Again, Times Writes About Isenberg's Efforts to Help a Student Here Illegally Live the Dream

Categories: Immigration
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Photo by Mark Graham
Ralph Isenberg
By now you're likely well aware of Ralph Isenberg's ongoing efforts to bring Saad Nabeel back to North Texas, after the the 20-year-old Frisco Liberty High grad was sent to Bangladesh last year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials -- after Saad's parents' application for political asylum was denied and their application for resident status stalled out. But Nabeel's case is not the only one on Isenberg's to-do list.

The former City Plan Commissioner has also been working with 20-year-old Olga Zanella of Irving, a college student who, ever since her parents brought her and her siblings up from Mexico 15 years ago, has been living in the U.S. illegally. ICE has been trying to deport Olga for the past two years -- after Irving police pulled her over, discovered she didn't have a driver's license and turned her over to immigration authorities.

Yet again, The New York Times takes note of Isenberg's efforts to help college students here illegally live the American Dream -- or, at least, the Dream Act, legislation that would have protected college students from deportation had it not stalled out late last year. Zanella, for now, will not be deported: Earlier this week she and her family met with Dallas ICE officials, who, per Julia Preston's piece this morning, told Olga she could remain in this country "if she stayed in school and out of trouble." Her family is also trying to gain legal immigration status. Says Olga, "It's better than being in the shadows."

Writes Preston:
The about-face by ICE in Ms. Zanella's case is an example of the kind of action Democratic lawmakers and Latino and immigrant groups have been demanding from the Obama administration to slow deportations of illegal immigrants who have not been convicted of crimes. In particular, pressure is increasing on President Obama to offer protection from deportation to illegal immigrant college students who might have been eligible for legal status under a bill in Congress known as the Dream Act.

In an April 13 letter, the top two Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid of Nevada and Richard Durbin of Illinois, asked the president to suspend deportations for those students. But short of that, the senators asked Mr. Obama to set guidelines by which those students could come forward individually to ask to be spared deportation and to obtain some authorization to remain in the United States. The letter was signed by 20 other Senate Democrats. The Dream Act passed the House but failed in the Senate in December.

Homeland Security officials have said their focus is increasingly on removing immigrants who are convicted criminals. That, in fact, is what an ICE official told Ms. Zanella in explaining the new decision in her case.

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11 comments
RTGolden
RTGolden

Hasn't Ms. Zanella a criminal record now? Driving without a license is illegal, which makes it a crime. The democrats, Latino and immigration groups need to realize this. While the degree of her crime might not warrant removing her from the country, it is still a crime. (Not to mention the crime of being here illegally in the first place).Perhaps the liberal groups would gain more traction if they would stop being so disingenuous. Perhpas not. Conservatives could benefit from the same. The whole thing fills me with inchoate emotions and a desire for lunch.

Jay
Jay

Hard cases make bad law. The law requires that these people return to their home countries.Allowing them to stay is nothing more than pandering and posturing for the 2012 elections. I watched the wfaa interview of Ms Zanella's father last night. 15 years in the US and he still can't speak any English.

Mere Muleskinner
Mere Muleskinner

The rule of law is subservient to feel good politically motivated anecdotal instances that conflict with the reality that an open border is not a practical reality.

By all means, let the players game the system for their own means.

Dasdad
Dasdad

The Nabeels stole residency. The Zanellas stole residency. Deport immediately. The 'childen' cannot keep stolen goods.

There are many all over the world, waiting years, for legal entry into the USA. They diserve consideration long before these criminals.

rubbercow
rubbercow

You touch on something that is notable: Both parties would get more traction if they would stop behaving like children. One group acts as if there is nothing wrong with being in the country illegally and breaking a huge number of laws while present (driving, fraud, no insurance, identity theft, tax evasion, etc.) and the other acts as if those here illegally are all (100% of them) people who would murder you in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.

Of course, neither view is reasonable. The "Hispanic" or "Latino" community would go very far by avoiding those amongst them that give the impression of hostility towards this country (or at least the "Anglos" in it). If they would like to be a part of our society/culture that is fantastic. If they would like to replicate their society/culture here, that is an entirely different story and I think that should be part of the debate.

By the way, I realize that I am just some jackass posting a comment on a website.....

rubbercow
rubbercow

Many would accuse you of being a culturist at best and a racist at worse for even considering that a person who has lived in a foreign land (legally or illegally) for 15 years should be able to speak the language of his/her host nation at least a little bit.

With respect to pandering: This is something both parties do, and have done in the past, trying to capture this potential vote. It is cynicism at its worst and shouldn't be tolerated, but of course it is because it would take some effort on the part of the citizenry to change it (i.e. not going to happen).

At some point, the country is going to have to come to grips with the monster it has created. There will be plenty of folks who will cry foul (and racism and oppression and class warfare and whatever other perceived slight they can think of) to browbeat those who would just like to see the law followed. I don't really give a shit where anyone is from, what their color is, who or what they like to sleep with, what their cultural heritage is or anything else. What I do care about is that those who come here acknowledge that it is at least ok to admit that the reason they are here is because it is a better place than where they are from and stop crying about trying to instantaneously grab what others have worked hard for.

Guest
Guest

If NY-born Texas Rep. Leo Berman gets his way, a lot of people who were born in Texas will also be deported (he says that an official, state-issued long form birth certificate that says "Certificate of Birth" across the top is not legitimate, meaning anyone born in Texas while the state puts "Certificate of Birth" on their long form birth certificates is illegitimate and should be deported, including my father - born in Dallas - me - born in San Antonio - and my children - born in Amarillo, Fort Worth, Plano and Allen, respectively).

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I guess the "trick" here is how do you show criminal intent on the part of 3 year olds and 5 year olds?

Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand

The parents had criminal intent. They are responsible for the situation, not the USA. That the kids were unaware does not allow them keep this stolen residency.

And now that they older than 17, these 'kids' can be held fully reponsible for continuing to harbor these stolen wares. That choice makes them criminals.

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