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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

All-American Track Star Latest Dreamer Slated for Deportation

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The media has reported on any number of really amazing American-raised young people who have been targeted for deportation despite the obvious contributions they can make to the country. The latest is Ayded Reyes in Califonia. ESPN reports



From the outside, Ayded Reyes seems like she's living the American dream.


The 20-year-old, who attends Southwestern College in Chula Vista near San Diego, is California's top-ranked women's junior college cross country athlete. She carries a 3.50 GPA and her goal is to become an obstetrician. She is also a community volunteer who has worked extensively with children and the elderly. She is a young woman many describe as sweet, effusive and energetic, the "All-American" type.


There's just one catch: She's in the United States illegally.


Reyes' parents brought her to the United States from Mexico illegally when she was 2 years old. She has no memory of Mexico and has four younger siblings who were born here and are legal, but Reyes faces the very real possibility of being sent back.



Reyes only ended up in proceedings because she and her boyfriend were in a parked car in a public park a half hour after closing time. Her boyfriend is a citizen, but the officer demanded she prove her US citizneship. Reyes was then jailed for five days. According to Reyes, ICE officials pressured her to agree to be deported, but she refused.


The report on Reyes upset her Congressman, Bob Filnes (D-CA) and he has filed a private bill to award her citizenship. Those bills rarely pass, but they can have the effect of delaying the process.


I'm also pleased that San Diego immigration lawyer Jacob Sapochnick is handling the case pro bono. Good luck Jacob!

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  1. Limbo's Avatar
    I'm wondering if a more modest approach might get some form of DREAM passed, and thus help people like Ayded. For example, if only children that came before school age (say 6 or less) are eligible, that might make it an easier sell and make opponents look really bad and utterly void of any compassion. It would be easy to make the case that these kids only really know life in the U.S., and would have trouble integrating into culture in their country of birth. What kind of heartless jerk would want to put these kids in Jeopardy by deporting them away from their families?

    It could easily be amended at a later date to make more kids eligible.
  2. Sa's Avatar
    "What kind of heartless jerk would want to put these kids in Jeopardy by deporting them away from their families?"

    Grassley , The hero of ROW in the context of 3012 will be the first one to oppose. You can call them heartless but Most of versions of the dream benefit only kids that came here undocumented. It gives a preferential treatment compared to other kids who are in the country legally.
  3. Limbo's Avatar
    Any step in the direction of giving people like Ayded a path to becoming legal would be worth taking. Since she is 20, I think she would be subject to the 10 year bar if she left the country and tried to re-enter. That's one thing that could be done away with.

    I just don't get it honestly. The way these kids are treated is shameful, regardless of the mistakes the parents have made, and regardless of how you feel about amnesty in general. The American immigration system has so many harsh, unfair and punitive aspects, but this takes the cake.

  4. Sa's Avatar
    "I just don't get it honestly. The way these kids are treated is shameful, regardless of the mistakes the parents have made, and regardless of how you feel about amnesty in general. The American immigration system has so many harsh, unfair and punitive aspects, but this takes the cake."

    "HR3012 is like a party where some people get invited to dine at 6 p.m., and some to dine at 8 p.m. The people who agreed to be served at 8 p.m. come over to the table to be served at 6 and say, "I'm tired of waiting, so instead of asking the host if I can be served earlier like you, I've decided to come over and help myself to what's on your plate... for the sake of fairness of course"


    Going by the above dinner analogy , someone could draw a conclusion saying that these parents were never invited to the dinner to begin with and now they are crashing the dinner party with the excuse of feeding the kids and their family.

  5. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Sa, yes, you are absolutely right, they were never invited to the party. The question is whether we as human beings can use it as a justification to starve their children to death. Obviously, you are trying your best to present the case.
  6. RR's Avatar
    @LNLW

    So if they apply to be legalized, as a "human being", how long do you think their process to come out of the shadows and join the mainstream as legals should be?
  7. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    RR, do you mind explaining to me the purpose of your question? Why do you think it should be a process of any particular length?
  8. Another Voice's Avatar
    The immigrants need to be better informed about their legal right to remain silent, I am sure if this young woman would have remained silent even if the cop demanded proof of her legal status. She would have been able to get out of this, she was not committing a crime and he could not charge her with anything. So when in doubt keep you mouth shot and call an attorney.....
  9. RR's Avatar
    I am just wondering what, in your mind, process for legalizing these people should be? Should there be a priority date applied to each of them? Should they wait in turn at the end of the line until everyone before them is taken care of? How long would that take? Or should there be a separate visa class? I believe something like that was done in 2001. Was it 245(i), which was a major factor in clogging up the queue for people who had done everything by the book? Oh my, wasn't that "changing the rules in the middle of the game"? How do you think this should play out ideally?

