Pulitzer Prize winner from MV outs his illegal status
Original post made
on Jun 22, 2011
Jose Vargas, former Mountain View High school student and top American journalist, has outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in a stirring article in The New York Times magazine.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 5:22 PM
Like this comment
Posted by No more illegal immigration
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm
In 1986, the US gave amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants on the condition that we would never do this again. When people come to the US illegally, even if they are children, they do it at their own peril. The parents know if they get caught there might be heavy consequences to pay. We will never end illegal immigration as long as illegal immigrants know that once they arrive they will get all the benefits and protection of citizenship and more.
It is unfair for illegal immigrants to jump ahead of the legal immigrants who wait for their turn and who follow our laws. We either have laws that we enforce or we become a lawless, borderless society.
Jose was 16 when he learned he was an illegal immigrant. He could have done the right thing at 16, but he chose to continue breaking the law. We charge people as young as 14 as adults, so why give Jose a pass? Why didn't Jose's grandparents sponsor him for a green card? Why didn't he go back to the Philippines to live with his mom? Furthermore, if my mom sent me to live with relatives when I was 12, I would want to know why and why my mom did not come too. I think Jose knew he was illegal from the get go.
In addition to coming to this country illegally Jose could be charged with falsifying documents to work, forging documents to get a Social Security number, making false statements on an I-9 form, making false statements to get a driver's license, etc. The laws Jose broke have penalties of 5-15 years as well as fines of $250,000. Which one of the laws that Jose broke is not serious?
Jose's mom wanted him to have a better life, but with the enormous numbers of illegal immigrants coming to this country, who steal education and health care resources, benefits, and jobs, they have severely affected US citizens whose lives have gotten worse. Why does an illegal immigrants right to a better life trump the right of US citizens to a better life?
The cost of educating an illegal immigrant from K-12, assuming $10,000 per student annually, is $130,000. There are approximately 65,000 illegals (very conservative estimate) who graduate annually, which means it costs $8.4 billion dollars to educate illegal immigrants. We could pay for every US citizen to get a college degree and have money left over to invest in research, infrastructure, etc., if we were not paying so much to educate illegal immigrants.
Some people argue we have already invested in the illegals K-12 education, so why not pay for college too? If it costs $130,000 to educate a student from K-12, then what happens if the illegal immigrant drops out, joins a gang, does drugs, gets pregnant, etc? Should we continue to fund them so we don't lose our investment? We should send the K-12 bill to the countries the illegal immigrants are from and deport the students and families.
We currently ask students to provide proof of residency, so why not ask of proof of citizenship? If the student is illegal, then report them to ICE. If a student is illegal and in a gang or causing problems, then report them to ICE. ICE should be able to investigate the entire gangbanger's family and if they are here illegally, then deport them.
There would be no overcrowding at our schools, we would have more resources, better behavior, and our test scores would be higher if we enforced our immigration laws.
Another argument is that it is unfair to punish the children. But, if your dad robs a bank does the family get to keep the proceeds because we do not want the children to be denied? If a parent has been embezzling money for 20 years do we allow the parents to continue to embezzle the money because the family is "use to that lifestyle?"
Jose Vargas and Mandeep Chahal make for "feel good" news stories, but they are not typical illegal immigrants. For every Jose or Mandeep there are hundreds of thousands of illegals who are in special ed, high school dropouts, in gangs, drug dealers and addicts, prisoners, and/or burdens on our health care system, etc. Jose and Mandeep are the exception.
The US cannot afford the massive costs of illegal immigration. Illegally immigrants are overwhelming our schools, hospitals and health care systems, housing, food banks, prisons, etc. Illegal immigrants are taking resources and jobs from US citizens who desperately need those resources and jobs. For example, if we deported all of the illegal immigrants in the US, then our K-12 schools would no longer be in crisis; we would tremendously reduce our costs for prisons; and our gang problems would be dramatically reduced, which would make our neighborhoods cleaner and safer, and fewer people would be unemployed.
The US taxpayer, especially the elderly, cannot afford to pay for benefits for illegal immigrants. Many illegal immigrants (like Obama's aunt who came here illegally) get on Medicaid, Medicare, disability, Supplemental Social Security, Section 8 Housing, etc. Immigrants get on our welfare programs (with forged documents) and take money away from our elderly and our children, and then immigrants send money to relatives in the counties they are from. Remittances to foreign countries cost the US almost $400 billion annually. The US taxpayer cannot support the world…we cannot even support ourselves!
We have one of the most generous immigration policies and it is wrong and unfair to let someone break our laws and jump ahead of others. We will never end illegal immigration as long as illegal immigrants know that once they arrive they will get all the benefits and protection of citizenship and much more.
