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January 03, 2010

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Tritone

"where he became an advocate for immigrant rights"

Immigrants already have the rights to everything that Felipe, and those like him are denied.

What Felipe and people like him are advocating for is illegal alien "rights", and not immigrant rights; ou seja, they are advocating to give lawbreakers rights that they are not entitled to.

"and we are walking through one of the most anti-immigrant regions in the US: the deep south."

Anti-immigrant, no. Anti-illegal alien, yes; and rightfully so.

"We are sharing our stories because we want to change the stigma that undocumented immigrants have to face in the US. Words such as "illegal" only put our people down; it creates a second rate citizen. "

Illegal is not derogatory. It is a factual term, describing the reality of that persons status. People from this movement prefer euphemisms like "undocumented", in a attempt to equate themselves with real immigrants, but such classifications are disingenuous at best. Furthermore, illegal aliens are no kind of citizens, not first nor second rate; they are foreigners living and working in the U.S unlawfully.

" Today, I was looking at my blisters and I thought that the pain I am feeling is so little compared with the pain immigrant communities have to face because of the broken US immigration system. "

Our immigration system is not broken. The United States is a wonderful country filled with opportunities for immigrants who are treated very well, and guaranteed most of the rights of native citizens. The only problem is that we have millions of foreigners with a sense of entitlement who choose not to obey our immigration laws, and a government that does not enforce them.

I hope that cases like this serve as an example for prospective immigrants. If you want to immigrate here, that's great, but DO NOT enter the U.S unlawfully, and do not bring your children into the U.S unlawfully. You will only create future problems for them and yourself, and you will be denied the rights of citizens and legal residents. This is a country that invites immigration, and is populated by immigrants and their descendants; the only thing asked is that you respect our laws.

LaMarichola

Kudos for this lovely post. Stories like Felipe's highlight the importance of humane immigration reform. Felipe and that of his SWER companions, trail of dreams, is both heroic and exemplary action for human dignity and social justice. It is a pity to read posts like the one above by Tritone, muddled in xenophobia.

Let's stand together in solidarity with thousands of Undocumented immigrants like the Dreamers and fight for rights for all.

ali

Great story! What a brave thing Felipe and his friends are doing.

Don

Rachael


I am truly sorry about the limbo situation of these people, but there is a saying in law - "bad facts make bad law" - i.e. trying to bend rules around these type of situation will always create exceptions and not a robust, clear system that people will learn to respect.

I have to agree with Tritone. You can't just show up in the US and say that you are an immigrant. Its the same in Brazil by the way and most other countries.

Wouldn't these guys be better working in their own countries and societies - to develop them and use their skills and talents there - so that situations in their homes will ameliorate and the next generation will not feel forced to leave?

I am European and would have to jump through the same hoops as these guys should I want to study/work in the US. Thats tough but isn't that they way with laws that apply wide groups of people from different backgrounds? I did a one year work/study/internship in the US. The objective of the programme was to invite foreigners to the US - give them a good experience - and have them Return home. Surely that is the type of programme that should be encouraged.

In my experience many latin americans who get educated in the US do not return to their countries - this is brain drain - and does improve the wider situation.


US immigration should allow for legal immigration for areas where there is need - and focus on offering development assistants to areas from which migrants are likely to originate.

MdeG

In response to Rachael's comment: Yes, as a European you'd have to jump through hoops to get here on an immigrant visa. However, as a European you would probably not face the economic realities of coming from many Latin American countries. Our visa application fees are equal to several months' pay for working people from these countries, and our quota system means that their chances of approval -- after years of waiting -- is very near to zero. That's part of why people come without documents. As a European you're probably living in a place that is significantly safer and healthier than, say, Haiti or Nicaragua, and where you have at least a reasonable chance of making a living. Collapsed economies and civil disorder also have a great deal to do with the incentive to take off without papers.

I cannot agree with you about guest worker programs being an appropriate solution. A student's year abroad is one thing -- available mostly to the reasonably well-off -- but guest workers' visas are tied to their employers. This creates a situation where the employer is free to mistreat the guest worker -- and may do, on a very large scale. Low-skilled guest workers live and work in conditions that are way too close to slavery.