    As I remember, you are a supporter of status quo for legals who are rotting in line waiting their turn. Why the sympathy for other parties? Why not stay with status quo?
  10. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    RR, I am certainly not a proponent of long immgration lines for anybody (i.e. status quo). I am also not a proponent of "relative justice" where one group of immigrants needs to be punished (or can't get relief) just because another group is unfortunately stuck in immigrantion lines/limbo. Here is my logic - there are two compelling reasons to allow immigrants into the country. One is that these people are good for the country, i.e. they will be contributing members of the society and will enrich it in many ways. Those who have an offer of employment and have worked in the US fall into this group. Second is for compelling humanitarian reasons like being part of the country in some shape or form (close family, community, having grown up in the US, etc). If one of these reasons is met and there are no other obstacles like serious criminal issues, then the person should be able to immigrate to the US immediately. There is no good reason to marinate people in lines once the criteria is met. For people who don't have these criteria met (like members of family, but not immediate family), I am ok with reasonable wait.

    So, there is your answer - I would not put them into any long processes or line and much less try to slow any other immgigration lines by adding these people to the mix.
  11. Another Voice's Avatar
    The point that some people seem to be missing here is that you do not get to design the system or decide what is fair to you or to DREAMERS. If venting your frustration is therapeutic good riddance it still does not matter nor will it change your situation!!!

    Aren't you guys tired of the "it's not fair argument" or the Legals v. Illegals. We have done it enough is time to get on with life.
  12. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    AV, I think you are absolutely right. I was also wondering why the heck the officer was asking about her immigration status. What does it have to do with being in the park after hours? She should have simply refused to answer any questions.
  13. RR's Avatar
    @LNLW,
    Long lines are a fact of life that we have to live with. I don't see any administration adding resources for immigration services at this point of time unless it has to do with enforcement. So lines will be real, and the the focus will be on how these lines will be serviced.

    "I am also not a proponent of "relative justice" where one group of immigrants needs to be punished (or can't get relief) just because another group is unfortunately stuck in immigrantion lines/limbo."

    Sounds like 245(i), right? I guess some people should say to themselves, been there, been screwed...

    @AV,
    I agree with everything you say. These kids who have are now victims through no fault of their own should be brought into the mainstream so that they can be contributing members of society instead of living in the shadows. I am just amused at the hypocrisy of some people who are all sympathetic to one group of people while others rot waiting their turn.
  14. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    RR, I am sympathetic to all immigrants. However, the group you are talking about does not "rot". It lives quite comfortably with almost all of the rights awarded to LPRs. I would know, I did it for 8 years.
  15. Jacob Sapochnick's Avatar
    Thank you Greg, this is such an emotional story and this client is very special individual. I am hoping the Court will feel the same. This is why Immigration law is such a rewarding field.
  16. Nurse Waiting's Avatar
    "However, the group you are talking about does not "rot". It lives quite comfortably with almost all of the rights awarded to LPRs. I would know, I did it for 8 years."

    That "rot" is a relative term. Compared to folks who cannot immigrate illegaly for whatever reason (and really want to), illegals are living life of luxury. What are they complaining about? Atleast they are not starving to death like so many who are waiting in line in their respective countries and following all the rules.

    Compared to citizens/LPRs who do not have to face visa stamping issues, no uncertainty at POE, can change jobs at will, do not stagnate in careers, can start their own companies without any restrictions, change careers, their spouses do not pay out state tuition after staying in state for 10yrs, can buy a house with a certainty, can invest in their future in this country, person waiting in GC limbo is practically rotting.
  17. Limbo's Avatar
    "illegals are living life of luxury"

    Yeah, right. Tell that to Ayded.

    RR,

    Her situation is not comparable to the EB3 India backlog at all and the debate over HR3012 is NOT relevant here. Few ROW immigrants would be against legislation that gives relief to EB3 I if it did so in such a way that didn't bring the whole EB3 immigration system to the point of collapse, and give relief to one group at the direct expense of another. Besides, kids who were brought here as infants did not make the choice themselves, unlike those waiting for EB3 who knew what they were getting into.

    If people like Ayded are given some (potentially long, arduous) path to getting status, it won't hurt anyone else, if the focus is narrow as I suggest it should be to start with.
  18. Limbo's Avatar
    Jacob Sapochnick,

    Best of luck with the case!

    Some people may believe that Ayded's situation is extraordinarily rare, but living in Arizona and having kids involved in athletics at the highest level, it is more common than you would think.
  19. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Nurse Waiting, let me summarize your post. Illegals here are living the life of luxury because they are not starving to death, and you are rotting because your situation is not certain enough to buy a house. WOW.
  20. RR's Avatar
    @Limbo,
    I think you are directing your remarks at the wrong person. If you check my comments earlier, you will see that I support legalizing these kids. I am of the opinion that the "sins of the fathers" should not be the burden of the children to carry. On a strictly economic sense, the current policy doesn't make sense. These kids have a lot of potential, and that needs to be brought out. Otherwise the investment that US made in these kids' education till now is lost with no returns.

    On the other hand, I agree with most of Nurse Waiting's comments. Legal immigrants have their own issues, and in their own way, they are quite problematic for people who want to further their careers and put down roots in this country. It just amuses me to see some people "are sympathetic" to the pain of some, but have no issues keeping them in pain, while having no inclination to endure some of the pain themselves, but support totally alleviating the pain of other parties.
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