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.

Listen to the full story here:

Get more CNN Radio Report podcasts on itunes or subscribe

Post by:
Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Removal ratings

    Approval ratings have indeed declined, for how can ones respect for lawmakers grow, when lawmakers side against their own law-abiding people in favor of trspassers. What? As a reward for not abandoning our homeland in search of a few more dollars elsewhere we get to feed and employ those who have? Not that US corporations don't move overseas to avoid paying US taxes, but that's a different blog entirely?

    August 20, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |


    August 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. gung hoe

    OH PLEASE APPROVAL RATINGS you sound just like your idol OBAMA blame bush for this and that and everthing IM surprised that you people havnt said that because bush was in office that KATRINA AND RITA happened oh wait i have heard that

    August 20, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Removal ratings

    Well, Bush did nothing to secure our borders after 9/11. He claimed that "the terrorists" wanted to invade and kill US all, yet he left our borders wide-open for them. Please explain his strategy, and why President Obama uses the same one.

    August 20, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. hernandezusa

    Obama is dictator who is acting above common sense and bypassed congress to push through his controversial amnensty for millions of illegals. demand his impeachment! all illegals are criminals in the eyes of American citizens and all those who worked so hard to get here LEGALLY! deport the illegals now and take Obama and bush with them!

    August 20, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Israeli MOSSAD

    ...and explain why the MOSSAD are helping Gadhaffi kill Libyans. (google 'mossad recruits 50,000 mercenaries' and read all about it)

    August 20, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. gung hoe

    How about this one after 911 because of bushs policies he thwarted several attemps to attack us again he took the fight to them instead of what clinton did on the first attack If clinton had done what bush did the twin towers probably would be still standing whats your response to that HUH

    August 20, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @gung hoe: You wanna play what if? Is that right? What a pointless game.. But ok.

      The 'terrerists' had a hard on for W because he was the son of bush, sr. Maybe if W had never been elected, the towers would still be there and this disastrous crusade against terror would have never been required.


      August 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sick of this..................

    We should have closed our boarders 40 years ago, and we would have the problems we have now!!!!!!!!!! The Americans should DEMAND that our goverment deport these people now and stop wasting our taxpayers money ASAP.

    August 20, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. John Deer

    Yup, The clause on the U.N. Security Council resolution that would make it impossible to charge countries that are not members of the International Criminal Court with war-crimes for what their mercenaries do in Libya is a nice *loophole* considering … both Israel and the United States are not members of the I.C.C

    August 20, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. hernandezusa

    impeach Obama!

    August 20, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. John Deer

    2 presidents have been impeached

    Andrew Johnson
    Bill Clinton

    impeached doesn't mean thrown out of office though
    the House of Representatives votes to impeach a president, which is the same as charging the president with a crime worth being thrown out

    the Senate then presides like a jury over the impeachment hearings. Both Johnson and Clinton were acquitted by the Senate

    Johnson try to ouster his Secretary of War, which challenged a law saying that the president could not do that without the Senate's approval

    Bill CLinton was charged with lying under oath about his affair while in office.

    Nixon probably would have been impeached and found guilty but he resigned.

    August 20, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Charddi Himlous Nioxn

    Nixon made it legal for the President to go to War without congress. Once he did that for them, they were done with him.

    August 20, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. John Deer

    Oh, Yeah Yeah Yeah I remember that! He was only a pawn in the their game of chess. I'm sure if we dig deeper, we can find many more bodies the Governments quest for oil....

    August 20, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©


    I like your new characters.
    I got the back of anyone who even *knows* what Mad Dog 20/20 is!
    Carry on, Elf Lord.

    August 20, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. "Rosebud" Skateboard

    @ banasy:
    Things are not always as they seem.
    One must go all the way through the looking glass.

    August 20, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7