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Some U.S. Undocumented Immigrants Are Now Unafraid and Unapologetic

Young undocumented immigrants across the country are "coming out" and demanding a pathway to citizenship

From Pennsylvania to Florida to Washington, DC, young undocumented immigrants whose parents brought them to the U.S. as small children are beginning to stage protests across the country, a “coming out” of sorts, claiming themselves “Undocumented and Unafraid!”

But it’s about more than just the precarious “coming out:” They want the same civil liberties as American citizens—or at the very least, a fair shake at attaining them.

On March 14, two young college students, Tania Chairez and Jessica Hyejin Lee—both admittedly undocumented immigrants—walked into the Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in downtown Philadelphia and handed over letters demanding the release of Miguel Orellana, an undocumented immigrant who has been detained for more than eight months at a Pennsylvania detention center.

Then, after making their demand, the two students sat down in the middle of the street, and began shouting “Undocumented, Unafraid! and Unapologetic!,” putting themselves at risk of deportation. Eventually, they were arrested. But they have not been deported.

Two years ago when Congress put forth the immigration reform bill entitled, the DREAM Act, it seemed a pathway finally had been forged for some undocumented immigrants who had lived in the U.S. all of their lives, paid taxes, stayed out of trouble and attended school. These immigrants proudly called themselves, “DREAMERS.” But the bill failed in Congress.

Seemingly, with no recourse in sight in the recent foreseeable future, undocumented students are dangerously putting their own status at risk, in the hopes it will start another serious dialogue and possibly change the future outcome of other DREAMERS.

Should college students with clean records whose parents brought them to the U.S. when they were children be given a path to citizenship? Or should they be considered for deportation as would any other illegal immigrant?

Take our poll, and tell us what you think in the comments.

Joe Gonzalez April 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM
It is a felony under Federal law to be in the USA without being an American Citizen or having valid and updated authorization. I am asking all illegal aliens to pack their bags & get out the USA--the sooner the better. I am never concerned about these illegal aliens whining about facing deportation. The illegal aliens NEVER show up at a Civil Rights rally to help Black folks protest about any number of abuses Blacks face. You never see illegal aliens show up at any rallies or otherwise assist Whites or any other American citizen groups either. The USA has US Military Troops out protecting the borders of Japan, South Korea, Israel & other countries for many decades. Its time the USA assign US Military troops to secure the USA's own borders to stop drug dealers & trespassers from walking in at will. The borders remain unsecured because a select few corporations are blocking it because illegal aliens are CHEAP LABOR & as such represent a multi-billion dollar profit margin for Corporate America. Regular everyday American Citizens do not benefit from the presence of these illegal aliens. Its time to hold President Obama responsible for his failure to secure the borders. The first obligation of government is the protection of her Citizens--on that count Obama has fail miserable. Where is the change we voted for?
pat April 03, 2012 at 05:46 PM
So let me get this straight, our Brooklyn neighborhoods are full of disgusting, filthy criminals that are citizens. Why would we not grant responsible undocumented people a right they want so bad that would help contribute to our tax pool. Our military is full of folks that only hold a residency card awaiting naturalization. They are the example. Many of these poor kids were brought here and America is all they know. Imagine someone telling you right now that you have to go to a country you are not familiar with because your parents brought you here, as a child. We are Americans and are better than this. I would rather our government strip criminals from their citizenship.
pat April 03, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Joe, look at recent photos of graduating classes from the Marine Corp, Army, Navy, or Air Force basic training classes. A large percentage are of people who just recently became resident aliens, not citizens. I hear you on the fact that many undocumented people ask for too much, but not all. Many of our troops are not from here and they defend our country, they earn their right to be here. It is different when your parents bring you here, you are basically an American and that is all you know. It would be like someone telling you when you were 18 to go back to your country, let's say Mexico for example, or Ukraine. What would you do? Where would you go? We are better than this and we need a plan. I hear you though on the freebies, but keep in mind that the reason these people are not at rallies, is because they are working their behinds off. Something many other cultures in our country with full citizen rights don't do.
Jenny April 03, 2012 at 07:55 PM
It seems to me that we have to be reasonable and fair about this and the government has to come up with a solution that encourages these young people to do well and want to stay here and contribute to this country. they should be able to earn citizenship. it just feels very unfair.
BobyC April 03, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Joe is 100% correct. It is only the business class that benefits from all this immigration. However, we also have to stop or at least put a limit on legal immigration as well. Anyone who has any sense can see that unlimited immigration as we have it now only puts downward pressure on American wages. But, unfortunately, I think that limiting ALL immigration is a lost cause. The powerful business interests want immigration. The super Liberals wnat it becasue that allows them to say stupid things such as, "But we are a nation of immigrants." So, we just keep screwing ourselves. We Americans are the dummest people on the planet.
ronk1957 April 03, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Jenny, why don't you not "we" not the "government" be reasonable and fair ? Why don't you pay for their medical , housing, children's education and so called "free" food programs ? You seem to want to be "fair" with my money, why don't you be "fair and pay my share ?
Joe Gonzalez April 04, 2012 at 01:36 PM
@ Pat: An 'illegal alien' is NOT the same as a 'resident alien'. The former is committing a felony by being in the USA while the latter is the term the law uses to describe persons who obeyed the law by filing the proper papers & got federal government permission to be present in the USA. I insist President Obama SECURE the USA's borders--the same way President Obama continued the decades long tradition of US Military troops securing the borders of Japan, South Korea, israel and other countries. Can anyone imagine how hard it would be for drug dealers and trespassers to get in the USA--if the borders were secure?
Sara April 04, 2012 at 04:41 PM
They should absolutely be able to earn their citizenship! It is not their fault that their parents brought them here illegally. It's a really tough issue, but this part is black and white. There should be a way for them to become citizens. It's good for the country, they will pay taxes and contribute in a positive way instead of sucking up resources or turning to crime because they're not able to get a real job. And rounding them up and deporting them is not only unrealistic, it's not right. They have been living here since they were children...this is their home.

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