The big Death-to-America amnesty bill is being debated in the Senate now and we know what that means — it’s Sob Story Season! Yes, it’s time to drag out the most sniffle-inducing yarns about foreigners who created unhappiness for themselves by breaking America’s immigration laws. But in elite newsrooms, the problem is Americans’ mean-spirited insistence on having borders and sovereignty. Let’s all feel bad about having laws!
Here’s Wednesday’s front page of the New York Times, where the main image shows “immigrant” tears trickling down a cruel iron border fence — oh, the horror!
But even the liberal news-hacks admit that the picture is a contrived photo-op (“highly personal political theater” in TimesSpeak) to turn teardrops into forgiveness for lawbreakers. The article’s end interestingly reveals that the Brazilian DREAMer Renata Teodoro is not grateful to American taxpayers for her free education, but is instead “really angry” that she doesn’t have the whole enchilada of a borderless, full-benefit America already. Such is the entitlement mentality peddled by liberals who are unclear on the cost for all the welfare goodies.
Immigrants Reach Beyond a Legal Barrier for a Reunion, New York Times, June 11, 2013
Three young immigrants had a jubilant and painful reunion here on Tuesday with parents who had been deported from the United States, sharing hugs through the steel bars of the border fence that separates this American town from its Mexican twin.
The young adults are part of the movement of immigrants who grew up in this country without legal status who call themselves Dreamers. Their parents traveled to the Mexican side of the fence from Brazil, Colombia and Guadalajara, Mexico, seeing their children in person for the first time in many years.
The meeting, under a searing borderlands sun, was a new piece of the highly personal political theater that young immigrants have used to dramatize their support for a bill in the Senate to overhaul the immigration system. Hours before the encounter here, President Obama spoke at the White House to urge Congress to move quickly to pass the bill. Suggesting the growing influence of the youth movement in the debate, the president framed his remarks — both literally and politically — with Dreamers.
A young woman from Nigeria, Tolu Olubunmi, introduced him, and during his speech he singled out another young immigrant, Diego Sanchez from Argentina. Evoking the sympathetic narrative of young people who found themselves in this country illegally after coming as children, Mr. Obama said opponents of the legislation had no rationale for blocking them from a path to citizenship.
“This is not an abstract debate,” Mr. Obama said. “This is about incredible young people who understand themselves to be Americans, who have done everything right but have still been hampered in achieving their American dream.”
Organizers of the Nogales reunion said it was a coincidence that it happened on the day of the president’s speech, since they had been raising funds for the parents’ airplane tickets for two months.
“This is not about the president,” said Carolina Canizales, a leader of United We Dream, the national group that organized the family meeting. “Today is about reunifying families and what that really looks like to us.”
Following a prearranged plan, just before 10 a.m. the parents and their children approached, from opposite sides, a section of the fence on the edge of Nogales where the poles are set a few inches apart. After deportation, the parents cannot enter the United States, and the young people — who traveled to the border from Seattle, Boston and Orlando, Fla. — do not have legal status that would allow them to leave and return.
Reaching their arms through, parents and children embraced, wept and laughed.
The mother of Renata Teodoro, 25, passed family photos to her, as well as a soccer T-shirt from Rio de Janeiro and a letter from a younger sister who also returned to Brazil when the mother was deported six years ago. Ms. Teodoro, who had come from Boston, gave her mother a bottle of nail polish, a joke between them, and displayed the card showing that she had received a deportation deferral under a program Mr. Obama started last year — her first official immigration document.
Her mother, Gorete Borges Teodoro, 52, was overwhelmed with emotion, but quickly reverted to maternal mode.
“I pray for you guys to get the papers, go to college,” Mrs. Teodoro said in English. Her daughter said she had arrived in the United States when she was 6 years old and had refused to return to Brazil with her mother in order to finish her undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Mrs. Teodoro was ordered deported after her husband’s asylum petition was denied.
The mother of another young immigrant, Carlos Padilla, 21, from Seattle, said she was “glad and sad at the same time: glad to be here next to him, sad because the fence is between us.” Mr. Padilla said his mother, Josefina Hernandez Madrigal, went to Mexico in 2008 to take care of ailing relatives and had not been able to obtain a visa to re-enter the United States.
A Border Patrol vehicle parked nearby, and an officer stayed to observe but did not intervene.
The Senate bill would offer significant gains for young immigrants like those in Nogales, but not for their parents. It includes a version of the Dream Act, the measure from which the young immigrants take their name, which would give them an expedited five-year pathway to American citizenship. Young immigrants like Ms. Teodoro and Mr. Padilla who had received deportation deferrals would have a faster application process for provisional status, the first step along that pathway.
The Senate bill would also allow some deportees to return to the United States, including children, spouses or parents of United States citizens or legal permanent residents, and youths who would have been eligible for the Dream Act. It does not have any measure allowing the return of deported parents of unauthorized immigrants. Several Republican senators have raised strong objections to any return of deportees, and that provision is considered one of the most endangered in the floor debate.
According to a recent study by Colorlines, a news Web site focusing on racial issues, about 205,000 people who were deported between 2010 and 2012 had children who were American citizens and living in this country. There are no solid estimates of the number of deportees’ children who are not citizens.
Ms. Teodoro said the re-encounter with her mother was frustrating. “When you get awards, you graduate from high school, it makes me a little angry to have to show her these through the fence,” she said. “Really angry, actually.”