Skip to comments.Star student faces deportation
Posted on 04/14/2009 10:47:12 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd
In elementary school, Benita Veliz dreaded substitute teachers. Her classmates would act up and the sub would threaten to call the principal, a prospect so upsetting to Veliz that her regular teacher began placing her in a colleagues classroom on days the teacher could not make it to class.
Imagine how Veliz, now 23, reacted this January when she was thrown in jail after a traffic stop because she is an unauthorized immigrant.
To go from that to being in jail was surreal, Veliz said, tears welling in her eyes.
Velizs parents brought her across the border when she was 8 years old. She worked doggedly in school, graduating valedictorian of her class at Jefferson High School in 2002 and later from St. Marys University. She works as a secretary for a church and dreams of going to law school.
However, if Congress doesnt change immigration laws, Veliz most likely will be deported to Mexico. She has an immigration hearing scheduled in June.
Like the estimated 65,000 unauthorized immigrants who graduate from U.S. high schools each year, Veliz has pinned her hopes for the future on the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a path to citizenship for children brought here by their parents before age 16.
Under the act, immigrants must serve in the military or earn a college degree to stay permanently. After failures in past years, lawmakers reintroduced the bill last month.
With a Democratic-controlled Congress and a supportive president, advocates say the stars could align this year.
The (presidential) election was a real game changer on this, said Paco Fabian, a spokesman for Americas Voice, a campaign for comprehensive immigration reform.
As in years past, the DREAM Act will face opposition from groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform. According to director Ira Mehlman, the act creates an incentive for parents to break the law. Children must pay for their parents actions, he said.
It isnt fair, but it is the parents who created the situation, Mehlman said.
Giving up isnt in Velizs vocabulary.
You dont have to accept that, Veliz said. You can make a conscious decision to fight for justice.
The consequences of Velizs status didnt hit until high school, when her friends began getting drivers licenses and jobs at McDonalds. She realized her college dreams were imperiled because she wasnt eligible for federal financial aid.
People have said she should have gone back to Mexico and applied for residency.
At 14, was I going to drive over to Mexico? And do what? Stay with who? Veliz said.
The last time she visited relatives in Mexico, she was 6. They had no electricity or running water, and she rode a donkey to reach the remote outpost.
Instead, Veliz worked feverishly to pack her resume with achievements, from joining Future Farmers of America to performing in the class musical.
Claiming shes not naturally smart, Veliz took the hardest classes at Jefferson, getting to school early and staying late for extra tutoring. She didnt like to hear other kids make excuses Im poor, Im not good at school, my dad is an alcoholic.
Whatever, whatever, whatever, Veliz said. Im going to overcome it.
A testament to her tenacity, Veliz did all this with a tumor growing silently in her nose, making her persistently sick with what doctors told her was allergies.
When doctors finally diagnosed and removed the benign tumor, Veliz realized she had been breathing through her mouth for five years.
Her hard work paid off with a full scholarship to St. Marys University. But after graduation, her options were limited.
In January, a police officer stopped her for rolling through a stop sign. Veliz didnt have a drivers license or residency documents, and the officer handcuffed her and turned her over to immigration officials.
Veliz assumed she would find a legal avenue to stay, but a lawyer quickly dashed her hopes.
She told me there was nothing I could do. I had images of being thrown out of a van in Mexico, Veliz said.
Thats when Veliz decided to go public.
Her story appeared in a New York Times column, and her friends started a Facebook group called Dont Deport Benita Veliz. Several television stations picked up on the story and in a couple of weeks, she is scheduled to appear on a national Spanish language show called Al Punto with Jorge Ramos.
On her way to becoming the national poster child for the DREAM Act, Veliz has mixed feelings about the publicity.
Its not about Benita Veliz getting deported, she said. Its about kids all across the nation in this situation who are not free to speak out. Its wasted potential.
More than anything, Veliz just wants to work. And pay taxes.
I want to give back, Veliz said. By deporting me, I will never have that opportunity.
This article assumes that Mexico has no need for educated people.
What an insult to millions of Mexicans.
What do you expect? This entire article is an insult.
Translation: I don't want to get diahrrea everytime I drink out of the faucet.
But first pay us back for all free services received.
I imagine she felt like the illegal immigrant that she is. I hate these "boo-hoo, pity-me" stories. The fact remains that she and her parents broke the law and they should be sent back to where they came from.
I found myself reading and saying, “so what?”.
In the end she runs a stop sign, no drivers license, no ‘papers’.
Thank God she didn’t kill anyone.
Send her home, make sure her parents are there to greet her.
Ms. Veliz can go back to her country, and then if she feels the need, she can get in line to legally enter the US.
Since her parents are the real law breakers, I think Ms. Veliz should be allowed to apply to enter the country.
Certainly such a bright girl can understand the law, and the need to enforce laws.
I do not want to pay for these people’s endless benefits. My property taxes are sky high because illegal alien children are getting $10,000 per year per child free education in public schools. Yeah it is $10,000.
The food stamps, free health care and endless other benefits are why YOUR taxes are so high.
Why did she drive without a license? I suppose that driver licenses are only for legal residents. Illegal aliens get a free pass.
“In January, a police officer stopped her for rolling through a stop sign. Veliz didnt have a drivers license or residency documents, and the officer handcuffed her and turned her over to immigration officials.”
Here illegally, now driving without a license? Not a real sympathic figure, IMO.
You can’t blame an eight-year-old for coming here illegally. But you can blame her parents for bringing her, and the politicians and school authorities for winking at it all those long years.
Mexico is rich with natural resources. They have their fair share of billionaires. There’s no reason they can’t have a prosperous and happy country of their own, if they just straighten out their broken culture and politics. We are doing them no favors by hiring them on as cheap illegal labor in this country and actually encouraging them to break the law.
The MSM can be expected to play their part in advancing BO’s agenda by ramping-up illegal alien sob stories, much the same as they’re doing with their hyperdrive coverage of shootings and the “character” of those who own and use firearms. They are literally the propaganda wing of this country’s radical left.
Driving without a license?
Did she think she’d never get stopped?
And she was here illegally the whole time sheltered by the school system?
good. now she can be a “star deportee”.
I do not want to pay for these peoples endless benefits. My property taxes are sky high because illegal alien children are getting $10,000 per year per child free education in public schools. Yeah it is $10,000.
The food stamps, free health care and endless other benefits are why YOUR taxes are so high.
Drop in the bucket.
Can you just imagine what it costs to provide FREE MEDICAL CARE for illegals?
From the time they are born in the (Free) County hospital, to the time they recieve (Free) routine medical care in your local ER, and finally leading up to the the time Uncle Sam pays for their (Free) Medicare benefits as they grow old and die.
You can blame a lawsuit entitled Plyler vs Doe, brought by a South African named Peter Schey who has been the brains behind a number of similar lawsuits, for her continued presence in this country, and the taxpayer burden her education represents. The reason Mexico’s development has been stunted, to a great extent, is that there is no rule of law there. They come here and bring that entire mindset about the law with them, to our distinct disadvantage. And we let them. I hope they deport her, but there is no reason why she can’t apply for legal entry.
If she’s got brains she’ll figure out a way to return in a legal manner. If not....HOLLA!
Hey! Unauthorized Immigrant? That’s a new one!
Pay your taxes or we’ll hunt your asses to the ends of the Earth.
Come in illegally and it’s no big deal....
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