For people who've been brought here as small children, "their own country" is effectively here. If they've been educated in the US, they may not have the background to make it in a Latin American university, where standards may be considerably higher than in the US, nor the cultural grounding and connections that it would take to get in there and make a difference back "home."

The "go home and do good" or "stay home and make a difference" argument is kind of like telling, say, a poor Irish-American kid from the projects in Charlestown MA -- who's just struggled through public school and made it into the community college system -- to go "home" to Ireland and sort the Provisionals. Let the kid finish college and get some grounding, and she may be able to do something. Boot her out now and she's going home to poverty and disempowerment. No good accomlished.

MdeG

PS. Real development help in migrant-sending areas is a **2wonderful** idea, and we should do more of it. "Free trade" agreements are something else entirely.

Don

MdeG:

Good discussion - here are a few points/clarifications:

My comments are about the wider immigration question, which encompass the issue of access to education mentioned above. I feel truly feel sorry for the individuals mentioned above - after all this time they should be able to access an amnesty. This however will not help the much larger group of uneducated people who will still want to come to the US to work.

I did not mean to argue that these people should be deported now - I just mean that there should be a way of the being able to avail of the excellence of US educational institutions - and then return to their own countries.
The Fulbright programme is an example of a high level version of this approach. Fulbright recognised the need to encourage academic interaction so that knowledge could be disseminated around the world - precisely to halt brain-drain from countries with failed institutions and civil strife. By the way Brazil should not be included on such a list.


A properly administered guest worker programme would be much preferable to a situation where people are undocumented. Remittances give huge boosts to economies. (Phillipines/Mexico) This is not all bad.

However, any properly functioning immigration system will feature deportation of people who do not have the right to enter a given country. It has to be tough but fair.

We have to look at the bigger issues of what drives people to cross swathes of Latin America to work in the US. Until those issues are tackled the people will continue to come in increasing numbers.

With the US in a period of potential economic stagnation, I do not see public opinion going any other way.

Kevin

I'm sorry, but I must side with Tritone here. Seriously, the strange thing here is that Felipe sounds exactly like Sean Goldman's grandmother who seems to be in denial that she ever broke a law.

She denies being a kidnapper. Felipe denies being an illegal alien.

She believes she is the victim of anti-Brasilian sentiment. Felipe believes he is the victim of "anti-immigration" (whatever that means).

She blames the legal system. Felipe blames the immigration system.

She seeks sympathy from the public, while giving only her side of the story. Felipe does likewise.

She thinks her country owes her something she is not entitled to. Felipe obviously thinks he is entitled to citizenship just because he's in the USA.

She pretends the law is on her side. Felipe pretends he has the "ideology" that built America, on his side.

Both exhibit a contempt for proper legal procedures.

"I would have to say that I believe that this country was built on a beautiful ideology that ALL people have rights."

It is hardly the place of an illegal alien to dictate to America what ideology built it, but Felipe's delusions notwithstanding, "All people" would be more accurately stated as "all citizens." He is not a citizen, so no, there is no rational, legal or moral basis for him to demand equal rights. He is someone who came here under false pretenses, and has tried use the system for his own purposes. The only glaring distinction between Felipe and Silvana is that RioGringa supports the efforts of only one.

Tracy Hills

It is important to remember when reading these stories, that the children who have become scholars of this nation did not choose to be sent over here. And for the most part, parents would rather not separate their children from their roots.

But these families are not causing harm to this nation. In fact, with Felipe, we see an incredibly bright young man whose intelligence would greatly benefit our country. It is ridiculous to say he should go back to his country when it is here that it has bloomed. These students are not criminals & deserve an opportunity to education.

polyana

omg, i'm going to cry... haha. thanks so much Rachel, I really appreciate it!!
and GO FELIPE and the other students marching on Washington. Reading his interview was like reading about myself... but it still stings to read comments like some of the ones above speaking so lowly of undocumented immigrants without even considering how broken immigration law is in the united states.

is it right to immigrate illegally to a country? no. it's a federal offense. but it's funny because most people i know who do speak poorly of undocumented immigrants are small business owners who are harmed by legally registering their employees when they could get cheap undocumented immigrant labor, or those who pay exorbitant hospital fees... or even those who fib on their tax returns ;-)

it's easy to blame undocumented immigrants - but here's a reality check folks: the government hasn't deported them all because they NEED them there. you think it'd be hard to go into any latino immigrant enclave in small town USA and throw everyone in jail? the government hasn't done anything about immigration law because they don't want to lose their cheap labor and extra tax money they don't need to give back, but at the same time they don't want to keep funding immigrant children in public schools or have local communities keep nagging them about expenses.

if ANYONE should be supported a justified immigration law to LEGALIZE rightstanding undocumented immigrants (they're already there, so deal with it because the government ain't kickin' them out kids), it's those who are against undocumented immigrants in the US.

