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Stopping the Deportation of Young Undocumented People

There's a lot of unneccessary controversy about President Obama's executive order halting the deportation of (some) undocumented youth.

 

Two weeks ago, President Obama gave educators something to celebrate when he issued an This is a remarkable step for human rights, especially for an Administration that has deported people at a faster rate than its predecessors.

I’m glad that a weight has been lifted from the shoulders of any undocumented students who will pass through my classroom. Without the threat of arrest, detention and deportation, they’ll be able to better focus on academics and preparing themselves for the responsibilities of adulthood.

As a teacher, I believe in the worth of all of my children. So it’s painful to hear all of the hateful baloney stirred up by Mr. Obama’s executive order. Issue number one: taxes.

The reality is that, in general, undocumented families work hard, pay many taxes (e.g. sales taxes) and do their best to raise their children as productive members of society. Undocumented people are completely ineligible for welfare or Social Security. Even legal permanent residents have to pay into the system for at least ten years before obtaining any eligibility.

I am valued for what I contribute to society as a teacher, not what I contribute to the U.S. government as a tax-payer. Why would we judge a person’s total value as a human being based on what taxes they do or don’t pay?

The whole issue of taxes is a red herring.

Besides, the real tax cheats are perfectly legal. Between the years 2008-2011, Pacific Gas & Electric made $6 billion in profits while paying an effective federal tax rate of negative 18.4 percent. PG&E – the corporation that destroyed an entire neighborhood in San Bruno – is just one of 26 major companies that have paid no net federal income taxes for the past several years. What an outrage.

Mr. Obama’s executive order will simply sweep clear some of the fear and anxiety that exists amongst undocumented people. But let’s be honest. His executive order is also extremely narrow in scope. The requirements, according to CNN:

“Under the new policy, people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military can get a two-year deferral from deportation.”

So the truth is that a modest number of people will receive a two-year reprieve from the painful disruption of deportation. How sad that our expectations for progress are so low that this is something that excites those of us who care about human rights?

A better step would be to provide a pathway to permanent citizenship for all undocumented youth. Even better would be to welcome all immigrants with open arms to the wealthiest country in the world.

If that increases government costs, so be it. I know of at least 26 places to find some extra money.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jaime July 15, 2012 at 02:00 AM
I believe in having a Dream Act passed. I know many veterans that have served our country couragously, but still cannot live here legally. That is not right. Those that came here as kids, through no alterior motive of their own, deserve the right to be here. If they have not gotten into trouble, are attending college, or have served our country in the Armed Forces, they should be allowed to stay. Reagan thought it was right, and so do most common sense people. An educated, law abiding person is an asset to our country, not an expense. If we have a cohesive immigration policy, those that do not qualify will have no choice but to leave. A good e-Verify would help a good ways. Stop the name calling and get our ducks in a row to make a good policy that is fair and just.
Jaime July 15, 2012 at 02:15 AM
There would be nothing to worry about the new immigrants being Republican or Democrats if we had an adequate educational system that taught the values of Laisse-Faire and the invisible hand and self-reliance as a virture that this country was built on. It is almost unheard of in our schools now. One has to go to college to even hear the very values that inspired our Founding Fathers. If they, and our regular citizens, were taught that instead of a check or an EBT card, this country would have more respect for others, their property and the work ethic. Until we get away from the nanny state, we are destined to the same future as Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc...
Jaime July 15, 2012 at 02:19 AM
We should have the Dream Act, but Obama's Executive Order circumvents the authourity of Congress and makes and end run around the Constitution. No matter how much you disagree with a branch of government, you cannot bypass it because you do not like it's decisions or lack there of.
Paul Vargas July 15, 2012 at 04:57 PM
But think about what an asset they would be to that ignorant, corrupt cess pool known as Mexico?
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