Panelists discuss impact of immigration

A panel of students and faculty shared their personal perspectives concerning issues affecting the United States’ Hispanic population on Wednesday as part of the weekly “Students Talk Back” series.

Changing voices · President of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project Antonio Gonzalez says perspectives shape politics. - Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan

Changing voices · President of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project Antonio Gonzalez says perspectives shape politics. — Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan


Director of the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute Robert Suro moderated the panel for the series, which was presented by the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, Sol Price School of Public Policy’s Tomás Rivera Policy Institute and the Sol Price Bedrosian Center on Governance and Public Enterprise.

Kevin Valero, a sophomore majoring in business administration and an undocumented immigrant and member of IDEAS Movement at USC, spoke about the Dream Act and potential he felt it held for undocumented immigrants and the United States.

Valero began by pointing to his ignorance of his situation as a child coming to the United States at the age of five. Though aware of his identity as a Mexican, he was not aware of his status as an illegal immigrant nor the implications of this status until he moved into high school and began thinking about the future.

“I was very young, so I didn’t know what moving from a country was, and there was no stigma attached to it,” Valero said. “Being undocumented wasn’t anything I thought about until the later years of high school, when I started thinking about my future and paying for college.”

Valero encouraged members of the audience to begin looking at the human aspects of the illegal immigration issue rather than just the politics. The first step, he stressed, was to stop using the term “illegal immigration.”

“I take offense to the term ‘illegal immigrant’ because how can I be illegal after being brought to a land?” Valero said. “It is dehumanizing.”

Continuing to emphasize the human angles of the immigration issue, Stephanie Canizales, a doctoral candidate in sociology, spoke about her work with unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant youths between the ages of 13 and 18 and mainly from Guatemala. Canizales said these youth come from persecuted indigenous groups in their countries and arrive in the United States in order to work for money to send their families back home.

“This youth population is not concerned with upward mobility, but with day-to-day survival, to every day, know that they came to the United States to provide for their families back home,” Canizales said.

Canizales went further to describe how the perspective of  undocumented children who first come to America.

“Imagine a 13-year-old coming to the United States unaccompanied, coming with a group of adult immigrants and getting a job in a garment shop in Downtown LA to provide for his family back home,” Canizales said.

Canizales said the Dream Act, which would allow undocumented students to gain full citizenry, focuses primarily on educated illegal immigrants, it fails to address as many as 67 percent of the 2.1 million illegal immigrant youths in the nation.

Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, spoke about the Hispanic community and its activism. Gonzalez emphasized that this activism went beyond illegal immigration to other issues facing the Latino community and, in some cases, all Americans.

“The Latino agenda has to be a broad agenda,” Gonzalez said. “We can’t put all our cards in one issue or another issue, but the emphasis should be on taking responsibility.”

Gonzalez said he became active in politics because he felt it was the most impactful avenue to bring change and affect people’s lives.

“There is such a great disconnect between the country and Washington,” Gonzalez said. “President [Barack] Obama and the bipartisan establishment have presided over the largest reconcentration of wealth in the modern era. In many places, the problem is not racism, the problem is ineffective government.”

1 reply
  1. David Francis
    David Francis says:

    We must be all losing our minds, if we cannot see through the lies about the cost of a federal ID card. Expensive as it might be, it will be able to eliminate numerous problems we have to deal with today? The biometric document should be issued to every citizen and legal resident, not just workers? Blame for withholding of issuing a National ID card falls without any form of contradiction on both political parties. Democrats and their Liberal subsidiaries, the Republicans have not only been absent from protecting Americans from the illegal alien invasion, but the pandering to majority ethnic groups, including the outrageous cost of supporting them. I trust the Heritage Foundation for reporting after analysis that this next amnesty, if enacted will cost taxpayers $2.6 Trillion dollars to legitimately process and settle them. This dollar figure should not be confused with the $113 million dollars spent annually, which is rising as President Obama’ is spreading illegal cheer in the way of food stamps for all. The unsuspecting American taxpayers as with the signer, the late Ronald Reagan never realized of the undermining of funding and enforcement for the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Republican campaign contributors for corporate welfare had their say and enforcement mainly became a useless word in the Federal Register. However that didn’t mean the GOP was entirely to blame, as assuredly so the Democrats assisted in the skillful fraud. Not even processing of the 3.6 million Guest Workers in the agriculture industry or others, who then flew the coop once they gained citizenship to the cities. The whole 1986 can be classed as really inoperable and it caused millions more were encouraged by the (IRCA) act, suddenly rushing to the poorly equipped borders, or overstaying there visitor, tourist or educational visas forever.