The Gritty Poet

Laws that don´t make sense along with laws that are not enforced are the main reasons people like Felipe leave places like Brazil. The thing is compliance to a law that doesn´t make sense is necessary if you want to change such a law and then have society obey it afterwards. The rule of law is what differentiates the United States and allows for its prosperity. Everytime it is broken, either by people like Felipe or by employers that hire illegals a blow is taken by the system that attracted those illegals in the first place.
The American people and their government, be it republican or democrat, seem to be forgetting these things and prefer dangerous shortcuts, the first usually cites economic reasons and the latter humanitarian ones for doing this. So the employer and society as a whole benefit from the work of illegals and every couple of decades an amnesty takes place so these illegals can also benefit. It actually seems rational but is it? Why not get rid of illegals, see what the results are and if you like them then keep them out, yet if your economy falters then CHANGE THE LAW, make it realistic so to allow those you discovered to be useful obtain legal status and then let them back in.
It may just be that the same people that were here before had to return, many will say it doesn´t make sense in economic terms but this is a shortsighted view.

marmara33

I just wish I was there. Go Dreamers!

Tritone

I want to first apologize If I spoke too harshly before. I don't mean any offense, and on an emotional level, I have nothing against people like Felipe, and actually admire their accomplishments and dedication. That being said, they are still wrong, and I stand firmly behind my convictions.

One of the great things about this blog, is that Rachel's story documents the legal processes one has to go through to live and work in a foreign country, making it very informative for prospective immigrants to the U.S and American expats in Brazil alike. Its a difficult process on both sides, which can be unfair in some respects, but its still is absolutely necessary. As a foreigner, you are NOT ABOVE THE LAW; you are a guest in a foreign country and have to respect local law/customs. Don't go to Brazil or the U.S, unwilling to cooperate with immigration law, thinking you are entitled to things; its not going to work out.

What upsets me the most about this, is that the illegal alien community here in the U.S are "se fazendo de coitadinhos" and projecting themselves as immigrants, creating the perception that immigrants in the United States are mistreated or have limited legal rights, which is completely untrue. Cries of xenophobia and "anti-immigrant" attitudes, from illegal aliens who are denied basic rights, are dishonest and slanderous. Documented immigrants do very well for themselves - Brazilians especially - are generally treated well, and have few limitations; as an immigrant in the U.S, there is actually little that you can NOT do.

The logic behind calling our immigration law "broken" and claiming that it needs to be "reformed" is also totally backwards. There is nothing particularly unique about U.S immigration laws; the same laws we have, apply in Brazil and most other countries. Again, its the people who choose to break the laws, who are claiming that they are "broken" - simply because they do not benefit. "Immigration reform" to them, simply means creating a path to citizenship for illegal aliens.

I agree with Kevin, that there are parallels with Goldman case. The argument of some of the earlier court settlements in Brazil before Bruna died, essentially admitted her guilt saying, "yes she was wrong, she abducted the child, and the hague convention applies, but...since the process has taken so long, and Sean is already accustomed to Brazil, its better for him to stay". Polyana (above), is essentially saying the same thing, "yes they are wrong and commited a federal offense...but they're already been here for so long, just deal with it". She continues after that critisizing "small business owners" adding that instead of objecting to illegal immigration, they could benefit by illegally exploiting undocumented workers. Essentially her argument is that TOTAL LAWLESSNESS is better for everyone.

