germany (0+ / 0-)

          Is that there is general agreement among the Germans that they lost their last two aggressive wars.  That and Germans not eating vegetables that are overcooked.

          (This is what I have learned over the last month or so in Berlin, aside from more immediately applicable things about polyhedra. :)

          If you think you're that far ahead, then get the chips in the middle of the table!

          by theran on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:22:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here in the Deep South . . . (0+ / 0-)

            . . . we know something about overcooking vegetables.  There was a German POW camp near where I used to live.  German vets, now in their 80s, still come back and visit from time to time and hug and shed tears with their American friends.  They didn't try to escape because, well, as if there was some place to escape to, because why would any of 'em want to go back to that war?, and, finally, because I think they loved the very, very, very overcooked vegetables.


            We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

            by BenGoshi on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 02:39:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Sensible (5+ / 0-)

    I saw your comment above about your dissertation and wanted to add this tidbit.

    We live in Europe now but my daughter went to K in a bilingual (English/Spanish) school in the US that taught literacy skills in both languages starting in K. Starting in 1st grade, and thru 6th, they learned 3 subjects in English and 3 in Spanish.

    The standard tests for those subjects taught in Spanish were were not translated into Spanish. They were given in English. The district found that the kids who learned, let's say Math, in Spanish consistently outscored the kids who learned Math in English - eventhough the test was given in English.

    This was the same regardless of what language the math was taught in - this district has had bilingual programs for quite 18 years, I believe, and they teach German, French, Japanese, Spanish and I'm sure I'm forgeting something else :-). Same results!

    Added benefit for the district - minimal need for ESL teachers, easier integration of non-English speakers.

    Benefit to society - immigrants learn English easily, American lear a second languge, fairly fluently, before they enter High School

  •  Increasing trend (5+ / 0-)

    The stories about detentions, suspension of the Constitution etc. are becoming more frequent. Some see it as a negative political development instituted by a few power-hungry criminals at the top. Not so. This is a cultural trend deeply embedded in popular culture. At its core is the desire not to feel and not to think. The ideals are well-expressed by the right-wing talk show hosts that compete to see who can be most heartless and cruel--and these guys and gals are basically just giving people what they want and spinning it to favor the Lords they serve.

    This should not be a surprise for a culture that is addicted (particularly males) to viewing violence and, also, admiring heroes that are angry and filled with vengeance.

    We aren't quite there yet but we are headed for a full-blown fascist police-state. Should there be another major crisis, a major terrorist act, an economic downturn we will see the full-face of American fascism there is no counter-force except on the libertarian right.

    Om Lokaha Samastaha Sukhino Bhavantu (may all beings in all the worlds be happy)

    by Chris Cosmos on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 04:35:47 AM PDT

    •  When will they come for me...and you? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TampaProgressive, neroden

      One hears about the contract that Halliburton (or maybe it was brown & Root, or Bechtel - but what's the difference?) got to build Detention Centers. What for? Are they going to round up all the illegals? Keep them locked up without due process for as long as they damn well please? or maybe, when they make their next move and we all get out in the streets, and we don't stay in our "Free Speech Zones" they will round all of us up and put us away too.Don't think it can happen?
      I do. And I feel that way because of the constant drumbeat from the right wing media, The O'Reillys and Coulters, Malkins, etc. who denigrate Liberals, Democrats, the ACLU, etc. calling us traitors, saying WE should be thrown in jail or deported. Enough of this and people begin to accept things they never would have accepted before.
      One day something will happen. And we will be arrested as "enemies of the state."
      When a government can label anyone a terrorist, how far do YOU think they will go. As they say, "desperate times call for desperate measure." And while I am glad that the right is being esposed for what they are, I also worry that they are getting desperate. Very desperate.

      All Truth is non-partisan

      by MA Liberal on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 08:25:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this story. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SensibleShoes, Lashe, ER Doc

    We need to read about these things when they happen.  My heart goes out to your student and her husband.    

    Fear will keep the local systems in line. -Grand Moff Tarkin Survivor Left Blogistan

    by boran2 on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 05:44:23 AM PDT

  •  Perfect illustration (5+ / 0-)

    Bobbie-Ann is as American as French fries. Er, as American as pizza. I mean as American as bagels. Anyway you know what I mean.

    I enjoy your writing style and appreciate your message.

  •  Who is busy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    translating this entire diary into multiple languages?

    I don't think I've ever read a diary that has contained so much helpful information--for people who aren't going to see or read it, unfortunately!  I think this would be a good diary to bookmark for easy reference when the day comes we meet someone who needs this information.

    Great diary and great posts from everyone! Kudos to you all!

    I've learned a lot today.

  •  Non-citizens' rights (5+ / 0-)

    The claim that non-citizens don't have most constitutional rights, including habeas corpus, is utter nonsense.
    The constitution doesn't mention citizenship in discussing most of those rights. Until the Civil War, the only mention of citizenship in the constitution was with respect to state citizenship.
    Get the ACLU immediately.

