HHS grad to be deported

Brent Finnegan -- June 13th, 2009

There’s a story in today’s DNR about Maria Martinez; a 19 year-old who graduates from HHS today, only to be deported to El Salvador later this summer for living in the U.S. without authorization.

Maria’s mother was legal and so were her half brothers and sisters who were born here. So, in 2006, as a 16-year-old, Maria applied for citizenship. Her mother admits some regret now for that decision. Maria was denied and, by applying, the U.S. government knew, officially, she was here illegally.

On her 18th birthday, she would need to return to her grandmother’s home in El Salvador, or immigration officials would force her to leave the country. Read the full story.

73 Responses to “HHS grad to be deported”

  1. JGFitzgerald says:


    Read a book.

  2. eso says:

    ‘Illegal’ is used correctly in one of its widespread, common usages. It usage highlights that I don’t see any “brokenness/shortcomings of current laws”, only their enforcement. I also use it because it has the added bonus of making some people here wet their bed! ;)

    Truthfully, there are a lot of other people I would like to see deported much more than this girl. If it is the girl I’m thinking of at the library, she seemed very nice. But I don’t think it can be, because that was a number of years ago.

    These difficult cases are what results when you don’t do anything to enforce the border. The adults entering either bring their minor children over also, or pop out some children here.

    My original question was, can a person enter illegally, remain here illegally for a number of years, work here illegally, then successfully apply for citizenship or residency while present illegally here? To keep it simple, assume they were an adult when they entered. That was what the newspaper article seems to imply about her mother. In the absence of political refuges, etc, I find that policy vile and sick.

  3. JGFitzgerald says:

    “Vile and sick”? The opinion, over-the-top though it may be, isn’t relevant unless the policy exists. Would it not make more sense – if information rather than accusation is your goal – to look up what the law is and then comment on it, as opposed to posting an opinion of a law that may or may not exist?

  4. Delataire says:

    Joe, there is a law and you very well know it. I am more than certain that you have read over it before. Stop playing the denial game. It is pathetic.

    Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, “Improper Entry by Alien,” any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

    Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or

    Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or

    Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact;
    has committed a federal crime.

    Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.


    Instead of asking for a special exemption and pity party, perhaps Maria and her parents should be grateful that the human traffickers they paid to smuggle Maria here did not do something “vile and sick” to her.

    Like it or not Joey, everyone is treated equally under the law. You cannot pick and choose who to punish and who not to punish. Break a law, be caught, you suffer the consequences.

    Give me one legit reason as to why Maria’s parents had to smuggle her here rather than going through the immigration process.

  5. David Miller says:

    May I repeat, we’re talking about the policy’s lack of humanity, not whether or not someone broke said inhumane law. At least that’s what we should be talking about. You’re just bickering and it’s boring. We understand that don’t give two shits about other people. What else would you like to prove in this online forum?

  6. Delataire says:

    Inhumane? How is this law inhumane? Is it the deportation? If that’s the case then where do you draw the line? There are many crimes for which the punishment may be a separation from one’s family for a period of time. Maria’s family can go with her, they can visit. It’s not permanent.

    As I said before, I hold Maria’s parents responsible. Yet no one has cared to provide me one valid reason as to why Maria’s parents chose to smuggle her here rather than using the immigration system.

  7. David Miller says:

    Good, see that is a question. Thank you, I will get back with you in the morning

  8. eso says:

    My opinion was stated as an conditional statement, ie if that is the case then this is true. Based on the imprecise reporting of the DNR. I think it would be a Bad Thing to allow an adult to invade and colonize our country, then to allow them to use the legal processes they had ignored before to become part of that country. I know most of you disagree and want to allow anybody and everybody to enter. Which is why you don’t like my comment.

    The NYT blog says the Mother has temporary protected status. The US web site says that status is for, “who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country…” Since it is now apparently safe enough for the daughter to return, why can’t the Mother and other non-citizen family be deported now also? It would keep part of the family together.

  9. David Miller says:

    It is inhumane to label families fleeing EXTREME POVERTY as criminals
    “El Salvador eliminated its currency, the colón, and adopted the U.S. dollar in 2001. About a quarter of the population live on less than US$ 2 a day” from Wikipedia.