Yes, its easy to place blame on the illegal aliens (since they commited the crime), but I actually place more blame on the American lawbreakers who employ and exploit these people, creating the incentive for them to live here unlawfully. It's also true that people like Felipe, were not the ones who chose to commit the crime. Its an unfortunate situation, that was caused by the parents, and I think the best option for them is to repatriate. Prolonging his unlawful stay in the United States is only going to make the process more difficult (just like Sean's transition was made more difficult by dragging out the legal process for 5 years). I think Felipe could do very well in brazil, if he put in as much dedication there as he is here in the united States. He already has many advantages; hes educated, he speaks english, he would be very employable in Brazil in any number of positions. I've read similar stories from illegal Mexican students that got american engineering degrees, faced the same dilemma, but opted to return to Mexico, where they eventually got engineering jobs; Felipe could do the same.

Tritone

Mdeg said:
-----------------------------------------------------
"For people who've been brought here as small children, "their own country" is effectively here. If they've been educated in the US, they may not have the background to make it in a Latin American university, where standards may be considerably higher than in the US, nor the cultural grounding and connections that it would take to get in there and make a difference back "home."
-----------------------------------------------------

This certainly doesn't apply in Felipe's case, since he was 14 and not a small child. One thing I don't understand about his case, is his insistence that going back to Brazil was out of the question, as if their was no hope for self improvement there. He says something in the interview that's plainly not true: "If I was in Brazil, I would have to face similar condition since my lack of monetary power would not allow me to pursue a higher education. "

Brazilians have privileges that we don't here in the United States: QUALITY FREE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY EDUCATION.

Felipe is obviously a very talented and dedicated student. If he can get into Duke University, there's no reason he couldn't have gone back to Rio after high school at 18, studied for the "vestibular" , and gotten into "Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro" or some other public university. Unlike in the U.S he would not be turned away for not being able to pay. Instead he opted to stay in the U.S as an illegal alien, and go to schools he was obviously over-qualified for. Why? That doesn't make sense to me.

Brazil is a better option for him(or anybody for that matter)...I bet the economy/job market is probably even better over there.

Kevin

Tritone has hit the nail on the head yet again. Felipe would indeed be better off living in Brasil as an American-educated Brasilian citizen. His background in English alone could land him a job teaching at the University of Brasilia. I taught there for two years simply because English was my native language. He could also get a teaching certificate in the USA and go teach at the American School in Brasilia, where teachers are paid American salary of around $40,000 a year. You can live like a king there making that kind of money. So I just want to laugh at these stories of people pretending to be in some kind of economic plight, as if all opportunities are lost for them unless they manage to turn US immigration law on its head. That isn't a noble cause at all.

polyana

I'm not advocating lawlessness. I'm saying that instead of people trying to get rid of undocumented immigrants and bash them, accept the fact they're there and the fact the government is NOT going to deport the masses. They need to learn to embrace the fact that if they instead of insisting on deportation, they should insist instead on immigration reform. NOT AMNESTY. but a fair immigration reform - which the government doesn't agree on because there are so many AMERICANS who thrive economically on undocumented immigrants. I'm sorry if I was unclear, but I am the last person to preach lawlessness.

I'm so AGAINST lawlessness that I LEFT the US so as to not live unlawfully because I couldn't take it anymore. And for everyone who's saying Felipe can leave and make something of himself in Brazil. He can. I did. But I have an average paying job, I can't go to grad school because of my foreign degree, and public university isn't for anyone - especially someone who was never educated in the Portuguese language (I was 3 years old when I was brought to the US). Despite all this, I'm much happier in Brazil, but it was the hardest decision I've had to make. I left my parents who have been in a long and arduous 12 year legalization process in the US and haven't seen them in 2 years, I left my friends, everything and everyone I knew knowing that I wouldn't be able to go back for at least 10 years. It's not like deciding to study abroad for a year. It's MUCH MORE life altering than that.

Tritone

I'm not going to argue anymore on the subject. I can't identify with the emotional things that people like Polyana and Felipe have been subjected to, since they were hoisted into a country unlawfully as a minor, so its not my place to be preachy/judgemental. I've said my piece. I wish the best for everybody, and it was never my intention to "bash" anyone.

I would only suggest that Felipe reevaluate the reasons he believes he has to stay in the U.S; and consider that his blisters from walking 1500 miles, may be in vain.

I just have a few curiosities/comments:

Polyana said:
---------------------------
"But I have an average paying job"
---------------------------
Not unlike 90% of college grads in the U.S. Not so bad.

