Undocumented immigrants are 'coming out'
Jessica Vasquez, Nataly Ibarra and Dulce Guerrero met through through their decision to speak out about their illegal status.
August 19th, 2011
11:32 PM ET

Undocumented immigrants are 'coming out'

The Department of Homeland Security announced plans this week to review 300,000 pending deportation cases in federal immigration courts to determine which individuals meet specific criteria for removal and to focus on "our highest priorities."

That could be good news for some students who have been putting their illegal status out in the open in protests around the country. Such protests target immigration enforcement legislation or push for federal laws that would give illegal immigrants a path to become residents or citizens.

One such protest took place in Atlanta earlier this year when seven students, all undocumented, sat in the middle of a major road and blocked traffic.

"The civil disobedience we follow that from the civil rights movement," says Dulce Guerrero, 18, a recent high school graduate who ended up in a police van that day.

Guerrero and her friend Nataly Ibarra, 16, were drawn together by their choice to speak out about their illegal status despite serious consequences, including deportation.

Undocumented students like Guerrero and Ibarra, many of whom have lived in America since childhood, use the phrase, "coming out." Instead of "coming out of the closet," the phrase used in the gay rights movement, they say "coming out of the shadows.”

"It is rhetorically powerful because undocumented immigrants are supposed to be in the shadows. An illegal alien is someone who isn't supposed to be around, so to say that you are coming out of the shadows means that you are flaunting the whole idea of being illegal of not belonging,” said Dr. David Cisneros, a communications professor at Boston’s Northeastern University.

The Office of Homeland Security is signaling that it might be willing to give people like Ibarra a break by not prosecuting low priority cases. It's a move that could open the door for more illegal immigrants to come out.

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Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. "Rosebud" Skateboard

    Can you hear me?

    August 20, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    Owning a legal roofing company I dislike these aliens as much as anyone But the children of them are caught in the middle many have never been to their native country let alone speak the lingo Each case needs to be evaluated

    August 20, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. George Patton

    Another unkept promise by Barack Obama, immigration reform! Ever since this bozo took office, he did everything wrong plus broke every promise he ever made! What a joke but the real tragedy here is that the Republicans have nobody better in the running with the exception of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, of course!!!

    August 20, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. the prophet

    Stop wasting tax payers money they entered our country with the aid off drug dealrers border crossing. Round them up and ship them back they are a drain on our social services programs designed for Americans.

    August 20, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      These people are half as much of a drain on our economy as the unnecessary and excessive military spending in Washington and all of these useless wars that we're currently fighting overseas. Besides, these people perform many tasks the most Americans would never condescend to such as field work and other menial jobs!!!

      August 20, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Sweetpresh

      Great news to my ears....

      August 20, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. the prophet

    Forthermore our home land security department was created to protect America and Americans against ter..rists and other crimes against humanity. Not to suggest these illegals are subjets and profiled as such by the department of hone land security. But what is the connection.

    August 20, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. the prophet

    To George and fellow readers, our Federal Gov't is the largest employer in our country, so all actions by our gov't for anything anywhere are employment related first. It's not true Americans will never consider these dismal jobs one suggest illigals perform. Americans are productive people probabily the best in the world, next to the Chinise, give them the oportunity and they will do it. This answers all questions regarding selected jobs performed by illigals in our country.

    August 20, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. HECTOR (THE ILLEGAL MEXICAN ELF)

    I'M comming out, i'm a tris3xual... i try gnomes, trolls, fairyfolk, and half-orcs...

    August 20, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. the prophet

    What on ur today mind Hector?

    August 20, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. RUFFNUTT (elf slayer & 15th lvl warrior )

    i hate illegal elves.. ever since STEWART RAYMOND WEAVER stole my long sword +5... i slayed all the bad guys and the main bad guy had this +5 long sword... i didn't even have a magical weapon.. elf-boy asked if he could have it and i thought he needed it so i let him have it... then he said " great not this sword will complete my pair of back-up weapons" i wanted to bash his little elf head in after that..
    .
    elves are very greedy and sword horders...

    August 20, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. HECTOR (THE ILLEGAL MEXICAN ELF)

    i wanna try a dwarf dressed up in a clown suit that's juggling while i eat peanut butter crackrs and drink some mad-dog 20/20..

    August 20, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. gung hoe

    I can hear you

    August 20, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. justathought

    =======================================Doesn"t the government understand the word "illegal"? ===================================-

    August 20, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. the prophet

    Bloggers You have the opportunity to converse with # Phophet in the world, so please brake free from your trapped voice, some you sound trapped submissive and segregated within your own minds never mind your whereabouts.

    August 20, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. Approval Ratings

    Congress 11%
    Obama 26%
    This article proves why. Under Bush the US let in more illegals than ever before and our congress or Obama has yet to act on it in a reasonable fashion.

    August 20, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. gung hoe

    Yes i can hear you

    August 20, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
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