Skip to comments.Opinion by Ernesto Portillo Jr. : Deportation stirs backlash
Posted on 11/07/2007 4:23:40 PM PST by SandRat
Dozens of immigrant students took to Tucson streets with a peaceful message Tuesday.
"We're students, not criminals," said Erick Quintero, a 15-year-old sophomore at Catalina Magnet High School and one of the marchers.
About 100 bold young people marched some five miles from Midtown's Catalina Magnet High School to police headquarters Downtown.
Reminiscent of the mass protests last year over immigration reform, the students Tuesday hoped to convey unified opposition to the recent deporting of a classmate and his family.
The deportation started when school officials say they found marijuana on an undocumented student. It ended with the boy, his younger brother and both parents being sent to Mexico.
Quintero and the other student marchers are right to be upset. Schools in our community should be places where youngsters feel safe, regardless of their legal status.
But in today's hyper-charged environment there is no rest for undocumented immigrants. Bashing illegal immigrants has become a national sporting pastime.
The vilification of undocumented immigrants propels people to elected office. It garners high ratings for ranting hosts on cable television and hate radio.
Without a comprehensive immigration policy, there's a green light for this to continue. There is no real accountability for raiding workplaces, homes and neighborhoods in search of America's pariah.
Schools, where students supposedly learn about civil rights and due process, are not outside the reach of Homeland Security's long, snaking arm.
But there was an understanding that it was not good for cops and immigration officers to be yanking kids from schools.
In last week's incident, immigration agents were called to Catalina High when a 17-year-old student was found with a small amount of pot. His parents were called, as they should be.
But when they couldn't produce a driver's license, they admitted they were undocumented. Should legal status matter in what is a rather routine occurrence at our high schools? No.
Yet police summoned federal immigration agents who apprehended the parents and child, then went to nearby Doolen Middle School to round up a younger sibling.
Human rights be damned.
Undocumented immigrants, the bulk of whom keep our economy running, are being chased further underground by heavy-handed incidents like this.
Some at the march said they worried smaller schoolyard infractions, like ditching or fighting, could result in their families being deported.
The students said they are tired of being made to feel unwanted and treated with naked disdain.
"How do they want us to feel secure and to participate in school if the Border Patrol can come in?" asked sophomore Brianda Quintero, 15, no relation to Erick Quintero.
The hard hammer on undocumented immigrants is a sweet sound to some folks who dream of a United States that never was empty of illegal migrant workers. While the incessant pounding is chasing some undocumented immigrants out of the country, it is doing something else.
It is pushing more people into the shadows of our society where there are no clinics, no parks, no schools. And where police can't even be trusted.
But it is also invigorating undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants across the country. Emboldened and threatened, they are organizing and protesting.
"We're doing something positive, something valuable. We're showing other students to stand up for what is right," said Daninza Bautista, a 15-year-old sophomore.
Listen to what the students are saying.
"They can't deport us all," Jorge Guerrero said defiantly. "How can you take out 12 million people?"
Sadly, we can.
But at what cost, both in human dignity and dollars?
This is the question the students ask.
Thankfully, by the end of the day police and school officials agreed that cops shouldn't be called to schools.
But the young marchers fear, like I do, that we are headed into a black hole where the power of vitriol fuels a lust to target a specific group of people.
As we seep into that abyss absent of decency and humanity, Tucson's immigrant students will likely march again in hopes of being heard over the hate-filled clamor. They should.
● This column is dedicated to the living spirit of Lorraine Lee, my Tucson heroine, who died Oct. 31. She bravely fought her cancer with grace all the while she continued to speak for those who don't have a voice. $2 7-day delivery - Subscribe to the Arizona Daily Star
About 100 Catalina Magnet High School students march on Main Avenue toward the Evo A. DeConcini U.S. Courthouse on West Congress Street to protest the deportation of an undocumented student, his younger brother and his parents last week. The deportation came after school officials said they found marijuana on the student. Mamta Popat / arizona daily
2nd of 2 stories
This guy knows all the lies and BS of an open borders Marxist.
