Monday, August 28, 2006

Legal Status Illusory for Many

At least some of the people who favor felony status for undocumented migrants do so because they assume that these individuals are flouting the law rather than taking advantage of opportunities to apply for legal status.  A story in today's LA Times provides a reminder that for many people -- including the parents of citizen children who have lived in the US for very long periods of time -- obtaining legal status is illusory.  Indeed, the process of applying for legal status sometimes puts people on the road to removal.  The story by Ann Gorman begins:

Mercedalia Diaz was tired of being an illegal immigrant, living in fear of arrest and separation from her young son. So she filed an application to work legally in the United States — in effect, turning herself in.

After a permit was denied, Diaz landed here, in U.S. Immigration Court in Los Angeles, nervously fielding questions from a federal judge: If you don't get permanent residency, would you agree to leave the U.S. voluntarily? Do you promise not to return without a visa? What would you do with your son?

The full story is here.


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