Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Is It Fair to the Children of Illegal Immigrants

the Miami Herald

An immigrant rights group urged Florida's U.S. senators to back changes to make legal the status of thousands of high school students.

Anahi Otiniano, a young Peruvian, doesn't remember precisely how her parents illegally brought her into the United States 18 years ago when she was 5.

But whenever she thinks about it, she bursts into tears.

Her American dream, she said Wednesday, has turned into an immigrant nightmare.

Otiniano was among three foreign-born young adults who called on Florida's two senators to back a measure that would grant legal residency to undocumented high school graduates, allowing them to pay in-state college tuition or join the military and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship.

Many like Otiniano grew up in the United States thinking they are Americans, though in reality they are among the millions of undocumented migrants living on the margins of legal society. Most were brought here by their parents, who sneaked into the country or overstayed their visas looking for work or fleeing political persecution.
Otiniano said she was 5 years old when her parents left Peru by plane to Mexico and then made their way to the U.S. border, undetected by immigration authorities.

The family eventually made its way to Miami. Otiniano said her father at one point obtained temporary residence but allowed it to lapse and reverted to being an undocumented migrant.

She grew up here thinking she was like the other students at Hialeah Senior High.
Her immigration status finally became an issue when she couldn't enroll in college.
''I asked my parents for the papers I needed, and at first they were evasive, but eventually told me I had no papers,'' Otiniano said.

my heart goes out to this person for being the victim for their parents not being responsible enough to follow the law... in fact, wouldn't this be one form of child abuse

Case in point... her parents broke federal immigration laws and endangered their child by bringing their child across the border illegally and now the child is forced to face the consequences and trauma from her parent's actions. The child services division has been known to remove a child from a household where one or both parents are criminals, what makes this situation any different?

Not that I'm suggesting that children services start removing children from their families, but I do think it is very unfair to throw a child into this particular situation against their will.

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