Polyana:
-----------------------------
"I can't go to grad school because of my foreign degree"
-----------------------------
Is this really true? I actually know of AMERICANS that went grad school at U.S.P. Here people with foreign B.As go to grad school all the time, but have to first go through some kind of process to get their degree accredited. I imagine the same would apply in Brazil for people with foreign degrees. With the number of Brazilian's that study abroad, its hard to believe that their foreign educations can't be validated in Brazil. I don't doubt that foreign degrees aren't accepted on face value, but there must be some kind of system/process to go through...

Kevin

Tritone is right again. American degrees sometimes mean more in Brasil than they do in America. I knew a guy who only had a two year degree and got a job that normally required a regular four year degree from Brasil. My wife got a teaching certificate from Brigham Young University, not a degree, but a CERTIFICATE, and everywhere she tries to get a teaching job, they are impressed more with this certificate than they are her experience.

Jolly

I know this is off topic but everyone should check this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_E4j7vi3js

RioGringa could use it for her next blog post. Doesnt surprise me after the whole Sean Goldman episode.

Daniela

Felipe, Gaby, Carlos and Juan are my heroes! Your determination and strength is a great example for dreamers and non-dreamers. I truly support your cause, and I understand how you feel when you say that the risk is no greater than the frustration caused by this broken law system. No human being, regardless of their deeds, is illegal. We are all the same under God's eyes, and therefore deserve the same respect and opportunity. Con Uds en Solidaridad!

Simone

Oh God, I'm glad I didn't post my comment here yesterday. But I see is very needed. People are so delusional in both sides of the equation...

I will post part of my comment here later but just my two cents in the very interesting discussion here:

1. Yes, Polyana. It will be nice to have clarification on why you can't pursue Grad school in Brazil. Also, 10 years pass really fast. That's how long I have been here and 9 years have passed since I haven't been with most of my family (including both parents and a brother) and I have been here...LEGALLY!!! So, yes, it is life. And, yes, it is tough. We make choices and live by them! I wish you the best of lucks. You made a courageous move by moving back to Brazil and I don't doubt you are happy.

2. Tritone, you think you know at all, won't you? Let me tell you something: You DON'T. Are you an immigrant? Have you ever been in a situation like Felipe or Rachel who has lived abroad? Your logic is completely flawed about immigration, for many reasons. Mainly because you won't acknowledge there is a broken system. Sorry to break the news for you, it IS BROKEN! If the US had to grant so many amnesties in the past and still have the same problem by having MILLIONS of illegals come here and stay... then, there IS a MAJOR ISSUE. You make strong points but this makes no sense whatsoever. Also, so you know, the system is broken NOT ONLY in regard to illegal immigration. I am not talking about people with green card but people like me under non-immigrant visas (student, work, etc) who have suffered for years and years from, yes, a inefficient and cruel system. Sometimes people live here LEGALLY for 20 years or more, ALWAYS legally, ALWAYS paying taxes and then they get sent back to their countries. So stop talking about things you don't know. If I am not well informed about an issue, I won't debate it. You can talk all you want, this is a free country after all, but you make a disservice to others and embarrass yourself when you give opinions without FACTS. This is FACT and although this is not in the MEDIA as often as I would like to, it does NOT mean it is inexistent. I respect your point of view but I suggest you to learn more before making statements as wrong as you made before. Unfortunately, papers like the NYT almost always write these "soup opera-like" drama stories that do nothing or very little to help the issue.

3. Kevin, your notions about Brazil are from a 'gringo' perspective. I can see that through some of the things you said. Public education is free but it is of VERY difficult access, for example. You make some interesting points but overall your ideas are completely out of place. How dare you compare Felipe's case with Silvana's? THIS IS NOT A FAIR AND RATIONAL COMPARISON, for so many different reasons. I can see how you can make the relation just to prove your point. Is it an EGO thing for you? Seriously, now. I mean, this is a serious issue. Children brought here have no fault for the decision made by their parents. Do you REALLY want to compare that to Silvana's selfish position?? Is it so imperious for you to be right that you cannot see the absurdity of such comparison??? Just so you know, I do not feel sorry for parents who bring their children here knowing they will be "third-class" citizens but this is NOT about them, it is this country taking responsibility for a broken system that allows this to happen to these children in the first place!! Got it?? Probably not but I had to ask anyway, just in case.

