Illegal Aliens Continue Going Public to Avoid Deportation

Article author: 
FAIR Gov't Relations Team
Article date: 
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Article category: 
National Issues
Article Body: 

One of the newest trends illegal aliens are embracing as a means to escape deportation might surprise you: they’re going public.

This brazenness is thanks to the Obama Administration’s issuance of prosecutorial discretion guidelines, which direct DHS agents to ignore illegal aliens so long as they are not convicted of crimes the Administration deems serious. (See FAIR’s Morton Memos Summary, Jan. 2012)

This mandated “discretion” sends a clear message to illegal aliens that it’s okay to break the law. The amount of confidence bestowed by President Obama’s administrative amnesty policies has been enough to encourage illegal aliens to come out of hiding, stage their own rallies, and even challenge immigration authorities directly.

Here is a sampling of these “coming out” stories:

• In February, José Luis Zelaya, a graduate student at Texas A&M University, gained attention by running for the highly publicized position of Student Body President, integrating his illegal status into his campaign platform. (Fox News Latino, Feb. 29, 2012)

• Daniela Palaez of Florida gained nationwide attention in March when she was named her high school’s 2012 valedictorian. Palaez, who was brought to the U.S. as a young child, was facing imminent deportation until her story went viral and Florida Reps. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera, as well as Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, made public appeals on her behalf. Within four days, ICE granted Palaez a two-year deferment of deportation, citing prosecutorial discretion. (FOX Phoenix, March 2, 2012; see also CBS Miami, March 6, 2012)

• In mid-April, Florida State University Law School graduate and tourist visa overstayer Jose Godinez-Samperio was spotlighted by the media when he petitioned for admission to the Florida Bar Association. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners is now requesting decision assistance from the Supreme Court, which marked the case “high profile.” (Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2012; see also Orlando Sentinel, April 15, 2012)

• Mohammed Abdollahi, an illegal alien residing in Michigan, brazenly explained that “the more public [illegal aliens] are with our stories, the safer we are.” (USA Today, March 12, 2012) Abdohalli, fearing he would be deported after years of living in the country illegally, got himself arrested and publicly pled his case. Sure enough, his lawyer was notified by an immigration official that Abdohalli would not be pursued for deportation. (Id.) Abdollahi now works for the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA).

• Most recently, Dulce Matuz, an illegal alien and graduate of Arizona State University, was granted a coveted spot on TIME Magazine’s 2012 list of the Top 100 Influential People in the World. Matuz, who is the founder of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, is working hard to reach Latino voters in Arizona with her belief that illegal immigrants deserve a pathway to citizenship. (WCVB-Boston, April 20, 2012; see also TIME Magazine, April 18, 2012)

So many illegal aliens feel comfortable going public under this Administration that they’ve even created their own day of recognition. National Coming Out of the Shadows Day was first hosted in 2010 by the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL). The group’s Facebook page proudly notes that their event spurred “actions of civil disobedience” in a multitude of states. (See IYJL Facebook Page; see also Business Week, April 16, 2012) One such action took place in Philadelphia, where two illegal alien students challenged immigration officers by entering an ICE field office and declaring their illegal status. They were arrested for blocking a street and ICE initially filed detainers on the two students, but eventually released them without consequence. (Bi-College News, March 20, 2012)

While some illegal aliens choose to “remain in the shadows,” a growing number continue to flaunt their status as if their unlawful presence alone merits citizenship, and suddenly a different descriptor comes to mind: entitled.

The rise in confrontational tactics by illegal aliens provides clear confirmation that President Obama’s administrative amnesty measures are serving as positive reinforcement to the illegal community, cementing the idea that illegal aliens deserve citizenship simply due to their presence.