Friday, September 30, 2011

Common Sense in Immigration Law?

"Nadia Habib and her mother, Nazmin, had appeared before immigration officials Thursday with their passports and luggage ready to go after Nazmin Habib's illegal status caught up with them. Nadia, who has lived in the United States since she was 20 months old, had not realized that she was an illegal immigrant until she qualified for financial aid for college and was asked to produce identity papers."

-LA Times

Nadia Habib has lived as productive citizen in this country for almost twenty years. She does not remember being brought to this country, and knows almost nothing of her native Bangladesh, where she is to be sent. The only reason this is happening to Nadia at all is because she got into college. She learned of her illegal status when the financial aid office asked for identity papers.

We often see cases where illegals or legal permanent residents are deported because they have committed a crime. For better or worse we have decided that coming to America is a privilege and if you break the law you are no longer welcome. But Nadia broke no law, by all accounts she was doing exactly what we wish more of our young people were doing: succeeding and going to college.

Now luckily this is not an entirely tragic story. Their case is being reviewed, and there is a chance they will be allowed to stay. Also, this story is garnering national attention, which could be helpful for their case. But knowing how fickle Immigration courts are this is far from certain. By deporting Nadia and her mother we are breaking up a family and severely hampering a young student.

When will we come together and reform immigration law to include some common sense. Nadia played no part in bringing herself to this country illegally, she probably doesn't even remember the trip. She has lived as a law abiding citizen and is succeeding, isn't this exactly the type of person we want in this country? I only hope that some good can come out of this case in the form of attention and hopefully future legal status for Nadia and her mother.


1 comment:

Ross said...

This post sheds light upon some of the flaws in the immigration system. It really is a shame that this to-be student had to find out her illegal status while applying to college; which is supposed to be a happy time in one's life. Although this is obviously an unfortunate occurance, I do not know what the answer is. How could immigration law be "fixed" to prevent this from happening. The only solution, it seems, is to impose tougher sanctions to ensure that an illegal immigrant does not go undetected for so long. Or, perhaps there should be a time limit on how long the government has to find out, and then deport illegal immigrants. Definitely a difficult issue. Any other solutions?