Many skeptical about illegal immigrant plan

July 30, 2008 11:16:37 PM PDT
A new strategy by Immigration and Customs Enforcement will allow illegal immigrants who've been given deportation orders, but haven't complied the opportunity to turn themselves in.They would then be given up to 90 days to figure out a way to get back home instead of being held behind bars.

But, some people in the Latino community don't think it's going to work.

They say if people risk their lives to get into the U.S., they're not likely to give up easily and go home.

A woman who asked to be referred to as "Margarita," is brought to tears --she remembers being left in the desert with other women and children during one attempt to cross the border.

"Scared is not the real word," Margarita said.

Three trips and thousands of dollars later she and her 4-year-old made it to the Triangle where her husband and father live.

"It was a feeling that I need to put together my family," Margarita said.

She thinks the new effort by ICE won't work, that people with deportation orders would rather take their chances on a raid at work or go to prison then turn themselves in and get help from Homeland Security to get to their home country.

Those who want immigration laws enforced, like the NC Minuteman Patriots agree. The leader of the group in New Bern shared his concerns.

"Homeland Security reports there are over 600,000 illegal fugitives now and they have no idea where they're at so what makes them think that once they turn these illegal aliens loose and tell them to come back that they're actually going to come back," NC Minuteman Patriots Marion Larabee said.

Margarita says they will not come back, that parents won't walk away from their children --especially after risking their lives for a chance at a better life.

She and Latino community groups say another issue is illegals who give birth to their children in the US.

The children are citizens, the parents are not. The kids can't go to Mexico and vice versa.

So they say you definitely won't see those parents turning themselves in.

The effort that some are calling the stay out of jail free card is for non-violent offenders only.


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