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Unai Montes-Irueste

I believe, The Dream is Now (http://www.thedreamisnow.org/take-action)

I am good at Liberty & Justice For All -- no asterisks, parentheticals, footnotes, endnotes, or exceptions.

Location
Los Angeles, California
thedreamisnow
Website
thedreamisnow.org

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  • Unai Montes-Irueste commented on a link

    Why It's Up to Us to Change the Future For Undocumented Youth via magazine.good.is

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    Unai Montes-Irueste10 months ago

    Calling Danny an "illegal" is offensive and inaccurate. Here are some pieces of media to help you digest this: (1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmz9cCF0KNE (2) http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/05/opinion/garcia-illegal-immigrants (3) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/usa-today-illegal-immigrant_n_3062479.html (4) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/ap-drops-term-illegal-immigrant_n_3001432.html (5) http://politic365.com/2012/10/04/why-the-media-needs-to-drop-the-i-word/

    Your quote "if this mom really wanted to help her young son, then why doesn't she have some paper showing he is in the process of getting his citizenship," proves that your arguments are based on what you believe to be true about the system currently in place, as opposed to what the laws governing it actually dictate is possible. As was referenced in the article, Danny's mom was more than happy to produce her identification. She has status, but she doesn't have the ability to petition for her son's status because she is not yet a Permanent Resident or US Citizen. Danny has no way of applying for citizenship. If he were to attempt to initiate the process of securing a visa now, he would have to leave the USA, despite the fact that he has lived here since he was 7 years old. Danny does not have a fake ID. He never stole anyone's Social Security number. He doesn't sell drugs, or belong to a gang. He works for cash diligently following IRS guidelines stating that he cannot earn more than $600 from any one employer. He knows this law and follows it to the letter because he hopes that immigration reform will pass one day, and he wants to be in good standing. As is mentioned in the article, Danny applied for deferred action so he could receive prosecutorial discretion and protection from deportation. This meant that he had to spend his own money on a background check -- a background check that came up clean.

    Your statement "follow the law and continue to work at improving the immigration laws to help make the process less cumbersome," once again offers an impression of the system in place that does not mesh with reality. There is not one process that everyone follows. There is no such thing as one line, or one set of rules that apply to everyone. If Danny had been born in a country that qualifies for the visa lottery, say Belgium, he could sign himself up for a drawing and automatically win a Green Card. It wouldn't matter if he were an unemployed high school dropout. He could simply luck himself into Permanent Residency. But Danny was born in Mexico, and therefore Danny doesn't qualify for the visa lottery. If Danny's mother were from anywhere in Europe, she would have received her Permanent Residency already, and it would have taken around 3 to 5 years for her to secure status for her son. But since she is from Latin America, there is no scenario that would allow her to secure her son's status in anything less than 17 to 23 years. Danny's mom could get a PhD, and an MD, and discover the cure to cancer, or become a multimillionaire through her genius and initiative. She would still have a longer path to citizenship, and would find herself unable to sponsor her son in the same amount of time as the average French, English, or German immigrant. It makes no sense to ignore the merit of an individual simply because of his or her country of origin. The system in place creates huge backlogs, and fails to apply/enforce one set of rules and burdens. This is one of the reasons reform is so urgently needed. Read more: http://www.scpr.org/blogs/multiamerican/2013/02/01/12336/immigrant-visa-backlogs-how-do-both-reform-plans-p/

    Last, but most certainly not least, this argument that undocumented Americans are reaping a series of benefits is wholly, completely, utterly 100% false. There are zero, zilch, zip, no means for undocumented folks to collect Social Security, or get subsidized healthcare, or receive temporary assistance for needy families, (TANF a.k.a. welfare) or access unemployment benefits. Yes, Danny attended public schools. But the Supreme Court in Plyler v. Doe stated that public education should not and cannot be denied to minors residing in the US, regardless of whether or not they have Social Security numbers. So according to the Supreme Court, neither Danny, nor his family, are guilty of stealing anything from you, me, or any other taxpayer. And once again, it bears repeating that Danny's mom has a work visa so she is paying into Social Security, etc., as well as filing federal and state taxes annually, despite the fact that is is not eligible to get any of this money back, or able to make use of any of the public benefits her tax dollars help to subsidize. Immigrants both documented and undocumented are making far greater financial contributions to this country than most people are aware of, or are willing to acknowledge. In fact, undocumented Americans are contributing $11.2 billion annually in tax revenue to the states and municipalities in which they reside. Read more: http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/unauthorized-immigrants-pay-taxes-too

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the Senate's immigration reform bill and stated quite clearly that immigration reform would contribute an additional $1 trillion in GDP growth over the next decade, an additional $1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next two decades. If you don't want 159,000 additional new jobs each and every year, Social Security to be restored, etc., you are free to do so. But there is no empirical (quantitative) evidence, or even peer-reviewed qualitative research, to justify the notion you've advanced that immigrants are a burden, and those who are currently undocumented -- 40% of whom entered the US and established residency here with documentation -- deserve to be eternally labeled as criminals and treated thusly.

