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. @John Deere

    No wonder American war criminals don't face the ICC. Your *loophole* works both ways. (just like Microsoft's Windows)

    August 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      There it is. Unfortunately, europe did ratify the treaty. So W can't go there anymore.

      August 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texian

      Where are the authorities to arrest these criminals and then deport them? All illegal aliens are by their very presence in America criminals and need to be arrested and then deported no matter how long they have been here, period.

      August 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. "Rosebud" Skateboard

    Y'all mean the Blue Rasberry 20/20?

    August 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |

    IT'S time tha the usa just absorb mexico and all my fellow elves.. we can become the 51 state..
    only thing besides adding a star is to turn the star field green and the flag will be beautifull...

    August 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |

    most americans hate us illegal elves cause we have such sweet rides..
    my monte carlo ss is sitting on 15 daytons and has 15" subwoofers,
    all the little chicas think it's da bommb...
    i had it candy painted with the virgen mary on the trunk and jesus on da hood...

    August 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    Whatever bush set in place works We have not been attacked since 911

    August 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    @gung hoe:

    And we weren't attacked before 9/11, either.

    @"Rosebud" Skateboard:

    Original Mad Dog.

    @leeintulsa: 😉

    August 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |

    the muslims have just got lazy. they are winding down. the new enemy to come is china.. the cyber warfare will soon be the new battle ground.

    August 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. super man

    After all those alien elves are gone, who's gonna pick our fruit and veggies? Who's gonna build me a house for cheap? Who's gonna mow my lawn for $10? NOT A CAUCASIAN!!!

    August 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |

    soon we will have robots to do all that...

    August 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa


      August 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ba'al

      America needs to invade Mexico in response to their calculated invasion of America. This time America will push every Mexican down to the new American/Mexican border about 500 miles south of its current location, would shorten the border width by more than half and make it easier to defend in teh furture.

      August 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John Deer

    @...@ John Deer.... HUH ?

    August 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat2u

    Hopefully this is not just a government tactic to lure the illegals into the open. And FYI, no I am not one these conspiracy theorists.

    August 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. leeintulsa

    I think hector is right on the money. We should simply annex mexico and all be Americans. Mexico is already – conveniently, i must say – broken up into states. Not sure how many.. Anyone? Anyone?

    Get puerto rico and guam while we're at it. We could call it The Great Consolidation. All you fear mongers worrying about them takin over the country – we could beat them to the punch!

    It's win win!

    August 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. "Rosebud" Skateboard

    @ banasy:
    I lied. I googled the MD20/20: had no idea.
    Not for me at all.

    August 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bobcat2u

    @leeintulsa Since Mexico is on the american continent, in a sense, they already are americans. Just not united states americans.

    August 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      P.S. I know that's really splitting hairs, but, ah what the hell !!

      August 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I was trying to reach the rednecks in the audience. Lol

      August 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      @leeintulsa After I re-read your comment, I realized I missed the sarcasm. But I still stand by my hair splitting techniques. Maybe I should get a patent on that. lol

      August 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff Frank ( R - Ohio ) "OH! But what if were illegal in Mexico?"

    The hypocrisy off it all? Pack your bags Grandma...we're going to sneak into Chihuahua...to live!.
    Hey ya all, check this out too.



    August 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
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