raining cats and dogs

UPDATE: There is now a website.

When Sarcastro, Aunt B, and I all agree on something, you know it's something you can really get behind.

claudia nunez and family

Meet Claudia Nunez and her family. Claudia is in the process of deportation from Nashville back to El Salvador. Despite residing in the country for years. Despite her 3 year old daughter and her 4 year old daughter -- both U.S. citizens by birth. Despite her husband, also a legal resident. Despite all this, she's being sent back to El Salvador, where, beyond being stripped of her family, she'll have to deal with these guys. What family of four did she murder, you ask? Well, actually, she just overstayed her visa (which, incidentally, is not a crime).

I am not going to re-hash the whole story, since Sarcastro and Aunt B have already done a good job on that. But I will be talking about it. A lot. I'll probably use a graph. You know how I do. But you'll be hearing a lot about this case from others, as well. This is a test case for a lot of things: our tolerance for inflexible bureaucracy; our tolerance for counterproductive, exploitive immigration law; our, well, intolerance and xenophobic hysteria. It's a test case for how far we've strayed from the inscription at the base of the statue of liberty:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

At least, I think that's what it says. Maybe it's "Don't let the golden door hit your ass on the way out." I forget.

More to come on this..

UPDATE: See Sean Braisted and John H on this as well.

  • http://mycropht.blogspot.com Kat Coble

    I’ve said this every other place, and I’ll say it here too. (For the record, my most extensive comment was at Aunt B’s.)

    Why did she NOT apply for protective status? The Nashville Scene article about the case states right up front that she could have followed the law as her husband did and thus have become a legal resident.

    I think this story is tragic and I think there is a better way than deportation to handle it. Having had several friends and acquaintences who braved the lengthy, frustrating immigration process to be here legally I know that it can be done. I also think it’s unfair to expect her to not have some type of consequence for failing to follow the law. In this case I think the levy of a fine and the insistence that she follow procedure would be a sensible, merciful and just solution.

  • http://chris.quietlife.net Chris

    Why did she NOT apply for protective status?

    Who cares? Why did I go 2 years without paying my parking tickets and get my license suspended? Why did I drive my car with expired plates for 2 months in 2004?

    I think this story is tragic and I think there is a better way than deportation to handle it. Having had several friends and acquaintences who braved the lengthy, frustrating immigration process to be here legally I know that it can be done. I also think it’s unfair to expect her to not have some type of consequence for failing to follow the law. In this case I think the levy of a fine and the insistence that she follow procedure would be a sensible, merciful and just solution.

    If levying a fine was a viable option, do you really think we’d be having this conversation?

  • http://salemslots.blogspot.com/ john h

    I wrote this over at Sar’s place, but my understanding from last night is that protected status for El Salvadorian refugees was rescinded early in the Bush administration. I’m not sure if this really was an option for her, or if it was, if the option was there for a decent amount of time.

  • http://www.newscoma.blogspot.com newscoma

    John, I commend all of you for bringing this story to all of us. Please continue to let us know what happens.

  • http://mycropht.blogspot.com Kat Coble

    Who cares? Why did I go 2 years without paying my parking tickets and get my license suspended? Why did I drive my car with expired plates for 2 months in 2004?

    Ever not pay your taxes? Ever expect to have some sort of penalty if you didn’t?

    If levying a fine was a viable option, do you really think we’d be having this conversation?

    I think we’re not only having this conversation for Mrs. Nunez. I think we’re having it for the other Mrs. Nunez’ out there. Because if there’s one, there’s another one. Yes, we need to find a way for Claudia Nunez to stay in this country. But we also need to find a realistic, workable solution for others like her to remain here as well. A fine system, similar to what we have in place for those who don’t pay their taxes or their parking tickets or their mortgage on time would be a reasonable compromise.

  • http://chris.quietlife.net Chris

    Agreed..

  • http://www.coyotechronicles.blogspot.com Mack

    Yes, a fine, and then some “probation” type restrictions are clearly in order. Now, how do we keep Glen Dean from calling that “amnesty?”

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