Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NC students risk arrest and deportation


Two illegal immigrants from North Carolina will risk arrest and deportation when they stage a sit in this afternoon in downtown Atlanta to protests laws that bar illegal immigrants from attending public colleges.

“I’m doing this because our communities are living in fear,” said Jose Rico, one of two participants from North Carolina.

They will be joined by six other undocumented students from across the country.

Organizers say more than 200 supporters from Georgia, the Carolinas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, among other states, are in Atlanta supporting the rally.

Rico is a member of the NC Dream Team, a state-wide group that advocates for immigrant rights. He is a student at Wake Tech in Raleigh and plans to transfer to NC State. After excelling in high school being accepted to numerous colleges, Rico could not afford to go to school because of the out-of-state tuition that undocumented students are required to pay. Rico wants to become an engineer.

The students are part of The Dream is Coming project, which was created to advocate for the Dream Act, legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for certain young people who were brought here at a young age. It has failed to pass congress several times, most recently in December.

“Fifty-one thousand undocumented youth had their dreams torn apart when our senators voted against the Dream Act," Rico said. "They are trying to criminalize our existence.”

The young students have started using civil disobedience as a tool in their fight, including a high-profile sit-in at the Tucson offices of U.S. Sen. John McCain, when some of them were arrested. They have likened their struggle to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and say they are bolstered by support from some of the leaders of that movement.

Legislators in North Carolina are considering banning illegal immigrants from attending public colleges and universities. Two bills in the NC General Assembly, HB 11 and HB 343, would ban illegal immigrants from attending the state's public colleges.

Viridiana Martinez, who came to the United States when she was 7-years-old and lives in Sanford, will also participate in the sit in.Last year, she was one of three undocumented young women who participated in a thirteen-day hunger strike with the hope of encouraging Senator Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, to support the Dream Act. The Dream Act succumbed to a Senate filibuster after several key Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the bill.

“Rallying and protesting are no longer enough,” Martinez said. “Remaining in the shadows is no longer acceptable.”

Associated Press Contributed.

11 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

“Fifty-one thousand undocumented youth had their dreams torn apart when our senators voted against the Dream Act," Rico said. "They are trying to criminalize our existence.”

You have broken the laws of the United States and therefore you have no rights other than to be deported.

The sad fact is, Franco Ordonez either ignores the law or can't comprehend it.

Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or

Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or

Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact;
has committed a federal crime.

Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

Karl said...

Well, if they're here illegally, here's hoping they are arrested and deported.

NCdirtdigger said...

Go down to Mexico City and attend college in your home country.

Roger said...

Even though they did not "choose" to be here, they do not have the rights that they are trying to gain. Illegals are taking over this country and using up the resources that were meant for citizens in need. It scares me to see how much these people are taking control of everything around here.

heavymetal said...

Here's another way for them to realize their dreams, join a branch of the US military and serve the country first.

Ryan said...

Pay all of your back taxes like the rest of us do, with interest and then you can pay in-state rates.

I would never let them in any of our armed forces without become a US citizen first. I wouldn't trust them to have my back in a war if they had no dedication to the country that they live in.

Kimberly said...

It's a shame their parents did not think about their children's future when they made the decision to break the law and in turn, make their children criminals as well.
As a human being I feel sorry for them, but as a voting, productive US citizen, I do not see why criminals should be rewarded for being criminals. Their issue should be with their parents, not the people enforcing our laws and trying to maintain our way of life.

I do believe if they want to join the military and prove their allegiance to the United States of America, then that should be their path to citizenship. Anything else is disrespectful to the people who came here legally and flies in the face of our laws.

Ghoul said...

So Franco, will you be doing the story on the illegals convicted of plotting to kidnap kids at bus stops in Huntersville, or will Cleve be doing that one, because I still don't see it on the website and its a big story. Why is the Observer not reporting it?

Bryan Kernodle said...

Our country is founded on immigrants BUT immigrants that did it the right way and became US Citizens. Illegals have no rights because they are illegal. Become legal and enjoy the rights and everything else the great USA has to offer!!

Andy said...

"They are trying to criminalize our existence"

If you are in the country illegally then you ARE a criminal. No two ways about it. I have absolutely NO problem with hispanics in this country. I think they are, for the most part, very hard-working individuals. But the fact remains that if they are here illegally, then they are criminals, and should have no rights.

WashuOtaku said...

Apparently its too difficult to ask these people to simply apply for citizenship and/or green card. I wouldn't get far if I wanted to go, say the Universidad de Las Americas, without proper papers.