Friday, November 25, 2011

Life in the "Golden Cage"

For many undocumented immigrants, life in America is a "Golden Cage"--full of prosperity and a better life, but without true freedom. As an undocumented immigrant, the threat of being found out by authorities is ever-present. Undocumented immigrants go to extreme lengths to protect themselves, making life a "prison" at times.

Recently, Carlo Alban came out and revealed that as a child actor on the TV show Sesame Street, he was actually without proper documentation. Coming from Ecuador, Carlo and his family were waiting to get their proper paperwork:

"The family had been working with a lawyer to earn their green cards, but the process was taking much longer than the four to five years they initially hoped, as changes in the law obliged them to resubmit forms and information. Throughout his tenure on the show, Carlo's immigration status continued to be an issue. When the cast was scheduled to appear in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, they had to provide their documentation to parade security. "I had to turn in a photocopy of my fake green card and for whatever reason, it had the wrong birthday on it," he says. "They knew me and they knew when my birthday was because I'd celebrated it on the set. I was terrified that someone was going to notice the date, get suspicious and start looking into things."No-one ever found out, but it was one of a series of close calls."

Luckily, Carlo has now received his green card and has a happy life in America: the perfect Hollywood ending. However, it makes you wonder whether there are other children who are not so lucky, children who could grow up and benefit America as a whole. 

What do you think? Is a right to immigration a human right? Carlo came from Ecuador, a relatively stable developing nation in South America. His family came to America not out of fear, but out of hope for a better life. Is it a human right to get to live in America, or should Carlo and his family have been thrown out had they been discovered to be illegal?

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