    The tangible miasma of an amnesty or Comprehensive Immigration Reform floating around is the Border Patrol is already seeing an upsurge in numbers crossing the border. It was obvious this was going to happen, as illegal aliens are testing the chance of slipping past the border or arriving here as an inconspicuous visitor, who cannot be tracked once here. If the illegal population is truly 11 million, which the most prudent American doubt, that number will shortly fly through the roof as the U.S. government will not be able to contain the charge? Currently—what do we have as worthwhile identification—a Social Security number, a driver’s license or state issued ID card. Hundreds of data bases of legal immigrants are not centralized. Because of this vital situation we have this unfortunate dilemma today, with a growing ration of stolen personal information. Illegal aliens using this form of identification, plus the SSN of deceased persons and even the number of infants and children, no to forget our troops overseas ID. I think for a matter of security and an individual’s personal information, we need a biometric card, which will not only identify the recipient as an authorized job seeker, but for many other entitlements.

    It will give the birthright or naturalized citizen the right to vote in all elections, stopping with a swipe of the card non-citizens from voting, as I sincerely believed happened in the presidential election. A biometric card with a scan of the holders thumbs print or a retinal impression or both, plus a picture will be very difficult to counterfeit. Election bickering would become a thing of the past, less expense in recounts and court cases over absentee ballots or electronic registration machines being compromised. In just this one sector of authentication hundreds of millions of dollars could remain in state coffers. Other possibilities of a onetime biometric card would be proof of who you are, for registering a car, applying for welfare or other entitlements and stop those criminals who are violating many different laws. Today we have an Internet industry that is selling other peoples personal ID, social security number and causing major anxiety to the individual who must jump through loops to gain their credit back, their integrity. This kind of theft is predicament that I have been confronted with. Ask around—how many people do you know whose personal data has been procured in some way? The financial impact to me was around $4000.00, is not the greatest amount, seeing that some members of the public have had their house equity stolen?

    So this gang of eight discussing our immigration future thinks $2.3 billion dollars is too costly. I think a chimpanzee could produce better results for America, than we have now from these elected legislators. Then we must remember that every day they are intimidated by the special interest lobbyists. Some politicians might be entirely honest, but others have been corrupted by wealth and power. They did take in to consideration the E-Verify provision, which is part of the SAVE ACT, which would do a lot to successfully remove illegal aliens from the workplace. But we need also strong punishments for those business owners, who believe they are above the law. If a national biometric ID was grandfathered into American society, E-Verify would not be needed as all workers could produce the federal picture ID card, swiped and authenticated. Business owners would have no excuse and then could be heavily fined or even go to prison for using illegal aliens. There would be as I have said, billions of dollars saved in overlapping programs and would go a long way in halting the illegal alien invasion. Many foreign nationals would say to themselves, why bother risking their lives in traipsing to the border and flying to America, when they have no chance of getting this biometric ID card. Even a stolen one would be useless, as they would not be registered in nationwide data base and would immediately red flag the business owner.

    It is a sad situation when it comes to the fact that the politicians in Washington have apathetic attitude. They remain indifferent to the 23 million out of work, temporarily employed or just dropped out of the rat race and are instead kowtow to the illegal ethnic millions and their advocates, who think we should open the borders to everybody. They have made no effort to mandate E-Verify, but they have it seems intentionally overlook the birthright citizenship. This is the most costly part of the 14th amendment, which has been ingeniously manipulated by the left, which has attracted millions of pregnant foreigners with their unborn babies and children. Every year unknown numbers of smuggled children come to America or born to illegal aliens in this country and then claim citizenship. This intentional claim of citizenship is so costly that its revenue would pay at least quarter towards running the United States military, because it generates expensive policies such as the DREAM ACT, FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION, SANCTUARY CITIES AND ENCOURAGES MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS TO TRY THEIR LUCK AT DODGING THE BORDER PATROL OR FLYING TO AMERICA AND OVERSTAYING THEIR VISAS.

    ALL AMERICANS Should sign this petition against the Gang of Eight’s scheme and other detached lawmakers who are in disagreement with the 23 million unemployed Americans at: NumberUSA If you really want your say counted write a note to your congressman (a screener will read it and tally up the letters ‘for’ and ‘against’) so you don’t have to hassle about being persuasive since all the congressman hears about the amount of correspondence). Phone calls are better, but here you need to be rational and not an awkward tirade. YOU can also contact every Representative demanding no Amnesty and no Path to Citizenship at 202) 224-3121, which is the Central Washington switchboard. LEARN THE REALITY OF OUR BORDER AND INVESTIGATE THE CONCEALED NEWS AND REPORTS AT AMERICANPATROL.

    No copyright. Tell America.

Comments are closed.