By Isabel Matos
We heard about an illegal immigrant lawyer this week who vowed to run for President (It’s true. He has a license to practice law without U.S. citizenship):
Cesar Vargas, 31, who lives on Staten Island, emigrated to the United States when he was five but has never obtained U.S. citizenship. He posted his ambitions on The Hill, writing, “I am neither a U.S citizen nor 35 years old, so an official candidacy is currently not possible. But Vargas added that he hopes that the constitutional amendment requiring presidents be natural-born citizens of the United States will be changed.
Vargas was recently arrested for trespassing in Iowa when he attended the Iowa Freedom Summit and asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a question. Hilariously, as a non-citizen, he claimed that the U.S. Constitution protected his right to ask the question.
The New York court, ignoring the fact that Vargas has no U.S. citizenship, granted him a license to practice law, writing, “We find that the undocumented status of an individual applicant does not, alone, suggest that the applicant is not possessed of the qualities that enable attorneys to vigorously defend their client’s interests within the bounds of the law, nor does it suggest that the applicant cannot protect, as an officer of the court, the rule of law and the administration of justice.” Read the more of the story.
Well we’re not too far off from that scenario if you think about it. It’s vaguely close (as are these cases concerning legality sometimes). As we mock Jeb Bush or throw sticks and stones at him verbally for his comments in the past, he went on record this week telling José Díaz Balart on Noticiero Telemundo (owned by NBC), in an interview conducted completely in Spanish, that he was “hurt” by Donald Trump’s divisive comments about Mexicans, that his family was discriminated against growing up in Florida, that he vowed to enact comprehensive immigration reform in his first term as president and that deportation is not an American value. (English transcript). We don’t realize how much sense it all makes sense when you read the neatly embedded story within a story below:
Jeb Bush is married to Columba, whose relatives, including her father, entered the U.S. illegally to find work in Califronia according to the article below. Although I cannot confirm if laws didn’t exist after World War II to stop illegals from crossing the border and working without papers, he eventually became a legalized alien. In the article which is carefully crafted, Columba is depicted as a modern day Cinderella, the next possible Latina First Lady, but doesn’t come right out and say that she may have been illegal herself. It hints her family was. From The Washington Post (Highlights mine):
Last year, Jeb caught flak from conservatives in his own party when he said that many of those who cross the border illegally do so as an “act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family.”
His own father-in-law had made that journey, as did many of Columba’s relatives, walking across the border decades ago to get work in California.
Jose Maria Garnica Rodriguez, who died at 88 in 2013, grew up in Arperos, not far from this city famous for its leather boots and clothes. It is reachable by a hilly dirt road. He helped his family grow corn and avocados until he left for the United States, like so many other men and women did from his poor village.
After World War II, it was common to cross the border without proper papers, said Columba’s uncle, Antonio Garnica Rodriguez, who made the trek, too. “We just went across the border, worked, stayed there for a while and came back.”
He said his brother later joined the “bracero” program, which allowed manual laborers temporary legal entry to the United States. Jose Maria got his “resident alien” card on Feb. 4, 1960. It indicates that his point of entry was El Paso, Tex. He moved back to Mexico in the 1980s.
The card that legalized him is still in his brown leather wallet, in his widow’s home, along with his ID for the Laborers International Union of North America Local 300 in Los Angeles, and a black-and-white photo of Columba as a teen.
According to both sides of the family, Columba’s parents had a loveless, stormy relationship. Her mother, Josefina Gallo Esquivel, came from a wealthier family in León.
Their marriage formally dissolved in 1963, leaving their shy, deeply religious 10-year-old daughter feeling stigmatized and set apart from other children in a conservative Catholic city.
As a result,
Some of her father’s relatives say that Columba has kept her distance because she is embarrassed about her humble roots. Read the rest of the story here.
I’ve set out to be nothing but amicable in the process of the GOP nomination this year. You know, to give the best possible chances of winning this election to Republicans. As much as I can’t stand Jeb Bush, I will to the best of my ability try to humanize him as much as possible (like Sarah Palin did on her Facebook wall the night he announced he was running), but it’s not possible to stomach his views politically.
I have gone to great lengths to explain to people why I say I’m a proud Cuban-American: to remind others that we came here legally. In sum, we reluctantly left a country we expected to go back to and considered ourselves temporary guests here. There has never been an attempt to subvert the system or change this country’s demographics. On the contrary, some of us are more patriotic and capitalist-loving than many Americans would even know. Jeb Bush knows that.
His family is in a prominent position and should know better than to depict illegality as acts of love. Maybe for his family after the War it was considered an act of love, a means to an end, but it has been perverted into a nasty game politician’s play for scoring votes.
I’m always open to reading about the nice things about the Bushes, but honestly, the more I look, the less I like, and the more I read, as shown above, the more questions I have. If laws didn’t exist back then to stop you from entering the country, why were the term illegality and that journey used in the excerpt. I don’t know. The way it was presented is what bothered me. It is vague. And why try to manipulate our emotions with the beginning and end of the story?
The message we must send to those who are running: How can we take our party back if those at the top are pushing illegality? I hope that even if we lose as Conservatives, that it is perfectly clear that we are the rule, not the exception in being against amnesty. I am sick to death of the preferential treatment for law breakers. So are 64% of Americans.
There is no case to be made in favor of any candidate who condones this. We need to be spoken to like adults, not children. And it should not be glossed over in the debates (which Telemundo is a part of). No one will, I hope.
No wonder the GOP is so weak-kneed to talk about the issue. I joke about the deep bench being mostly VP applicants for Jeb, but it’s important to respect the process as well. Candidates who are doing so are probably afraid to bring it all up as they know leader-of-the-party Bush would not concur.
The goal for them should be to win the respect of the People (even if Jeb is the inevitable nominee) by representing us and what we believe: that the laws that protect us as Americans should be respected! One family may have a Cinderella-type story to tell, but acts of love belong in the bedroom. Politics should not be in the love story business.
And amnesty should not be a love letter to one’s spouse at the expense of subverting the laws of the country you are trying to protect. It’s so screwed up! If something is wrong, it should be wrong no matter who you are or what position you have. Amnesty is wrong. Illegality is wrong. Our politicians are wrong to support either.
Jeb Bush Happy anniversary to my beautiful wife of 41 years, Columba. True story: This is the only picture from our wedding. The photographer, my brother Marvin, accidentally rerolled from a Frank Zappa concert. Thankfully, my mom took one photo with a Kodak. February 23
H/T Pete DiGuadio for WaPo story lead.