I have nothing else to say. I see there is very little room for a real solution to the immigration debacle if there is no middle ground. Respect of laws AND basic human rights are both necessary when dealing with this issue. We are talking about people, not things here.

Balance is key and without it, there will be no REAL SOLUTION.


Kevin

Daniela and Simone, please explain what is "broken" about immigration law?

This gets repeated over and over but nobody really explains what's so "broken" about it. We're just supposed to take it for granted that it is true just because there are thousands of illegal aliens calling it broken?

Kevin

== Kevin, your notions about Brazil are from a 'gringo' perspective.

It is from an educated perspective, which is probably why people siding with Felipe have problems with it.

== Public education is free but it is of VERY difficult access, for example.

I said nothing about Public education, but since you bring it up, I taught at UnB in Brasilia. It is a public university. It is very difficult to get it, but if Felipe is half as intelligent as people seem to lead on, then he should have no problem passing the test that would qualify him. You guys can't have it both ways. Either Felipe is highly intelligent or he isn't.

== You make some interesting points but overall your ideas are completely out of place. How dare you compare Felipe's case with Silvana's? THIS IS NOT A FAIR AND RATIONAL COMPARISON, for so many different reasons.

I listed the reasons where the comparisons are DEAD ON. If you think you can refute them, then be my guest. Until you do, your counterargument amounts to a baseless "no it isn't."

== I can see how you can make the relation just to prove your point. Is it an EGO thing for you? Seriously, now. I mean, this is a serious issue.

Yes, I don't take criminal activity lightly, especially when people tend to justify it. Calling it an ego thing is a red herring that doesn't deal with the facts.

== Children brought here have no fault for the decision made by their parents. Do you REALLY want to compare that to Silvana's selfish position??

I'm not talking about children brought here against their will. But nice of you to shift the goal post and pretend I've argued something I never did. So what is your argument, that children should be allowed to stay because they did nothing wrong? So it is OK with you if their parents get deported instead? Think about what you are saying. So criminals can come and stay permanently so long as they bring children? Or are you saying the law should be changed to where immigrants with children don't need visas at all? The last thing we need is to give Brasilians yet another incentive to have kids (bolsa familia).

== Is it so imperious for you to be right that you cannot see the absurdity of such comparison???

Again, I listed the various factors that show clear parallels. Can you deal with them and explain how they aren't true parallels? So far you're just diverting with rhetoric.

== Just so you know, I do not feel sorry for parents who bring their children here knowing they will be "third-class" citizens

USA isn't Brasil. Unlike Brasil, it is egalitarian. This second-third class citizen talk is pure nonsense. It doesn't exist. Either you are a first class citizen or you're not a citizen at all. Illegal aliens are not citizens. But as far as treatemnt by the general public, no one knows who is and who isn't illegal, so there really is no room to complain about open discrimination. Felipe only "feels" lesser because he is an illegal alien who cannot enjoy the rights of citizenship. But then, whose fault is that? Certainly not the US Government.

== it is this country taking responsibility for a broken system that allows this to happen to these children in the first place!! Got it?? Probably not but I had to ask anyway, just in case.

What "kids" are you even talking about? We'd have to discuss them on a case by case basis, but Felipe is not living in dire straits.

A system isn't "broken" just because it doesn't reward crime and dishonesty with full citizenship. Got it?? Calling it broken until you're blue in the face, doesn't make it so. The only problem is that the system presumes immigrants will be open and honest with their intentions. It is essentially naive, and this is a fact too many people take full advantage of. It assumes they will not overstay their visas and roam the countryside as an enemy of the state, trying to overthrow the system just because they decide they are entitled to more.

This mentality is prevalent in Brasil. It is why employees will go "em greve" as little as a week after being hired, because they know the government allows them to bully their way into getting more money. This they do in spite of the fact that they recently made an agreement with their employer on salary. It resonates throughout all classes in Brasil. A guy will offer to cut my lawn for 30 reis, and then after doing only half the yard, he will tell me I have to pay him 60 or else he will not finish. Why? Because he decided half way through doing his part, that he should get more. The same is true for people who go to the USA and pretend that they are interested in agreements and rules of conduct. They seem to think this attitude is acceptable. Well, it isn't.

