One of the other hot items of debate last week, and this week, is immigration reform. I’ve already commented on the need for legislation that facilitates, not retard, the development of the I-Cubed Economy. A story in today’s Washington Examiner – “Woman works to keep others in the U.S., even if she has to leave” reinforces that need:
Immigration reform might not occur in time to prevent Marie Gonzalez from being deported, but she hopes to convince lawmakers that they can save other undocumented students who have grown up in the United States.
Gonzalez, 20, a freshman at Westminster College in Missouri, will be one of about 100 students who will lobby members of Congress today and try to put a face on the immigration issue that has divided the country.
The Senate is debating a bill that would give some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants here a chance to become U.S. citizens, while the House passed a version that would make felons of them.
Gonzalez immigrated to America legally at age 5, but her family’s visas ran out while they thought they were in the process of becoming citizens, she said. She’s scheduled to be deported to Costa Rica six weeks from now. Her parents were deported in July after opening a restaurant in Jefferson City, Mo., and living in the U.S. for 14 years.
“It’s been tough seeing them start over, seeing them sacrifice what they had come to this country for,” said Gonzalez, who was named a Woman of the Year by Latina magazine in 2004.
Even if Congress passes a law to give citizenship to illegal immigrants who have lived here for longer than five years, the law likely won’t be enacted by July 1, Gonzalez’s deportation date, she said. She is trying to get an extension. If she is deported, she said, she will be barred from returning for 10 years.
Let me see if I got this right:
• entered the country legally?
• parents owned and operated a small business – and were then deported?
• Women of the Year?
• barred from returning for 10 years?
And we are trying to compete in a global economy where one of the key factors is talent????
Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot.