Undocumented Students: Illegal but not Criminal

Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown
Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown

by Dave Waddell

Given the nauseating, demoralizing politics that overshadow the complex family issues of illegal immigration, I was heartened to read of the Obama administration’s intentionally laissez-faire treatment of students who were brought to the United States unlawfully as children.

To me, the best way to counter the demonization of all illegal immigrants, including these students, is to put a human face to their plight. So I’d like you to meet “Alicia,” my student.

I put quotation marks around the name because it is an alias. I would prefer to use her real name, but she fears being identified, despite the fact that students like her are increasingly stepping up and speaking out. Alicia was conditioned by her family to not “rock the boat.” That’s understandable when a wrong move could result in detention and deportation. read more

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Familia dividida por la migra

por Leslie Layton

Un lunes en marzo a las 6:30 de la mañana, un señor salió de su casa en Chico con un amigo rumbo a la tienda, para comprar leche antes de ir a trabajar. Al arrancar su carro, se dio cuenta que una camioneta Durango, que anteriormente vio estacionada frente a su casa, le seguía. Paró su carro y la camioneta paró también.

Oficiales de Inmigración (ICE por sus siglas en inglés) se le acercaron, diciendo que querían hacerles unas preguntas. Querían verificar sus nombres y ver sus identificaciones. Preguntaron si ellos tenían “papeles” para comprobar residencia legal. Él y su amigo eran inmigrantes sin documentos y por eso los oficiales les pusieron esposas y los metieron en la parte trasera de la camioneta. read more

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Caught up in ICE’s Net

by Leslie Layton

At about 6:30 a.m. on a recent March Monday, a Chico dad left his home with a friend to pick up some milk before going to a construction job. He noticed he was being followed by a Durango van that had parked near his house, and when he stopped, the van parked, too.

He was approached by officers from Immigration, Customs & Enforcement (ICE) who had a few questions. They wanted to verify his name, see identification and know whether he had “papers” that prove legal residency. He and his friend — both undocumented immigrants — were soon handcuffed and placed in the back of the van. read more

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