  •  My co-worker's brother-in-law... (5+ / 0-)

    ... about four months ago, was pulled over for a broken taillight, arrested, and deported back to Central America, all within a period of about two days, without due process, and without even being allowed to communicate with his (American-born) wife or 4 (American-born) children.  His family hasn't seen him since, and don't know when, or if, they'll ever see him again.

    A lot of people are getting hurt, here.  A lot of American citizens' lives are being disrupted, even destroyed.

    These are human beings, for God's sake.  These are families that are getting torn apart.  And this is just sick.

  •  I'll add my story to the collection (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, Catte Nappe, neroden, ER Doc

    About 8 weeks ago a woman I've worked with for nearly 10 years left work abruptly in the middle of the day. She said it was a family emergency. We didn't hear from her for about 4 weeks, which was really unusual. (hard-working, smart, reliable clerical employee - active in church and in local migrant worker assistance programs) Turns out she and her two sons (one, a senior in high school who was born in the US) were deported to her South American country of origin. They had held her and the boys in detention for 2-3 weeks.

    No one knows the whole story, just that she says it's a huge mistake and her lawyer is "working on it" so she can return.

    What in the hell have we come to???

    ***Every pig has his Saturday***

    by TampaProgressive on Sat Apr 29, 2006 at 09:43:40 AM PDT

  •  What I don't understand is (0+ / 0-)

    Why didn't they just do all the paperwork themselves?  It's not that complicated.  There's about 5 different forms that you fill out and about $500 in fees.  My wife is Japanese, and we applied for her green card several months after 9/11.  Within 4 months she had her temporary green card.  Two years later we petitioned to have her temporary status revoked, so she could have a 10 year card (since 9/11 they don't issue permenant green cards anymore).  It was granted 3 months later.  

    The forms aren't overly simple, but if you've ever filled out an extensive job application, it's similar to that.

    All of our friends are Americans married to foreign nationals or both foreign nationals.  The only ones who needed to hire a lawyer were the ones with some kind of extenuating circumstance, like both were foreign.  That complicates things.  

  •  well (0+ / 0-)

    well if it any consulation, the U.S. if it keeps going the way it is, will be a third world shit hole also in the not too distant future.

  •  call me uninformed (0+ / 0-)

    this is shocking to me and very, very frightening.

  •  Typical INS bull shit unfortunately (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, Ari Mistral, ER Doc

    Lots of my colleagues deal with INS (I'm a science nerd).  The usual experience is for INS to lose paperwork at least once every year or two.  When that happens it's always the immigrant's fault (in INS's viewpoint).  Even if you can document Fed-Ex receipts & signitures or registered mail.  In one case the wrong person at INS opened the envelope containing the medical exam info, therefore INS ruled that the exam wasn't valid because the data had been "contaminated".  So my friend had to repeat the whole thing at his cost.

    Personally, I don't see how anyone can negotiate the regulatory maze for a green card without a lawyer.  My company helps our employees do it.  In many cases the INS officers instruct applicants to do things that would invalidate their visas, only the advise of the lawyer keeps them on the right side of the law.

    All that said contact the Senators & your congress critter.  Senator Dole might be your best bet.  When he was in office Jesse Helms was very good about helping constituents with INS trouble, particularly couples where one was a US citizen.

    Yeah, I know.  That's the only good thing I'll say about old Jesse.  But he did really help some friends of mine.  I think it was the joy of sticking it to the bureaucrats.

  •  All you experts (0+ / 0-)

    My wife's Certificate of Naturalization has a typo that makes her six-feet-something instead of five-feet-something.

    When she received it, she was so excited, and checking the spelling of her name so diligently, that she didn't notice.  The officials had already moved all us family members over to the side in advance of the swearing in, so I didn't participate in the proof-reading.  I only took a close look that evening, when I immediately saw the problem.  We checked her application and the application has 5, not 6.

    Of course we went back the next day.  The officer we talked to said it will take, on average, 2 years to correct the mistake.  When we begin the process, we must turn in the original certificate, though I believe we get a receipt for it.  He said to get the passport first.

    The lawyer says not to worry about it, just to keep it in the safe deposit box with the error and the whole question will probably never arise.  We don't expect to live where we do now for two years.  After we move across the country, we don't expect to get a permanent address for several years.  We'll probably rent a year or two while we decide where exactly to get a house.

    So we got the passport.  I don't like having this mistake on the certificate, though.  What if her passport is stolen while abroad and there are questions when she renews?  The passport app went through just fine even though it asks her height and the number we gave conflicts with the certificate.

    To make it worse, we recently realized her actual height is 1-3/4 taller than what we stated.  We always thought she was 5'x", probably based on a low-precision conversion from centimeters over 15 years ago.  We only discovered our own mistake at a medical exam about 6 months ago.

    Will the new passports encoding biometrics include height?

    How much of a hassle is correcting the certificate going to turn into now that we know there is a miststatement of our own in the inches as well as a typo of the BCIS in the feet?  How much of a risk is leaving it uncorrected?

    How do I get peace of mind about this?

  •  If you haven't recommended this diary, please do (0+ / 0-)

    It needs to stay on the recommended list until Monday.

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