Great article I found:

Fixing this US immigration policy folly

His mother and father brought him to the US in 1996. They entered legally on a tourist visa, then overstayed, settling outside Tampa. They had been professional people back in Mexico, a dentist and a veterinarian, but that didn’t mean they earned enough to feed their family. 

Godínez-Samperio says his parents were “escaping economic disaster”. He was nine years old.
Godínez-Samperio learned English in a year and became an honors student, an Eagle Scout, valedictorian of his high school and winner of a scholarship to study anthropology at university. Unlike his colleagues, who liked to kick back with a few beers at the local dive, he spent weekends reading. 

“I didn’t have the luxury of being an average student,” he says. “I worked all the time because I never knew if it would be my last semester.” 

That’s not an exaggeration: technically, Godínez-Samperio could be subject to detention and deportation. Yet he’s never tried to conceal his status. 

His law school application essay was pointedly titled “The Consequences of My Criminal Childhood”. He even appeared before a committee of Florida senators to testify in favor of the Dream Act, which would allow the undocumented immigrant children brought to the US as minors to be given permanent residency if they either join the military or enroll in higher education. He told the senators: “I am undocumented, unapologetic and unafraid.” His mentor (and now his lawyer), a former American Bar Association president, Talbot D’Alemberte, says he’s “just the kind of person we want to be a citizen and a lawyer”. 

Godínez-Samperio’s career is now on hold, waiting for the Florida supreme court, the state’s ultimate legal arbiter, to decide his fate. 

He’s not alone. As Congress and the courts try to untie the Gordian knot of immigration policy, other young people find themselves stuck: 28-year-old New Yorker César Vargas, who has been in the US since he was five, has passed the bar exam but does not yet know if he’ll get a license. In California, Sergio Garcia – who crossed the border at the ripe old age of 17 months – has been certified to practice law. But California’s supreme court, which recently announced it would hear his case, will ultimately decide the question of whether an undocumented person who has been allowed to take the bar exam in the first place and passed a“determination of moral character” test to boot, can be denied a chance to put those hard-won qualifications to work. 

You would think (hope, even) that though it’s an election year, the untenable position in which talented young people such as Vargas, Garcia and Godínez-Samperio find themselves might spur a grown-up conversation about what to do concerning the 10-11 million undocumented people already in the US working and paying taxes, and the children they carried with them – children who grow up as American as everyone else. 

Alas, you would be disappointed. The right continues to raise the Spanish-speaking spectre of “an invasion force from Mexico that’ll take over the country”, as one radio demagogue put it, never mind that illegal immigration has been in decline for the last couple of years, and deportations in the Obama administration have increased. Trumped-up fears of brown hordes taking our jobs and indoctrinating our children in the revolutionary ways of Emiliano Zapata, Hugo Chávez and Che Guevara are bread and butter to the Republican party, especially its Tea Party tendency….

Read the rest here!

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