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Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Chicago man fears deportation
One of the people I interviewed before today's immigration rally in Chicago is a man named Javier (he asked me not to use his last name). Javier says he could be deported back to Mexico at any time. It is stories like his that have protesters here demanding immigration reform.

"I cry every day," he told me.

Ten years ago, Javier says, his parents got into a bad car accident in Mexico. At the time, Javier was living in the United States and had applied for a green card. The rules of his application required him to stay in the United States. But Javier took the risk, went to Mexico to see his folks, and on the way back, as he tried to sneak across the border, he got caught.

Javier is married with three teenage kids. He says everyone in his family is a U.S. citizen, except him. He says he worries that sometime soon he will be forced to leave the United States, his home for the past 18 years.

"I'm not a criminal. I'm a father," he said, adding that he made one big mistake. "Only one. I don't know why no one gave me one chance, one opportunity for me, for my family."

Today, Javier says he'll march in Chicago with his wife and three kids. His hope is that he will somehow be able to find a path to citizenship and avoid having to move his family to Mexico.

-- By Keith Oppenheim, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 12:15 PM ET
  14 Comments
If Javier's wife is a citizen, she can Naturalize him. Why has she not done this in 18 years? Perhaps she's really not a citizen either? Instead of marching in Chicago, Javier and his family should march in Mexico and demand reform there. As a non-citizen marching here - it's just plain absurd and even more absurd that it's to demand citizenship.
Posted By Madeline, Costa Mesa, CA : 1:05 PM ET
So if "everyone" in his family is a US citizen then one of them can sponsor him.

The rules state that he was to stay in the US to get his green card, why is it so hard for some people to follow the rules?

Really, the poor me, make the rules different for me cr*p gets real old, real fast.

You want to get in follow the rules, have one of your family sponsor you and shut up about it. Geez I hate whining.
Posted By Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 1:07 PM ET
I feel sorry for Javier but when he left the States and went back to Mexico before he got his green card he knew the risks! He is illegal because of his own actions. Why hasn't he tried becoming a legal citizen in the past ten years!? Why cry about it now...
Posted By Cynthia, Covington, Ga. : 1:09 PM ET
Keith:

His story is compelling however he is here as in illegal. Javier should have applied for citizenship and became a citizen. Obviously he has work he and is making money. He should pay his fees and gain citizenship just like my grandparents did in the 30's.

Just a question, when Javier got caught when he came back across the border what punishment did he suffer from the US government?

I have read Lou Dobbs' book and I have to tell you, Keith, I am with Dobbs on this issue. Dobbs uses words Americans don't want to hear like ILLEGAL immigrants and COMMUNIST China.
Posted By Renee Bradenton, FL : 1:31 PM ET
~~Sniffle!~~ Pfffttt!! Pleeeezzz!! Spare me the violin and box of Kleenex! Illegal is exactly what it is--ILLEGAL. Cry me a river wider than the Rio Grande!!
Posted By Sam, Houston, TX : 1:44 PM ET
Boy, you CNN'ers really love to STIR THE POT on this blog with the ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT DEBATE-ISSUE. And you do so also on THE DAY OF THE MARCHES!! Makes for *lively debate*, eh?!? ;-) I LOVE IT!
Posted By Mark, Sacramento, CA : 1:46 PM ET
There is a process for people like him that have such emergencies. He chose to not follow the legal procedures and sneak back in. Too bad So sad.
Look, I waited 16 months for my wife's visa. 16 months!
To those ILLEGALS I say: "Go Home. Fill out the forms, Pay the fees, get in the back of the line and wait your turn!"
Posted By Bob Smith Dallas, TX : 3:07 PM ET
While this guy violated a rule to go back to Mexico and then sneak back, US citizens should examine why some rules, made in their name, are the way that they are. Some rules, like the no travel rule, date back to the 19th Century before automobiles and airplanes and modern business travel. Keeping them "just because" is not the right answer.
Posted By Gary Dee, Portland, Oregon : 3:11 PM ET
I have no synpathy for Javier. One of the "rules" of this country that attracts immigrants (legal and otherwise) is the rule of law. He chose to ignore it. Now he faces the consequences and it's way past time that he does!
Posted By Judy, Simi Valley, CA : 3:24 PM ET
I agree with one of Javier's comments, that "he is a father." His other comment "I am not a criminal" I disagree with. When he left this country to go back to Mexico he broke the rules requiring him to stay in the U.S. and thus he is a criminal. He is here ILLEGALLY. Can't people comprehend the word "illegal?"

If you break the law there will be consequences for your actions. Are we going to start having rallies for other criminals? Maybe we should have rallies for robbers who haven't been caught to give them amnesty. It's getting ridiculous.

I am sick and tired of hearing about all the sob stories in the news about families being broken up because the mother or father is being deported. It was the choice you made by coming into our country ILLEGALLY. It was the choice you made to start a family in the U.S. Choices you make have consequences, and sometimes those consequences are deportation and breaking up families.
Posted By Brad, Gurnee, IL : 3:38 PM ET
Illegal means illegal a violation of our laws. If people don't like the law have it changed but if you are violating the law now you are a criminal. Enter legally and there will not be a problem. Crying about how illegals are treated by the workforce is brought on themselves.
Posted By Herb - Cedar Falls, Iowa : 4:06 PM ET
I have no sympathy for this fellow or any of the millions here illegally. Back in the 70's I married overseas and had to jump through hoops before and after to get my bride in this country. No reason anyone coming here to forsake our laws and demand they become legal when in fact they know what they have done is not right. My personal feelings are the police and ICE ought to funnel these protestors into a confined area and check ID's and deport each and every undocumented person. They are here illegally and therefore have no right to protest anything much less our laws and government.
Posted By John aka NoFear,Phoenix Az : 4:29 PM ET
It amazes me how people use the words "it is the law of the United States!" In case you people have forgot or have tried to forget, the racism that existed in the 60's against African Americans, segreagation, was also a law. A law that was practiced all over the US. It was once illegal to even sit in the same seats as "white" people. However, just because it was a law, it did not mean it was correct. Therefore, the fact that it is a law that Illegal immigrants not come to the US, it does not mean it is correct!
Posted By Lindsay Tobon, Los Angeles CA : 1:17 AM ET
Javier, I'd like to introduce you to John (I also won't use his last name). John started out 25 years ago as a high rise window washer making $20 hr. Soon John married, had two children and bought a home. His salary rose to $35 hr and he was laid off because illegal aliens drove the wage down to $10 hr. John couldn't find a replacement job for over $10 hr, and his wife had to get a full time job so they wouldn't lose their home. John and his wife are 45 years old, they have no pension, they have no money to send their kids to college. John and his wife are working at $15-$20 hr and they have no health insurance. Javier, what do you have to say to John and his wife about the fairness of what happened to them? Do you feel that you are more deserving than they are? Why?
Posted By Cheryl from Los Angeles, CA : 6:23 PM ET
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