Tag Archives: undocumented immigrants

Immigrant Marches & Border Walls

Perhaps in no other issue in American politics is the Bush Administration’s contempt for the rule of law and the decency of people more evident than when it comes to immigrants and immigration.

All the more reason that this May Day is important for everyone to support pro immigrant marches to show that Americans still believe in the rule of law and spirit of the constitution even if the Administration does not.

On May Day 2006, the undocumented immigrant community startled the governing class by marching en-masse in the millions across America’s cities. Got things so stirred up that local governments have been trying ever since to outlaw immigrants almost any way they can. Although it is still playing out in the courts, the local anti-immigrant movement still rests on the shifting sands of hate, fear and uncertainty.

The Bush crowd knows their days are numbered and they are taking it out on immigrant workers and their supporters.

For example, DHS Secretary Chertoff has brushed off dozens of federal laws as he endeavors to leave a seven hundred mile trail of broken fence segments along the Mexico border. This corporate boondoggle for Boeing has already proven itself a failure and yet the attack on Latino and Native American border communities continue.

Chertoff and Boeing are in the process of dividing the Tohono Oodham Territory nears Sells Arizona, dividing families, persons from employment and destroying sacred lands. They are also in the process of condemning personal property of land grant families in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. This is land that has been in these families for more than 200 years and is now in the process of being destroyed for a fence that will not work.

Bush Co cares as much for effective border control as about respecting the rule of law. In the meantime its time is spent whipping up nativist fears which benefit its corporate partners.

By marching and speaking out this May Day, the immigrant community could send the message of “Basta ya.” It is time to go.


Higher Education Must Lobby for Undocumented Students

The state of Maryland has a great number brilliant and talented young people graduating from its high schools. Consider Samuel,* a recent 17-year-old valedictorian of Patterson High School in Baltimore. Samuel graduated with a 4.0 average, was a contender on the national debate circuit and excelled in advanced placement classes. Samuel also envisioned “giving back to my community by fostering leaders (in) community outreach programs to the less fortunate.”

Samuel wanted to go to college to remain near his family in Baltimore. He chose Towson University, was accepted and planned on studying international relations.

Problem is, he won’t be able to go. Samuel’s parents brought him to this country when he was a child, and by the way, they had no papers when they got here.

Regrettably, although Samuel and his family have lived in Baltimore for several years, his lack of papers renders him ineligible to receive in-state tuition. He would have to pay out-of state tuition to attend Towson University, which would cost about $30,000 (tuition, housing, and fees. Tuition for out-of state students is 3x that for in-state residents). Since his status also makes him ineligible for federal financial aid, Samuel is stuck, his dreams deferred. Towson University is stuck as well because it needs students with Samuel’s interests, skills and talents.

Higher education in the state of Maryland has a responsibility to the state’s young people that transcends issues of class and status. Such responsibility, it seems, obliges public (and private) colleges and universities to lobby Annapolis on SB591/ HB 1236 (in-state tuition bills for undocumented students).

A strong lobbying push on this bill from MDs’ colleges and universities would provide a strong statement about the system’s commitment to the best and brightest students, regardless of how their parents crossed the border. And these bills, if enacted, would cost nearly nothing. Seems a no-brainer!

For this Thursday, SUPPORT SB 591 and OPPOSE SB 15 and SB 40!

*Samuel is not this student’s real name. This info. comes from written testimony on in-state tuition bills before the legislature in Annapolis, courtesy of Casa de Maryland.