    It is inhumane to allow the free and open exchange of goods and capital without also allowing for the same in human travel. “There are 15 free trade zones in El Salvador. The largest beneficiary has been the maquila industry, which provides 88,700 jobs directly, and consists primarily of supplying labor for the cutting and assembling of clothes for export to the United States”. By allowing this one way flow of US interest trade to flourish, our trade and immigration policies expand global poverty.

    So my mini thesis is as follows. It is at best unjust to demonize and criminalize individuals seeking the very same economic benefits that international corporations already enjoy. It is unjust to ignore the inequities in our trade policies, unjust to point the finger at the poor and declare them unworthy of the luxuries in trade we allow business to enjoy and prosper from.

  10. Justin C says:

    The central issue seems to always come back to the use of legal immigration. Delataire continues to ask why the parents didn’t use the immigration system and to beat the drum of Law.

    The question each person should ask in their hearts is, if another individual not born in this country would prefer to come here, pay taxes, not break the law, and live a life of God/Nature (your choice) given freedom should they be allowed to?

    I would really like to see Delataire’s answer because it could get us somewhere.

    So temporarily discount people who want to use our sub-par health infrastructure, our good schools, or our other public facilities. We’re counting only those trying to get away from horrible conditions and come to a place where they can contribute.

    If we say that type of person should be allowed, then we need a reform to our system because currently that person is denied legal entrance MOST of the time (don’t have the figure on me). This reform will need some kind of limits, and some circumstances where legal immigration is denied, but legal immigration is AVAILABLE for those who will earn it.

    If someone feels that STILL that person should not be allowed in then the discussion is completely different. Plus, that person might want to trace their family tree.

  11. Delataire says:

    A comrade of mine, while overseas met and fell in love with a girl. He married her. Then when they decided to return to the US, his new wife was denied. The reason was that when she was 15 years old she had been arrested for having a joint. (With our student population I must wonder how often this happens in any given month?)

    In order to come here, she had to report monthly to the nearest consult proving that she had not been arrested or charged with a crime for a period of 10 years.

    In the end, they decided to stay overseas, their children are dual citizens, and are doing well.

    That is the law, like it or not, think it’s draconian or not, you have to accept it as is, or work to change it. You cannot make exceptions for anyone, for if you do, you open the pandora box of having people scream and cry “favoritism, racism, and all the other colourful words one might use.”

    To address Justin’s question, we have to have an immigration process to make sure that the people coming here are not murderers, thieves, rapists, and other undesirables. Unfortunately this is a lengthly process. However if people wait patiently they can earn their way in.

    The illegal aliens apparently do not the patience to do so. What offends others and I is that many of them display a wanton disregard for our borders, internationally recognized points of entry, laws. They expect to have special rights and priviledges above and beyond what a citizen or legal immigrant has. Ask a Philapino who joined our military, served honorably, then worked for 16 years to bring his family here legally, how he feels about a person who thinks it’s their right to simply walk across the border?

    What can be done to speed up the review and background checks of applicants seeking to immigrate? Perhaps forgiving minor transgressions and trusting that our allies have already punished people through their courts? How about tossing out the Hart Cellar act and setting a limit of X amount of persons per country, with the exception of those who voluntarily join our military or have remarkable skills

  12. eso says:

    It may politically incorrect to label those fleeing extreme poverty and entering out country illegally as criminals, but it is correct. There are ~6.5 million people in El Salvador and ~ 110 million people in Mexico. Many / Most of them live in what Americans would call a state of poverty. How many of those are we going to let in? Who will we disallow and why?

    We need an orderly immigration policy that limits the number of immigrants allow in to the number of ones we can handle without taxing our systems and changing the nature of our country. We may have that but we don’t enforce that.
    Poverty has never been a controlling factor in immigration. Simply put, this country has a higher standard of living than most any other country. Certainly more than any of the other countries in the Americas. If we let people in for poverty, there will be no end to the end of the people. Period. Most of the Central and South Americas. China’s standard of living is rising, but it is nowhere near ours in the countryside. That’s a good portion of a billion people right there. How many in India? And …
    While it is a feel good idea, it hasn’t been thought through and is impossible on a practical level. Simply put, immigration needs to be controlled by this country. And not by whoever wants to put their needs in front of ours. I understand why they do it, but that doesn’t mean we need to allow it.

