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Regarding the article posted: Deportation mother faces 10-year ban from U.S

Original post made by In Menlo Park on Apr 3, 2007

In reading this article, i am trying to find the value in publishing this article. What is of significant interest or unique about this case. I do question the capability of the writers of Palo Alto Online.

Regardless of politics, this article as others are poorly written.

Comments (19)

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South
on Apr 3, 2007 at 6:21 pm

The article responds to great local interest as shown in the outpouring of support for the family, which would not have been as great if not for the press reporting.

Also there was a lively discussion on the Town Square debating what should happen to the family.

Personal stories are a great way to bring important policy issues like immigration home with a local perspective.

Kudos to the Weekly for keeping us informed about this family's story.

Posted by Periwinkle, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 4, 2007 at 2:06 am

The Weekly performed a great public service by printing that story. Now we have an opportunity to see the great human cost of abusive and insensitive immigration enforcement.

Posted by Citizen, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 4, 2007 at 10:38 am

The great public service the Weekly provided is to illegals - now they know that its their responsiblity to follow the law and get their immigration status in order rather than staying in the country illegally for over 20 years.

Posted by HRC, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 4, 2007 at 11:10 am

Before we begin shedding big crocodile tears about these parents, you've got to ask yourself -- who put a gun to these parents and told them to ignore a court order telling them to leave? It seems they have brought their current problems upon themselves and their anchor babies. If Eshoo and the others don't like the law, then change it. But don't encourage people to break this law, or others will have the right to ignore laws you think should be enforced.

Posted by Rodham, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 4, 2007 at 2:14 pm

if the most important thing here is keeping this family together, why can't they stay together in mexico? it seems, from reading this article, that the parents' highest priority is remaining in the u.s., and staying together as a family is priority no. 2. ... if staying together as a family is their no. 1 priority, then they'd go to mexico immediately ... am i missing something here?

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South
on Apr 4, 2007 at 6:43 pm

Dear Citizen, HRC and Rodham

Since you obviously believe in personal responsibility, I am wondering why you don't blog with your real full names as some of us do. Our elected officials have to use their real names as part of personal and legal responsbility, why not you?

As I read the stories it is plausible that the family was misled by a crooked attorney. While ultimately it may turn out that the dad's status is unauthorized, I am also wondering why you support dragging the dad off the street and deporting him without trying to sort out what would be their status with competent counsel.

But it seems like we all agree that the Weekly has done a public service by allowing this discussion to flow with a variety of points of view being expressed.

Posted by Pot ... Kettle, a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2007 at 4:01 pm

What a laugh... the person who started this thread is criticizing other people's writing skills???

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Instead of beating our breast, why not put the blame where it belongs, on the worthless bandito government of Mexico.

Posted by Tim, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 6, 2007 at 1:09 am

To those that believe the article exposed the "great human cost of abusive and insensitive immigration enforcement."

I legally immigrated to this country almost 20 years ago with my family. While we were FORCED out of our home because it became too dangerous to stay, my parents spent almost 8 months living in a foreign contry, essentially in limbo, while applying for visas to various places. After many countries rejected us, the United States granted us a visa and we came here to begin a new life. We have since become naturalized citizens, we pay our taxes, we vote, we volunteer, and we contribute to society in every way we can.

Were there diffuclt times - yes. Were there hardships - of course. Could we immigrate here and start a new life legally - ABSOLUTELY.

What I find "abusive" and "insensitive" is the attitude that we need to protect everyone with a sad story and change laws to help them out. If you come to this country illegally and then choose to ignore legal orders to leave, you are not only showing that you do not care about our laws, but you are taking a risk that you will be deported. You know those risks when you make the decision to cross the border illegally.

Posted by Kate, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2007 at 1:52 pm

While I can sympathize with the parents that are being deported, they are in this country illegally and that status should require deportation. If the family wants to stay together, then the parents, that chose to be here illegally, are going to have to take their own children with them and raise them in Mexico until they can immigrate here legally.

Another issue that I have not seen addressed is whether the parents are residents of Palo Alto? The issue of non-residents taking advantage of Palo Alto schools is a major issue for our district and one that is just beginning to be addressed, albeit in a mostly ineffective manner.

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2007 at 5:10 pm

I think there is a bigger picture here. Whether these parents are resident in Palo Alto or EPA and come to our schools by Tinsley, the fact is that these children are in our schools and therefore part of our community. When we hear of stories in other parts of the state or country similar to this we are so often blase about the situation. This time the situation is here, not just on our doorstep. These children go to the same school as our children, they play together, eat lunches together, come in our cars if we drive for field trips, etc. etc. How do we explain to our own children what is going on here and give them a satisfactory answer as to why their friends won't be back in the classroom when they go back to school next Monday.

I know illegal immigration is a big problem, but this is the first I have heard of it being a big issue in Palo Alto. The fact that our gardeners, or hairdressers, or housecleaners are here illegally doesn't really affect us - usually we don't know. Here is a story of a real family living with us. Now that does make a difference. The reason they chose to leave Mexico and live here illegally is their choice, bad though it may be. The fact that they now have American children who do not feel Mexican and will not feel at home in a foreign country with different lifestyles, will be huge. I think a little compassion is due here. Whatever we think about illegal immigration, this story is a community issue and perhaps for the first time, we have to really see these people for what they are, human beings who have perhaps made an unfortunate choice, but nonetheless, they have lived an honest life here and can hardly be classed as the criminals some people are calling them. The fact that they came here illegally makes them foolhardy and lawbreakers. The fact that they tried to better themselves, have children, and live a normal life, better than what they had before, makes them human.

