I just overheard a story about a case that's going in front of a judge in criminal court on Monday. It's an immigration issue. Not really a criminal case. The case involves a girl who is 19, an illegal from Mexico. She was brought to the states as a child. Her mother is deceased. Her father out of the picture.
I squeezed my way into the conversation and was told the girl graduated top of her class last year. Should have been a bright student in college by now, working on her career as a lawyer, doctor, or some other great future. Instead, she was arrested (I'm guessing after one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration stings). She was working as a maid--with a fake ID and Social Security number. The story is, when she graduated high school, she had no money to go to college. She got the fake documents so she could get a job to support herself.
C'mon, folks. She's not a criminal, just a young girl trying to make her way in the world she was brought up in. She doesn't know Mexico. It is not her home. Arizona is. But when she is brought into court on Monday, the judge could sentence her to prison, or he could put her on parole. Regardless, it's a no win for her. The system, as it is, requires young people like her to find a way around it. They have to take the risk of being caught. She did, and she was. Now, she either goes to prison, or she goes back to Mexico--a place she's never called home. If she's sentenced to parole, she'll be immediately transferred over to Immigration, and ICE will keep her locked up in a holding cell until she is deported.
She has no family in Mexico. She doesn't know Mexico. There is no future for her there. Who knows what will happen to her or where she will go, or how she will survive there.
There are so many more similar stories out there like this girl's, and I'd love to interview this one to get to the heart of how poor immigration policies affect the people directly involved.
From my perspective, this is not a political issue. This is a humanitarian issue. For the kids like this, who had no choice where they were brought up, we need to fix the law. We need to address the kids. As you can see, their futures are at stake.
Just my two cents for a Saturday afternoon.