Like this comment
Posted by Plyler is a moot point
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm
I do not know why someone keeps posting Plyler v. Doe. It is a moot point since no one is demanding that we deny an education to K-12 illegal immigrants. What people are upset at is that Jose Vargas (like many illegal immigrants) come here illegally, and use forged documents to get all sorts of benefits including a college scholarship, Social Security number, jobs, drivers licenses, etc.
Just to be clear, the Supreme Court ruled that we cannot deny illegal immigrants a K-12 education, but nothing prohibits schools from requiring proof of citizenship and/or legal status at the time of registration. Schools currently check proof of residency, so why not proof of legal status? K-12 schools would not deny entry or an education to illegal immigrants, but schools should be required to report them to ICE. ICE should investigate and if the students is illegal, then the student as well as all illegal family members should be deported.
It is ridiculous that we charge the parents of children, who bring children from outside the US to the US legally via visas, for the cost of their K-12 education, but if you bring your children here illegally then you get a free K-12 education.
It is ridiculous that you can be illegal under federal law, but legal for K-12 enrollment and take seats away from US citizens. When a homeless woman forged documents to get her daughter into a better school she was charged with several felonies for receiving benefits she was not entitled to. The school wants her to repay them for educating her child. When US citizens forged documents to receive benefits they were not entitled to from the San Bruno pipeline explosion, they were arrested and charged with felonies. When a student at Paly High School (in the 1990s) forged documents to not only run track for the high school, but run for Princeton University on a track scholarship, he was charged with a felonies and was given a prison sentence. The courts charged him with using a false identity and forged documents to receive benefits he was not entitled to and he had to repay the money/benefits too. So why do we allow illegal immigrants who forge documents to receive benefits (jobs, health care, college scholarships, Medicaid, MediCAL, Medicare, Social Security, Supplemental Social Security, disability, food stamps, Section 8 housing, drivers licenses, etc?) they are not entitled to? Why aren't illegal immigrants being charged with felonies and then deported?
Pat Hyland and Rich Fisher went way beyond providing an education. They aided and abetted felonies in getting a scholarship, drivers license, Social Security number, jobs, etc., under false pretenses and with forged documents. They should be charged with felonies along with Jose. I still do not understand why Jose Vargas' grandparents did not help him gain legal status unless they are here illegally too.
Illegal immigrants should not be able to get jobs, drive cars, receive benefits with forged documents, etc. At every level we should be enforcing our immigration laws. I do not know why Mountain View police do not impound cars of unlicensed drivers. The police should detain any unlicensed driver until the police can ascertain their identity. If the unlicensed driver is illegal, then they should have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet until ICE can deport them.
The Mountain View police should have turned over the illegal immigrant, who was involved in the recent kidnapping, to ICE. Instead, the police arrested the smuggler/kidnapper and let the illegal immigrant go free.
Why are sanctuary cities (which violate federal immigration laws) okay, but enforcing our immigration laws (which are in compliance with federal law) are not?
The pundits say that immigration, health care, and the economy will be the focus of the presidential elections in 2012. If we enforce our immigration laws then we will fix our economy and health care. It really is that easy.
As long as illegal immigrants know that once they break into the amusement park they can enjoy all of the rides for free, they will continue breaking into the amusement park.
Like this comment
Posted by Des
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 7, 2011 at 1:04 am
First off, you sound like a very reasonable person. And in light of my inflammatory comments I find it further impressive your level tone. Furthermore you actually seem like to want to have an intelligent conversation, so I will try to do the same.
1.) While I agree a society cannot encourage ignoring the law, I think expecting him to do anything but what he did he just misunderstanding of human behavior. While he was not a US citizen, he was an American. He grew up watching American TV, cartoons, learning the laws, the politics, and the culture. And learning it as his own believing he WAS a US Citizen. Ask or expect someone at 16, 18, 24 or on to go back to the Philippines, seriously? He would be as much of an outcast there as I am. If we really want to solve this problem we have to be realistic. US Citizen is a legal status. Being American is a state of mind. Americans need to have a chance to become Citizens.
2.) Fear. Looking at a group of people that share physical characteristics, or lack a characteristic and assume based on this information that they will behave in a certain way. It's a lazy way of dealing with people. Each person is different. Judge them that way. Someone above responded "Comprendo?" That is fear. That is stereotyping. That is just wrong. We don't teach our kids to judge and label and make hurtful comments, so why is it suddenly ok to do so online? So while yes, they were in some cases citizens, and were in all but a few cases legally here, it's the idea of pointing at group of people and saying "There! Over there is the problem! Grab your pitch forks and torches and lets get'um". We are better than that. Or I want us to better than that.
