Hope For Lansing's Illegal Immigrants

By: Hannah Saunders Email
By: Hannah Saunders Email

Ramiro Estrada was born near Mexico City; moving to Lansing with his parents illegally when he was 12: "For a better job, for a better life altogether ... They didn't want anything to happen to us down there."

Now he's 20, and hoping to become a nurse, but he's running low on money for a Bachelor's Degree since he can't legally work: "I graduated from High School, I did my two years in college, and now I'm pretty much just waiting for this."

He's planning on being accepted into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) program, and meets all the requirements. He moved here when he was younger than 16, is now between the ages of 16 and 30, has lived here more than five years, and has no criminal record.

"I know hundreds that fit into this category in the Lansing area," said Maximo Anguiano of the City's Civil Rights for Immigrants Task Force of Action.

He believes this is a good first step for the young immigrants living here, and across the country: "It wasn't their choice to come here, but they are here, and this is all they know."

But if these people are granted this temporary legal status, it will only last two years before they have to re-apply, and at that point, if they're denied or there's changes to the policy, their names are in the system.

"It's like living in fear," described Estrada; saying it's a bit of a leap of faith. "But, if nobody steps out, who will?"

Estrada trusts it will lead him to his dream of working in one of Michigan's hospitals as an official United States citizen.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by David Location: Charlotte on Aug 16, 2012 at 07:02 PM
    Just another voting block for Dems.
  • by Jason Location: Jackson on Aug 16, 2012 at 10:34 AM
    If any of us moved to another country illegally, would they cater to us? Didn't think so.
  • by Anonymous Location: Lansing on Aug 16, 2012 at 01:16 AM
    We should just count how many individuals are unemployed in the U.S. Then we should just deport that many people. Then everyone who wants a job could have one, right? Or, maybe there's something fundamentally flawed with our popular approach to economics, when it seemingly would lead us to such absurd conclusions.
  • by Richard Location: Bath on Aug 15, 2012 at 03:11 PM
    hoping to become a nurse? And the programs are overfilled resulting in a waiting list? What happened to "Are you a US Citizen Y/N?" I know it sucks his parents broke federal law and committed multiple felonies, but just become a citizen before you start using things the citizens are trying hard to get.
    • reply
      by RT on Aug 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM in reply to Richard
      Well said, Richard!
  • by Narine Location: Lansing on Aug 15, 2012 at 03:04 PM
    What an excellent story!Seems to me this is the exact kind of person who needs this help- did nothing wrong of his own accord, grew up here, and wants to contribute! Can't even complain that he's "taking your job" because there's such a need for nurses. Putting a HUMAN face on this is important, especially for those vile people who say horrible things about immigrants. Much harder to be so glib when you put a face to a problem!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 16, 2012 at 04:19 AM in reply to Narine
      Narine, what if it wasn't nurseing job? What if it is your job? Why don't these polititions give up their position to an illegal? Maybe the President should give up his job for one of them???
  • by Brian Location: Hillsdale on Aug 15, 2012 at 01:55 PM
    Sad to say that we cater to the illegal immigrants! We give them too many rights here in the U.S. If we would stop this mass money giving to immigrants the U.S. would be in less debt. Most work here and send their money back to Mexico. It`s time this country worried about it`s own! Remember, their here to do the jobs people here do not want to do! What a bunch of B.S...
    • reply
      by Benjamin Curl on Aug 16, 2012 at 01:22 AM in reply to Brian
      Brian, are you familiar with the history of our nation? Are you familiar with the history of immigration and economics and their inter-relationship from the nineteenth century through the twentieth century? What "mass money" are you talking about? Do you have any facts to back this statement up? Can you prove you are not pandering to hate and paranoia?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Aug 17, 2012 at 05:49 AM in reply to Benjamin Curl
        How about you Benji, a little paranoid??? Consider your own statement of history, through the centuries. I believe it was done legally, through Ellis Island and other ports of documentation for proper processing.
  • by Brian Location: Hillsdale on Aug 15, 2012 at 01:55 PM
    Sad to say that we cater to the illegal immigrants! We give them too many rights here in the U.S. If we would stop this mass money giving to immigrants the U.S. would be in less debt. Most work here and send their money back to Mexico. It`s time this country worried about it`s own! Remember, their here to do the jobs people here do not want to do! What a bunch of B.S...
  • by Patrick on Aug 15, 2012 at 01:00 PM
    If you were not born here, you should be sent back were you came from, even if you were a minor coming in with parents. Basically, I have supported this kid and his family since they came here. What am I? A bank?
  • by cindy Location: jackson on Aug 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM
    there are too few jobs for people here legally for the government to allow illegal immigrants to stay here. why does the government give these people so much and the american people so little.
  • by Jon Location: lansing on Aug 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM
    all illegal immigrants should be sent back to there own country. if they want to be here legally then go throught the proper channels.
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