  13. Justin C says:

    It’s amazing how history can completely be thrown to the wind. This country has had better living conditions than it’s neighbors for a long time. The potato famine sent massive amounts of immigrants to this country and a lot of protectionists complained about how it would destroy the country. Instead it was a massive boom to our country, receiving so many people who are so ready for a better life can be a huge positive. Transition periods occur and the culture of the country changes, but that also makes us stronger.

    Delataire and eso I hear you that you want a way for immigrants to come in, but I don’t entirely believe you because of your conditions. The reality is every Central American is not going to come flooding into our country if given a legal and legitimate way to enter. People against immigration make it sound like a walk in the park to get here. Imagine escaping all the crap going on in Honduras to walk all the way to Texas, all the hardships and dangers it entails, then pay the hundreds of thousands you have saved for years just to get in.

    If we give these people who are willing to sacrifice SO MUCH a way to legally get in, THEY WILL TAKE IT. The ones who still sneak in, they are your criminals! When there is no true legitimate way to get into the country, it is not accurate to label them criminals.

    If there are two things this country stands for it’s challenging bad laws and supporting the right of every human on this planet to work towards the life they want.

  14. David Miller says:

    But Justin, we can’t do that without “changing the nature of our country”. Change is scary. Good points, I was going to bring up the potato famine till i scrolled down and discovered you were on top of it already

    Eso, what is the nature of our country, just for clarity?

  15. Delataire says:


    Justin watch the above video. Why not help those poor people improve their lives by improving their own countries, instead of bringing them here?

    Funny thing is that for every picture of a poor Latin American neighborhood, I can show you a picture of a neighborhood that is just as poor here in the US, and likewise, for every rich neighborhood in the US, I can show you one in Latin America.

    Latin Americans can be just as wealthy as you or I, if they would fix the problems in their countries.

  16. David Miller says:

    Yeah, it’d be a lot better if they would just stop being so poor

  17. eso says:

    Justin: I’m not opposed to a small number of immigrants coming in. Say upper thousands to low 10s of thousands per year from Mexico and Central and South America.

    Which of the ~ 110 million from Mexico alone would you deny? Do you expect them to abide by our decision? If there the legal process to come here that is difficult, they will continue to come here criminally as they do now.

  18. eso says:

    David Miller: The rise of Spanish (or any other language) as a rival to English in the United States for one thing. It is a good thing to be able to travel from one side of the country to the other and talk to virtually any one. Look at all the problems Europe has trying to stick together as a unified body resulting from language alone.

    Corruption. Valuing early, large families over delaying them for education.

  19. JGFitzgerald says:


    That’s the whole problem with poor people. Probably why that guy said they’d always be with us.

  20. Renee says:

    “Look at all the problems Europe has trying to stick together as a unified body resulting from language alone.” Really?

    Anyway, I don’t think anyone would argue that immigrants to the US shouldn’t learn functional English. But language isn’t the problem here, the huge number of illegal immigrants that are not educated and not integrated into our society and driving without insurance or licenses (because they have to hide out because they are illegal) is the problem.

    I really believe if we made it easier for people to LEGALLY live and work in our country, that they would be more likely to learn English and get educated and get better jobs and have more money to pay for services and raise their children, and wouldn’t have to hide out – so they could get driver’s licenses and the government would be aware of them.

    It’s because of our broken system that so many people sneak in and hide out. No one wants that, so let’s fix it so there are fewer illegal immigrants and more legal ones contributing to society, buying things, paying taxes, etc.

  21. Renee says:

    “Latin Americans can be just as wealthy as you or I, if they would fix the problems in their countries.”

    Typically, the people with the money (often gained by corruption) don’t feel the need to “fix” their country, and the people without money have little power to do so. I agree that helping other countries solve their economic problems would reduce the need for people to immigrate to the US, but there is a big difference between the “people” and the “government” in most poor countries.

    “Funny thing is that for every picture of a poor Latin American neighborhood, I can show you a picture of a neighborhood that is just as poor here in the US, and likewise, for every rich neighborhood in the US, I can show you one in Latin America.”

    It’s not the number of rich/poor neighborhoods that matters, it’s the average income of each. If you take 10 rich neighborhoods and 10 poor in the US, and the same in a 3rd world country, I’d bet that the gap between their average incomes is MUCH larger in the 3rd world country, or at least that the poor neighborhoods have a much lower average income there than here.

  22. Renee says:

    Also, there are a lot fewer opportunities for “moving up” in other countries than there are here.

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