3.) No you are right, this is just what I tell myself to get over my sadness over what I am seeing in this country. Ever done any family research? I do, a lot. Go back a very few number of generations and we are all immigrants. I do have one line that got here in 1607, but most came here in the last 100-150yrs. The difference? Then we welcomed them. "Our huddled masses yearning to be free". Now the rules have changed. Basically if you are rich you can get US citizenship. If you can afford the lawyers and the bribes and whatever other hoops they makd you go through you can come here legally. The number of Chinese, Indian and other engineers we bring over here on H1Bs. ItÕs amazing. However if you are living 50miles from south of Arizona, have no future, no hope, and no money you arenÕt welcome. You are tired of being shot at, scared, seeing your friends and family die. You can't go 75 miles and compete for a better life? That makes me sick. American is great because of our mix. Sun, Intel, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Harvard, MIT, Stanford etc are the result of diversity. We are the best of the best. If you are the best engineer in Silicon Valley, you are not just the best there, or in California, or in the US, you are very likely one of the best in the world. Why? Because you are competing with the entire World and not just the locals. That competitions is what it makes it great. People that don't want more people here seem me to be scared of that competition. And it makes me sad. Makes me think we are loosing ourselves. Loosing what made us who we are. Lets face it; the only Natives around here are Native Americans.
4.) It was a very interesting read. And to be very honest, I think that people that compromise or change their values when resources become less abundant, or hope becomes dimmed are flawed and weak. Bad people? No of course not, it's a very human trait. But if you felt that way at 17 when you had everything you wanted and the entire future ahead of you, but now want a protectionist conservative world because suddenly you want to protect the stash of nuts in your tree? What is that? It's compromising your values due to local circumstances. To me that is character flaw. And while yes I will agree that conversations and learning are valuable for citizens of any age, I once again retreat to the of "we don't matter" because based on the views I have seen here, I don't WANT us to matter. Because I know I am in the minority in the country in my open minded views, but I really thought the Bay Area was make up of more people like me. And instead I see the same anger and fear and ugliness I see in more rural settings. And it makes me very very sad.
I consider the immigration problem to be just as insane as the drug problem. ItÕs about DEMAND and not about supply. Illegal immigrants come here because we hire them. In one state, Alabama if memory serves, had tough anti immigration law even tried to exclude domestic workers. Really? So they canÕt compete for my job but itÕs ok for them to clean my house and raise my kids? Or why arenÕt we arresting every single person that picks up a guy from Home Depot? Why are we doing after the people who are just coming here to seek a better live instead of the people who are offering them that life? We are going after the supply and not the demand. As long as the demand is there, supply will come from somewhere.
So until I see a bunch of guys loosing their jobs, homes, family and freedom from using Home Depot parking lot labor or a Senator being jailed for having illegal help in his home, I really see this as theater for the 24hr news. When the resulting fall out is so many people from Mountain View sounding so angry, and mad, and hateful it just really depresses me, and so I lashed out. For that I do apologize.
And so I just have to deal with the fact that my belief that you can never punish someone for trying to find a better life is somehow "wrong" in these times. That my beliefs that every illegal that gets a degree or an honorable military discharge should just become citizens automatically will be met with distain and disgust.
Like this comment
Posted by response to Hardin
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm
Illegal immigrants work as police officers, firefighters, writers for newspapers, tech employees, administrators, doctors, nurses, teachers, gardeners, landscapers, janitors, bus drivers, fast food workers, small business owners, plumbers, taxi drivers, hotel workers, many blue collar and white collar workers, etc.
Over 100,000 people applied for McDonald's jobs a few months ago, so yes, US citizens want and will do many of the jobs illegals currently do.
When the Super Bowl was held in San Diego in 2002 (security was very tight because of 9/11) background checks were required of employees and mismatches (illegal immigrants working) were happening all over the place. Instead of reporting the mismatches to ICE the government did not do anything because of the outcry from immigrants' rights groups.
The immigrants' rights groups always claim that illegal immigrants just want better lives, jobs, and to take care of their families, etc. Don't we all? But, the illegal immigrants are depriving many legal residents and US citizens from a better life, a job, and to take care of their families.
Why can't Jose go back to the Philippines and work to make the Philippines better? Jose could be the Thomas Jefferson of the Philippines.
Why is the answer to the world problems to come to the US? If it were not so easy for Mexicans to come to the US illegally, then maybe there would be more pressure to fix Mexico. Furthermore, if illegals are such an asset for the US, then why can't they be an asset and/or successful in their own countries? It would help their countries, the United States, and the world if illegal immigrants would stay home and work to improve their own countries.
The US is drowning in debt as well as other problems and the US needs to help people legally in this country. We have too many of our own problems and we do not have the money or resources to try to fix the world. It is bankrupting us.
When the 1986 amnesty law was passed, employers, law enforcement, the president, Congress, government officials, etc., promised that immigration laws would be strictly enforced. So, what happened? Why aren't people illegally in this country being deported? Why aren't we using e-verify for jobs, welfare, food stamps, Section 8 housing, Medicare, Social Security, disability, voting etc. It is quick, easy, and very accurate.
There are many jobs that many US citizens and legal residents want that are currently taken by illegals. As Jose Vargas has proven, many of these jobs are white collar jobs.