Yes please let's shoot illegal immigrants in the head even if they are 20somethings that were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were small children. It doesn't matter if they've lived here for almost their entire lives. It doesn't matter that they speak English as their first language and have assimilated into American culture. It doesn't matter if they're willing to serve the U.S. in order to become U.S. citizens. No they're criminals and therefore deserve to to me shot in the head. USA!!! USA!!!! USA!!! ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!
MILWAUKEE — It was exhilarating for Maricela Aguilar to stand on the steps of the federal courthouse here one day last summer and reveal for the first time in public that she is an illegal immigrant.
José Varible, an illegal immigrant, is a college student in Kenosha, Wis.
“It’s all about losing that shame of who you are,” Ms. Aguilar, a college student who was born in Mexico but has lived in the United States without legal documents since she was 3 years old, said of her “coming out” at a rally in June.
Those were heady times for thousands of immigrant students who declared their illegal status during a nationwide campaign for a bill in Congress that would have put them on a path to legal residence. In December that bill, known as the Dream Act, passed the House, then failed in the Senate.
President Obama insisted in his State of the Union address and in interviews that he wanted to try again on the bill this year. But with Republicans who vehemently oppose the legislation holding crucial committee positions in the new House, even optimists like Ms. Aguilar believe its chances are poor to none in the next two years.
That leaves students like her who might have benefited from the bill — an estimated 1.2 million nationwide — in a legal twilight.
The president says he supports their cause, and immigration officials say illegal immigrant students with no criminal record are not among their priorities for deportation. But federal immigration authorities removed a record number of immigrants from the country last year, nearly 393,000, while the local police are rapidly expanding their role in immigration enforcement. Students often get caught.
Illegal immigrants also face new restrictions many states are imposing on their access to public education, driver’s licenses and jobs. And for those like Ms. Aguilar who came out last year to proclaim their illegal status, there is no going back to the shadows.
Republicans who will lead their party in the House on immigration issues say illegal immigrant students should not be spared from deportation. Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, led the opposition to the Dream Act, calling it “an American nightmare” that would allow illegal immigrants to displace American students from public colleges.
Mr. Smith and other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have pledged to block any legislation giving legal status to illegal immigrants, which they reject as amnesty for lawbreakers. Still, as Politico first reported on Monday, Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York, a Democrat, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican, have begun preliminary talks to see whether there is enough support in Congress to try to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul in coming months.
In the weeks since the Senate vote, many young illegal immigrants are grappling with the letdown after a campaign that mobilized thousands of them for sit-in protests and text message blitzes of Congressional lawmakers.
“Many have become extremely frustrated, sad, confused and without a lot of answers as to how to move forward,” said Roberto G. Gonzales, a sociologist at the University of Washington who has surveyed young illegal immigrants. “They had a lot of hope that their activities were going to change the minds of the country. Having the door slammed in their face hit many of them really hard.”
A moment of truth, Mr. Gonzales said, comes when the students graduate from college. Many excel academically, but without work authorization, they cannot be legally employed. Some immigrants with bachelor’s degrees end up busing restaurant dishes and cleaning offices, falling back on the jobs of their less educated parents, who often struggled to put them through college.
Hostility toward illegal immigrants has grown in many states. Lawmakers in Georgia and Virginia are considering measures to ban illegal immigrants from all public colleges. Bills to deny state resident tuition rates to illegal immigrants are under consideration here in Wisconsin, as well as in Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska and Indiana. Only a few states, like Colorado and Maryland, are going the opposite direction, debating measures to allow illegal immigrants to pay the lower in-state tuition rates.
In the absence of a student bill in Congress, Obama administration officials are doing little to assist illegal immigrants who might be eligible for legal status if it passed. Department of Homeland Security officials said they would continue to reject any broad moratorium on deportations for those students.
Immigration agents have been instructed to focus on arresting immigrants who are convicted criminals, implicitly steering away from students without criminal records. When students do get caught, officials are using executive powers to postpone or cancel their deportations, they said.
Brian P. Hale, the senior spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the agency “uses discretion on a case by case basis, as appropriate.”
But senior administration officials said they did not want to make wider use of those powers for fear of deepening the conflict with Mr. Smith and other Republicans, who might try to limit the authority granted by immigration law and further stiffen their opposition to measures like the Dream Act. The officials spoke anonymously, saying they could discuss policy more freely that way.
The strategizing in Washington is doing little for Ms. Aguilar, 19, a junior at Marquette University here.
“If your name is out there immediately attached with ‘undocumented,’ then there is always this fear of being deported,” she said.
But Ms. Aguilar said she was not as dispirited as many other students like her because she still felt the elation that came after she revealed her illegal status, then traveled to Washington to watch the December vote from the Senate gallery.
“I think losing the shame overshadows the fear,” she said. “I’d much rather clarify to the public that being undocumented is just a circumstance I find myself in. I’d much rather have that out in the public than just living in fear.”
Immigrant activists say that coming out may have given some protection to student leaders like Ms. Aguilar, since administration officials would prefer to avoid the furor that would follow if one of them was detained. Ms. Aguilar also admits she has not yet had to face some of the hardest consequences of her status. An honors student in her Milwaukee high school, she was accepted to Marquette, a private Jesuit university, on a full tuition scholarship.
After the Senate vote, she said, she is working with an immigrant organization here to build new support for the student bill.
“It failed and we were all like super bummed out,” she said. “So we came out of there crying, but defiant. We were like, one day we’re going to pass this, don’t even worry about it.”
That pluck is not shared by José Varible, 19, another illegal immigrant from Mexico, who was brought to the United States at age 9 by his parents. A student in business management at Gateway Technical College, a community college in Kenosha, Wis., Mr. Varible also held a formal coming out ceremony last summer.
Since he is not eligible for any financial aid, Mr. Varible struggles to pay his tuition. He cannot drive, since Wisconsin does not issue licenses without proof of legal United States residence. With a knack for technology hardware, he taught himself to repair computers. But without a Social Security number, he can take only odd jobs doing that work.
Combined with his new exposure as an illegal immigrant, he said, those limitations sometimes sink him into depression. He has even considered moving to Australia.
“You know, the thing is, I just don’t feel welcome here,” he said. “You cannot live as an undocumented immigrant.”
Yes let's shoot those criminals Maricela and Jose in the head! God bless America.
I wonder how many of you guys can pass the U.S. citizenship test? I've studied U.S. history extensively and even I didn't get all those questions right.