“They can’t deport us all.” Well, yes, “they” could. If there were the political will. So far it’s been lacking. But nonsense like this could trigger a backlash that might strengthen the spine of Republicans. We know democrats don’t want secure borders.
It goes on and on...
IT's all a bunch of
Mexico has first class universities and other schools. My company has several Chem Engineers who are excellent. Go there...
Does the sign in the middle say no Burritos? I’m dieing here.
Where TF is the barf alert? Tell ya what, kids...when your country to which you pledge greater alliegance opens THEIR southern borders, then you can speak.
(from one sign above) “No illegal No burritos”...that’s a deal I would gladly take.
“But when they couldn’t produce a driver’s license, they admitted they were undocumented. Should legal status matter in what is a rather routine occurrence at our high schools? No.”
Ummm YES! I have had to show my license to get into my sons school. I guess now all I have to say is I am illegal and I can get in? More destruction by bit to our national security.
“How do they want us to feel secure and to participate in school if the Border Patrol can come in?” asked sophomore Brianda Quintero, 15, no relation to Erick Quintero.”
How? Well going back to your own country where you could feel secure and participate all you want with no Border Patrol coming in might work. You should not feel secure here if you are here ILLEGALLY!!!!!
They can’t deport us all,” Jorge Guerrero said defiantly. “How can you take out 12 million people?”
Sadly, we can.
No not sadly...proudly we can. If you want to live here and respect this country start off by respecting its laws. And being here ILLEGALLY just doesnt show that. Dont want to do that? Then expect not to feel secure.
Is the author of this claptrap a regular columnist?
It certainly isn’t objective reporting.His last name and his hysterical writing are revealing his biases.
I loved the line about students “should feel safe” when in school.
That’s why the undocumented kid with the pot was caught and deported, so the others could “feel safe” feom drugs.
Did this march take place during school hours?
If so, I have a “bold” idea for these youngsters.....
This is only going to get worse because the Fed has an open border policy. Its only a matter of time before arrogant, in your face illegals completely take over the entire Southwest.
They will be led by the President of Mexico, Senor Jorge Bush.
You have every right to participate in any high school in Mexico. When you get home, check the local register to see which school you will be attending after you are returned to your country of origin.
I’m not sure what it says other than he needs a Drafting Class to learn how to do lettering.
Ernie Portillo Jr ALWAYS writes for the open borders bleeding hearts, ALWAYS.
60 miles north of the border and US citizens are paying for the education off illegal immigrants kids. Meanwhile the education of all others is hamstrung due to lack of resources. Hey Ernie, did you interview any of the kids who couldn’t take advanced math or science classes because the budget was blown teaching English to foreigners?
Y’OK...WHERE’S THE BARF ALERT????
Is this kid from the other story a relative of the author of this one?
“We’re mad because immigration came into our school,” said 16-year-old MARIO PORTILLO, one of the protesting students. “The kid broke the law. He was wrong. This isn’t about him.”
But it is also invigorating undocumented immigrants and LEGAL IMMIGRANTS across the country. Emboldened and threatened, they are organizing and protesting.”
REAL IMMIGRANTS are not protesting across the country...REAL immigrants want the illegal aliens gone, deported...
This has MOTHING to do woith immigration...and everything to do with the rule of law...
ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE ANTI-IMMIGRATION
It certainly isnt objective reporting. His last name and his hysterical writing are revealing his biases.
I loved the line about students should feel safe when in school.
Thats why the undocumented kid with the pot was caught and deported, so the others could feel safe from drugs.
Did this march take place during school hours?
If so, I have a bold idea for these youngsters.....
As do many I would hazard to guess.
If those kids were out of school while school was in session? Every last one should’ve been detained, had THEIR immigration status and the immigration status of their parents checked, and if they were illegal, their asses (the ENTIRE FAMILY) should have been on a southbound bus for Meheeco that night.
Maybe we can’t “deport you all,” Pedro, but we had a great shot to deport YOU.