Friday, August 03, 2007

the immigration nightmare - when politics fails
The college bill attracted renewed interest this week because of Juan Sebastian Gomez, a student who just graduated with honors from Killian Senior High School in Miami. On July 25, immigration agents in Florida detained Mr. Gomez, 18, his brother and his parents, all illegal immigrants from Colombia, and prepared to deport them. Immigration officials delayed the deportation on Wednesday after a group of Mr. Gomez’s high school friends roused support in South Florida and then flew to Washington to pound on doors.

The friends pointed to Mr. Gomez’s academic record — a near-perfect 3.96 grade-point average — and top scores on 11 Advanced Placement exams. They said he should not be punished for his illegal status because his parents brought him to the United States when he was 2.

“We call it the Nightmare Act,” said Representative Brian P. Bilbray, a Republican from California who leads the Immigration Reform Caucus in the House. “We’re giving status to immigrants based on the fact they are here illegally. It really sends a mixed signal to both legal and illegal immigrants.”

...and what message are you sending, brian?

it matters who you are and not what you are...? just how far back in brian bilbray's family tree can he go without finding an immigrant?

i presume this republican and his like-minded brethren were not born native american indian.

Mr. Gomez’s case has given Washington a vivid illustration of the issues behind the illegal immigrant student measure.

An affable teenager who attracted friends at Killian High by tutoring classmates in subjects as diverse as European history and biochemistry, Mr. Gomez seemed likely to be an exceptional college candidate. A volunteer at a neighborhood homeless shelter, he often did his schoolwork on the computers of friends because his parents could not afford one.

Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Mr. Gomez’s parents applied for legal status but were denied in 2002. They have been facing deportation orders since then.

The family was arrested as part of a nationwide immigration agency operation to track down immigrants scheduled for deportation, agency officials said.

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