Instead of showing gratitude, Felipe is showing selfishness. He has no business dictating to Americans what is moral and wrong about the system. None of you do. We are a nation of LAWS like any other nation, and we are not obligated to open the flood gates and allow people to enter or become citizens just because they want to. They should be thankful that a system exists so people can enter legally. But no, they feel entitled to everything and demand full citizenship. Why? Because they are living there and they envy citizens for the rights they enjoy.

And as far as children go, it is really sad, but who is really to blame here? If someone leaves a baby at your doorstep, are you obligated to adopt? What if they leave 10 babies, or 10 million?That is essentially what these parents are doing. They use their kids for their own purposes, by overstaying their visas and then dare the government to separate them from their kids.
There is nothing "balanced" about these silly rants that keep referring to a broken system.

Kevin

== Tritone, Are you an immigrant? Have you ever been in a situation like Felipe or Rachel who has lived abroad?

So one cannot call a crime a crime, or understand the immorality of the crime, without first being a criminal? What goofy logic. Tritone is not speaking from a position of extreme subjectivity. Illegal aliens like Felipe, are extremely subjective. They have no incentive to being open-minded and impartial. And being an illegal alien doesn't give one special insight to its justification.

== Your logic is completely flawed about immigration, for many reasons. Mainly because you won't acknowledge there is a broken system.

His logic is just fine, and he appears far more knowledgable than anyone else here. You have yet to ilustrate how the "system" is broken. You just keep reiterating the same nonsense like you're howling at the moon. Nonsense doesn't become truth via repitition.

== Sorry to break the news for you, it IS BROKEN!

Why, only in the sense that it has proved incapable of keeping illegal aliens out of the country.

== If the US had to grant so many amnesties in the past and still have the same problem by having MILLIONS of illegals come here and stay... then, there IS a MAJOR ISSUE

The government never "had" to do any such thing. It was something Reagan did to win hispanic votes, but he certainly wasn't obligated to do it. It proved more harmful because now people think if they stay illegally long enough, they'll be granted amnesty too.

== Also, so you know, the system is broken NOT ONLY in regard to illegal immigration.

How is it broken. Falsehood doesn't become truth via capitalizations either.

== I am not talking about people with green card but people like me under non-immigrant visas (student, work, etc) who have suffered for years and years from, yes, a inefficient and cruel system.

Suffered!! Please, do tell. How have you suffered? Why are you here?

== Sometimes people live here LEGALLY for 20 years or more, ALWAYS legally, ALWAYS paying taxes and then they get sent back to their countries.

So? They knew they were not going to be guaranteed anything when they first came.

== If I am not well informed about an issue, I won't debate it.

Prove it. Explain how the system is broken and explain how Felipe is justified in his actions.

== You can talk all you want, this is a free country after all, but you make a disservice to others and embarrass yourself when you give opinions without FACTS.

So far Tritone is the only one who has presented facts. You're responding by rambling onto several tangents that I don't think he and I even touched on.

== This is FACT and although this is not in the MEDIA as often as I would like to, it does NOT mean it is inexistent.

What isn't inexistent? You're rambling.

Kevin

Felipe said, "I was accepted by Duke University and couldn't go because I couldn't apply for financial aid."

This is the apex of his so-called "second-class citizen" syndrome that is gnawing at his "dignity"? Goof grief. So it isn't that he can't go to any college he wants, it is just that he can't get taxpayers to foot the bill.

How ridiculous, because I know plenty of US citizens who couldn't get financial aid due to no fault of their own. I don't see them doing a Forest Gump trot across country in protest. I remember applying for a Pell grant and was rejected because my parents made too much money. It didn't seem to matter that they weren't willing to share any of it with me for my tuition. I worked as a waiter and paid my way through college. Waiting/busing tables is a good job for illegal aliens too. There were at least seven Brasilians working illegally at an Olive Garden in Orlando.

And getting into Duke isn't such a miraculous feat in and of itself. If he spent less time complaining about the government and more time studying in school, then he could have qualified for an academic scholarship.

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