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  • Unai Montes-Irueste commented on a link

    Why It's Up to Us to Change the Future For Undocumented Youth via magazine.good.is

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    Unai Montes-Irueste10 months ago

    Where to begin? Danny's parents are not criminals. They are documented US residents who would like to sponsor their son's Permanent Residency but are prevented from doing so by the broken system currently in place. Danny is an undocumented American. And that is -- to your point -- the most honest, forthright description one could possibly give for a young man who has lived twice as many years in the US, graduated from a US high school, and is pursuing a college degree as he is able to pay for one -- without access to any federally subsidized loans, and without being recognized on paper, as being exactly the same as any of his US born peers. Your claim that I am somehow lying about Danny in order to exploit him is laughable. I do not stand to gain professionally, financially, or in any other way by sharing his story -- other than in the way that we would all benefit should a path to citizenship be afforded to undocumented Americans like him. I would suggest that if you are concerned about racism you should question why it is that a family of high school dropouts from Belgium can achieve family reunification in the US in 3 years, while it takes a family of Filipino PhDs 23 years to do the same. The legacy of racial prejudice is connected to the immigration system in place in terms of enforcement as well. 85% of those who have been deported (400,000+ people every year over the course of the last four years) are from Latin American countries. But 85% of immigrants today are not from Latin America. In fact, for the last several years Asian immigrants have outnumbered those from any other region. Further, as I mentioned in a previous comment 40% of undocumented Americans entered and established residency with status, but have been unable to renew it. If the enforcement system were evenly applied, persons with visa overstays would make up a larger percentage of those who have been targeted for deportation. Last, and most certainly not least, we cannot ignore the history of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment, and the Repatriation programs targeting Mexican families in the 1930s and 1950s. Any person who is concerned with the notion of racial justice and the legacies of institutionalized prejudice should be given pause by the consistent "othering" that is applied to Latino as well as Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the US. Too many in the US look upon Latino and AAPI faces and automatically assume that these faces belong to immigrants, when Latino and AAPI Americans have been in the US since the beginning. One need only look up the Naturalization Act of 1790 in order to corroborate this fact. As we head toward 2050, the year in which people of color will outnumber whites in the US, it is important to think about what needs to be done to abandon the pitting of one group against another. The future is not a zero sum game, and we can afford everyone an excellent education, the opportunity to earn enough to provide for our families, and live in a society with institutions that reflect our diverse identities, and achieve gender parity. I would argue, that the belief in this possibility is, above all else, what makes Danny and DREAMers like him, as American as anyone could ever possibly be.

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  • Unai Montes-Irueste commented on a link

    Why It's Up to Us to Change the Future For Undocumented Youth via magazine.good.is

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    Unai Montes-Irueste10 months ago

    Undocumented Americans already pay federal, state, and local taxes. In 2010 alone, states and municipalities attributed $11.2 billion in tax revenue to their undocumented residents. In addition, your claim that immigrants are a drain on the economy and social services is factually false. Please review the CBO score of the bill currently before the Senate, or any other body of peer reviewed research. Immigrant Americans, including undocumented folks, put in more than they take out. As an example, even if all undocumented Americans were to become citizens, they would still receive 7% a year less in Social Security benefits than US born workers. Last, but most certainly not least, your statement "illegals are illegals," is both offensive and radically inaccurate. Re: offensiveness, here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmz9cCF0KNE Re: inaccuracy, 40% of undocumented Americans entered the US and established residency here with documentation, but have been unable to renew it because of the dysfunctional system currently in place. Here's a good example: http://youtu.be/gq7qxiufm4Q

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  • Unai Montes-Irueste shared a link

    Why It's Up to Us to Change the Future For Undocumented Youth via magazine.good.is

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  • Unai Montes-Irueste shared something to do

    Demand Congress Support Immigration Reform Now

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