Posted by Citizen, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 6, 2007 at 6:41 pm

So according to Parent we should enforce the laws unless it would cause a result that is uncomfortable for his/her children. Sounds totally logical. Of course if the gardener is illegal and doesn't know Parent's kids, then feel free to deport him.

are there any sane people in this town?

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2007 at 7:59 pm


I didn't say anything about whether laws should or should not be enforced. What I did say is that now that there is a case close to home, so close that it actually affects our children, we can see this in a different light. I really do not have much of an opinion on whether or not they should be deported, although I do not approve of what the parents did or what the authorities are doing. The point to my post is that it is very easy for us to say what should be done when we are talking about the general rules, but it is much harder to feel the same sort of black and white, right or wrong, when it is someone in our community.

In all situations which are open to interpretation, it is very easy to sit in judgment. However, when we see this close up, it requires us to examine our motives much more. It doesn't mean that we have to come to a different conclusion, but it does mean that we see the people involved in a different light and perhaps our harshness should be lightened. I know that if my children were in the same class as one of these, it would mean lots of discussion in my house and some very difficult questions would have to be answered. Children always look at things in a different way and whether it be teenage suicide (I have done that one), death of a classmate to cancer (ditto), teachers giving alcohol to minors, or deporting illegal immigrants, it means we have to be careful how we talk about it to our children so that we can give them an unbiased account of the facts and the law, without seemingly being over harsh on children they know and are friends with.

I consider myself very sane, and also very open minded. I am sure that some of the people I encounter are here illegally, but that doesn't mean they are not doing whatever job they are doing well and my respect towards them as fellow human beings should not be affected by that.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 7, 2007 at 7:17 am

hange the law, don't just disregard it. In the debate that should accompany any lawmaking operation there should be consideration of all aspects of the application of that law. Perhaps the draconian consequences of this law will motivate a rewrite - but i doubt it. One thing congress does not want to take a stand on is border policy.

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2007 at 10:14 am

Just because something is the law, doesn't make it a "right" law. Owning slaves was once legal in this country, that doesn't mean it was ever right. Since probably all of us at some time have driven over the speed limit or driven when we had more alcohol in our blood, or some such, but haven't been caught, it doesn't make us criminals, but lawbreakers. To many people, entering the country illegally is just as trivial. Now that they have been caught, should they be punished? Yes, of course. But what should the punishment be? Deportation? That seems a little harsh. And the children, should they be punished too? And, what if the parents decided that the best thing for the children would be to leave them here in this country while they went back to Mexico? They would then become a drain on our social services. We would have to pay out of taxpayer money to raise these American children when if a different "punishment" were invoked, they could be raised by their own hardworking parents while living in a loving family environment.

No, I don't agree with illegal immigration, but I don't agree with deportation either. If this was a once off case, then perhaps it could be an example to others trying to do likewise. However, this is not an isolated example and it must be happening somewhere every day. We supposedly need these immigrant workers here to do some of our low paid, unskilled work. If we didn't get the illegals here to work for below minimum wage in our fields, we would be outraged by the cost of food. We can't win. Therefore, we must find another solution. A solution that is more ethically right and much easier to police.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 7, 2007 at 1:17 pm

Parent, are you ready for the lifeboat solution? Does your pity extend to offering up your seat in the boat? Will you go South so someone more deserving can come North?
Better you lend your voice to the call for Mexico to straighten up and take care of their own citizens instead of sneaking them onto our doorstop.

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South
on Apr 7, 2007 at 4:59 pm


I am for the "lifeboat" solution but we do disagree about who is in the lifeboat.

For me, finding a way to allow low-skilled immigrants into the country legally (by changing current law) is OUR lifeboat because most of our children aspire to and are able to get better jobs and because 6 million Californians are going to retire in the next 20 years, some of whom are low-skilled. We need the immigrants.

I think we benefit by being a welcoming community for both high and low-skilled workers who are in demand here. I hope we can change the law to create legal pathways (about 1% of current legal immigrants fiill thes elow-skilled jobs) at the same time we struggle to find an immigration monitoring process that works within about values about civil liberties and a free society.

Posted by Kate, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 8, 2007 at 6:45 am

A recent study concluded that an illegal immigrant, working in a low-skilled position, costs you and me as taxpayers a substantial amount of money. The study showed that illegal immigrants consume three times as much in social benefits as the amount of money they save the taxpayer by working in the low or no-skilled position. The idea that our economy needs this low-skilled labor because legal Americans won't take these jobs continues to be the red-herring circulated by advocates for illegal immigration. Yes, legal citizens would demand and receive higher wages, but don't fool yourself about the real costs of illegal immigration. It's not a good deal for you and me as taxpayers.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2007 at 6:43 pm

"Finding a way to allow..."
There's the rub. The cowards in Washington of both parties have avoided dealing with this like plague, at least partly because some people benefit from the illegal status, just as some people benefitted from slavery. They are hoping that the courts and public ambiguity will put the need for a sensible rewrite of the laws on the back burner yet again.

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