By: Roy Douglas Malonson
HOUSTON- Young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as kids will no longer be deported under the recently enacted deferral program. Some 1.76 million immigrants could be eligible for the program, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
To be eligible, immigrants must prove they arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16; must be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; have continuously lived in the country since June 15, 2007; must be currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion or GED; is an honorably discharged veteran; physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action. Additionally, they cannot have been convicted of certain crimes or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Just like the tearful reaction from Jose Machado in the photo, for 24 year-old Juan Santiago, it was a great relief. Born in Coatecas Altas, Oaxaca, Mexico, Juan, an indigenous Zapotec Indian, crossed the Arizona desert into the U.S. with his mother when he was 11, joining his farm worker father and four older brothers in Madera.
He is the first member of his family to graduate from high school and go to college. A political science student, he plans to apply for deferred action.
He said, “It’s a great relief for us … Instead of worrying about deportation, we can now focus on our education, for our own benefit and that of this nation. Because we’re not leaving the U.S., this is our country.”
It’s not their fault that they are here. Many of them were born to illegal parents here on U.S. soil or were smuggled across the border as small kids. This fact alone makes them a U.S. citizen.
If one was born into the country then he or she is automatically granted the right of being a citizen of this nation. Some people may look at these immigrants who were made that way by no fault of their own and turn their nose up. But truth be told you have more individuals of Hispanic and Mexican descent that put in more labor hours than some of those who society classifies as the ‘majority’.
Make no mistake I am by no means in support of anyone that disobeys the law; but we are referring to individuals who do pay taxes. Thus, the children that are born into these circumstances are blameless in the situation they have been birthed into. Then there is the fact that they get here and get Americanized and even in the event that they were deported to Mexico, they would not be able to adapt to a totally different culture.
However, the advantage that the Hispanic race has on Blacks is that they will work and labor doing the jobs that Blacks have become to educated to perform. Digging ditches, providing janitorial services, waiting tables, parking cars and the list is endless concerning the jobs that Hispanics will jump to do versus some African-Americans.
As a result, you have a plethora of educated Blacks that are unemployed and Hispanics who are constantly making gains amongst their communities as they help one another. Let’s call an ace an ace.
In all actuality, Hispanics and Blacks share a commonality that Whites do not. We both have been discriminated against due to the origin of our descent and color of our skin. Just as African-Americans have little knowledge about our roots that extend back to Africa, you have Hispanics that are ignorant as it relates to their ancestral history in Mexico.
Just imagine how different this country would be if the Blacks and Hispanics united forces at an attempt to create a more perfect union within the United States of America. Oh, what a difference that would make!