Friday, December 28, 2007

Immigrant of the Year (2007): Jesus Manuel Cordova (Mexico)

Our Immigrant of the Year is a previous Immigrant of the Day -- Jesus Manuel Cordova, the hero who saved a young boy in the desert whose mother died in an auto accident on Thanksgiving Day 2007.  Cordova cared for a 9-year-old boy found wandering alone after his mother died in a crash near the U.S./Mexico border in southern Arizona. The boy was looking for help after his mother crashed her van off a cliff. Unable to pull the mother out of the car, Cordova comforted the boy while they waited for help. The woman unfortunately died a short time later. "[Cordova] stayed with [the boy], told him that everything was going to be all right," the local sherriff said. As temperatures dropped, he gave him a jacket, built a bonfire and stayed with him until about 8 a.m. Friday morning, when a group of hunters passed by and called authorities.

Cordova was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. He had been trying to walk into the U.S. when he came across the boy. Cordova was returned to Mexico.  When interviewed there, he mentioned that he watched over the boy in the desert because he was thinking about his own four children in Mexico and could not leave him alone while he completed his journey to Tucson.

Cordova was honored on December 4 by U.S. and Mexican officials at a border crossing. He stood by shyly with his mother and stepfather as officials talked about his heroism.

Even though Jesus Manuel Vordova was only an undocumented immigrant in the United States for a brief time, his actions make him our Immigrant of the Year.  I don't know about you but I would be honored to have him as a neighbor.

KJ

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2007/12/immigrant-of-18.html

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Comments

Stipulated: People on a whole are good.

How does doing what most people would do make this person a hero? The definition of a hero: A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.

It would seem that this fellow does not fit the definition of a hero in the classical sense of the term, as he didn't sacrifice anything more than surrendering his opportunity to cross our border illicitly. He is to be proclaimed a hero because he decided to give up his quest to violate our borders? Is that something our Border Patrol should be celebrating? Is it heroic to do right by forgoing doing a wrong? Maybe in the minds of the illegal alien advocacy groups and open borders crowd, but that's because they believe that keeping sovereign borders is not a right of the citizens of this country. He is proclaimed a hero by these people because it suits their purpose to propaganize something we already know, that most illegal aliens are decent people. However, that really isn't an issue in the immigration debate, is it? The issues are: maintaining a sovereign border, maintaining the American people's right to control the immigration process to serve their needs, and securing the citizens safety by barring entry of drug dealers, drugs, gang members, criminals and fugitives from justice.

Posted by: Horace | Dec 28, 2007 10:26:51 AM

'don't know about you but I would be honored to have him as a neighbor.'

For all we know, he already is. But I doubt he could afford your neighborhood.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 28, 2007 8:04:12 PM

The vast majority of immigrants are good people but we never hear about them in the media, just the small number of criminals that come through.

The guy probably used up all his life savings to pay for the coyote to bring him across just so he could feed his family back in Mexico. Just when he got to the promised land he gave it all up to save the boy. This doesn't surprise me. Anyone who would risk their life crossing that desert to clean the toilets of people who vilify him for his family's sake has to have a big heart.

"Cordova said he wanted to come to the United States to earn money to feed his four children."

Thank god the kid survived but sadly at the expense of 4 children who might not have enough to eat this year.

Posted by: DM | Dec 31, 2007 8:17:46 AM

The vast majority of immigrants are good people but we never hear about them in the media, just the small number of criminals that come through.
The guy probably used up all his life savings to pay for the coyote to bring him across just so he could feed his family back in Mexico. Just when he got to the promised land he gave it all up to save the boy. This doesn't surprise me. Anyone who would risk their life crossing that desert to clean the toilets of people who vilify him for his family's sake has to have a big heart.

Cordova said he wanted to come to the United States to earn money to feed his four children."

Thank god the kid survived but sadly at the expense of 4 children who might not have enough to eat this year.

Posted by: DM | Dec 31, 2007 8:28:28 AM

"Thank god the kid survived but sadly at the expense of 4 children who might not have enough to eat this year."

You know, I'm a bit tired at you people speculating about the fate of Mexicans who are returned to their homeland. Why don't you crank it up a bit and add earning money for his mom"s life saving operation, and cousin Jose's foot operation, or to afford to move his family out of the home of his nagging mother-in-law or to take care of aunt Alvira's dental work, for good measure. For all you know he came to save money to increase his income to the point he could save to buy materials to build a house, as opposed to paying rent. The socio-economic well-being of Mexican nationals is the responsibility of Mexico. If their government took its responsibilities seriously, there would be no driving force for these people to migrate.

Posted by: Horace | Dec 31, 2007 3:33:23 PM

Jesus Manuel Cordova is not a hero. He left the boy's mother to die when he could have gotten help in time to save her. Instead he built a fire and sat with the boy for 14 hours. They were within SIX MILES of a campground and a state road. All they had to do was walk down the road they were on to get to the campground.

http://illegalprotest.com/2008/01/18/was-jesus-manuel-cordova-really-a-hero/

Posted by: Ruthiness | Jan 18, 2008 10:55:03 PM

Horace, you are assuming that Cordova was familiar enough with the local geography to know how close he was and that he would be able to backtrack with help and find the crash site again in the dark. It was already 5 p.m. on November 22, and a Web program shows the sun set at 5:20 p.m.. How quickly can a distraught 9-year-old boy walk on a mountain road at night, even if willing to go with a Spanish-speaking stranger? How cold was it? If left alone with the dying mother, would the kid stay put and warm, or would he get into further trouble or lost? I can understand the choice to stay with the kid and light a fire for warmth and attention. Whether that was wiser than running for help is a good question, but not the most relevant one here. What is relevant is that Cordova got caught just because he stopped to help. I'm not convinced that Congress should award him a green card for that, but at least the Border Patrol should have turned a blind eye towards the good Samaritan's immigration status. Those who contact authorities to report trouble should not be punished for doing so, because punishing them discourages reports. If an illegal gets swindled by her employer, she should not be afraid to report it; if the employer gets away with it, that depresses the wages of legal workers even further! A hero is someone who puts himself at risk to help others, and Cordova risked getting caught when he didn't have to. If not a medal, it should earn him leniency.

Posted by: Matt | Jan 21, 2008 1:40:30 AM

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