Justino Mora, 22, an undocumented computer science student at UCLA in Los Angeles was recently interviewed on KNBC Channel 4 News. Mora was brought to the U.S. as a child illegally by his parents, and has lived with the worry of a very possible threat of deportation most of his lifetime; his worry is for his family as well as himself. The U.S. is the only country Mora remembers, as he was very young when he was taken from Mexico and brought to the U.S. He spent his entire childhood here, he speaks fluent English, and he doesn’t have any real memory of Mexico.
For all intents and purposes, Justino Mora is an American.
The recent decision made by President Obama to loosen immigration policy, now gives the promise of legal immigration to Justino Mora and all young Mexican American children who have grown up in this country. These children are caught in the middle of a political debate in a country where many have never committed a single crime. Their only crime is that they were brought to this country illegally, and by no choice of their own. Many of these children have now grown to be fine young men and women, in many cases working hard to achieve a greater education than that which their parents have had. This education has prepared them as they continue to plan their futures, hoping to someday give back to the country which they think of as their own.
Much good will surely come from this decision to accept, legalize, and validate these young men and women who have already been in the U.S. for most of their lives.
And with that said, many people are opposed to the president’s recent decision for various reasons, some obvious and some not so obvious. Many Americans are up in arms and feel that a single U.S. president has given himself the power to essentially make a decision to change a policy that will potentially affect all U.S. citizens in one way or another.
The voting process was instilled by the forefathers of this country and their predecessors. This process has been upheld with the notion that “every vote counts,” and it has been utilized for centuries as a sacred right of all Americans and their ancestors.
Therefore, for a single man or U.S. president, to assume the power to make such a decision alone, and essentially speak for all citizens of the United States, men and women alike, without consulting any single one of them first, is as if he has taken it upon himself to waive their right to vote for or against such a policy. Such an action by President Obama is therefore ultimately infringing upon the citizens of the United States' constitutional rights. Therefore, many feel as if they have no voice. I, however, have very mixed thoughts on this subject.
My heart goes out for these Latino American youths who have known no other country but this one. And I do believe those who have been brought to this country and have grown up here are essentially “Americans.” They should gain U.S. citizenship and should never have to fear the thought of being deported. Yet, for such a policy change to take place without the votes of the citizens of the United States of America, I too feel that my voice was silenced, even though I would have voted for the policy change to take place.