Pedro Ramirez, You Make Me Proud

From my earlier post on Moscow’s Vision 2020, November 18, 2010

Courtesy of today’s (November 18, 2010) Spokesman-Review.
>
> ———————————————————
>
> Student leader is illegal immigrant
> Recently upheld law permits enrollment
>
> FRESNO, Calif. – The popular student body president at California State
> University, Fresno has publicly revealed a personal detail he long sought
> to keep secret: He is an illegal immigrant.
>
> Pedro Ramirez, 22, previously told campus administrators in confidence
> that he was concerned about going public with his immigration status after
> winning the top post in student government.
>
> But that changed Tuesday when the Collegian, the newspaper at the largest
> university in California’s prolific farming region, disclosed his status
> after receiving an anonymous e-mail.
>
> “I don’t want this issue to be about me,” Ramirez told the Associated
> Press Wednesday. “This is a big, big issue that should have been addressed
> a long time ago. My goal is to bring awareness to that.”
>
> Ramirez was expected to appear Friday at a campus rally in support of the
> federal “DREAM Act,” which would create a path to citizenship for young
> people living in the country illegally who attend college or join the
> military.
>
> Ramirez, who has a dual major in political science and agricultural
> economics, came to the U.S. with his family from a small community in
> Jalisco, Mexico, when he was 3. He went on to become valedictorian of his
> high school class in nearby Tulare County, where he prepared for his “long
> road in higher education,” according to his website.
>
> He said didn’t know he lacked proper immigration papers until high school,
> when he told his parents he planned to join the military before applying
> to college and they told him he wasn’t a citizen.
>
> “It’s a relief that I was able to come out in the open because I’ve been
> holding this for several years, and hearing stories from other students
> who have gotten deported or moved because of the fear,” said Ramirez, who
> hopes to open his own business or become a civil rights attorney.
>
> Ramirez said he is paying for college through private scholarships that
> don’t ask about residency status and odd jobs such as mowing lawns.
>
> He is enrolled at Fresno State under a state law that allows undocumented
> immigrants who have attended a California high school for three years to
> pay in-state tuition at public colleges. The state Supreme Court this week
> upheld the statute, which applies to an estimated 25,000 students.

And now Keely weighs in . . .

Shame on the insipid, weak coward who sent an anonymous email to expose this young man’s status. That person should be ashamed of himself — whereas Ramirez has nothing whatsoever to be ashamed of, and a great deal to be proud of.

The story confirms this: As a 22-year-old college student, it’s not likely that he crossed over without papers in the four years since becoming a legal adult. Obviously, he came over as a child or an adolescent and not a legally responsible moral agent. To condemn or, God forbid, criminalize this enterprising young man is obscene. And while I understand the myriad reasons undocumented adults choose to bring their children to this country with them, and I will not condemn anyone solely for doing so, it’s evident that even if there were moral culpability here, it’s not Pedro’s.

The DREAM act is one of the most humane, reasonable, intelligent — I’d even say God-honoring, for any Christians reading — pieces of legislation ever conceived in the United States. In fact, I think it embodies the very highest promise of this nation, and its non-passage should outrage all of us. Sadly, it won’t, which is a sad reminder of how the reactionary politics of today is fueled less by intelligent debate than by fear, hate, and cowardice.

One Response to “Pedro Ramirez, You Make Me Proud”

  1. Ashwin says:

    You said: “The DREAM act is one of the most humane, reasonable, intelligent — I’d even say God-honoring, for any Christians reading — pieces of legislation ever conceived in the United States.”

    Reasonable statement if you discount the hyperbole. I am sympathetic to Mr. Ramirez myself.

    Then you said:”In fact, I think it embodies the very highest promise of this nation, and its non-passage should outrage all of us. Sadly, it won’t, which is a sad reminder of how the reactionary politics of today is fueled less by intelligent debate than by fear, hate, and cowardice.”

    What was the need for this? What you COULD have done is presented the other view point. Is it really so far out to think that a person who breaks the law should not benefit from the transgression? It that what you want to say? What do you want to say? That people who disagree with you on this point are irredeemably corrupt?

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