ICE is a department both revered and feared by prospective immigrants
Everyone's clamoring over the health care reform debate, yet today we address an issue that held several voters' attention during Bush's Presidency, that of immigration. Some people believe it's too easy to get into the country, some believe it's too hard, and others believe that there's no issue with our current immigration process.
Well I tell you there is a problem with it, and Change needs to come to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department of the United States. Our current system is not fair. It's not efficient, but most importantly, it's not American.
As a prime example of the issues plaguing our current immigration policy, we are going to focus on a young man named Zeus Abel Griffin.
Zeus, pictured above, is wanting to live the American Dream. Born Zeus Abel Romero Quinteros in 1990 in the city of Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua in Mexico, Zeus came to the states with his mother, Martha in 1993. They entered legally. Martha originally applied for papers for both her and Zeus, at the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, Mexico. Martha's papers were granted, Zeus' were not. The answer for why his papers were not granted was because an obscure fee for filing paperwork was not included with their $400 payment for Zeus' paperwork. The $400 that the single mother spent on her three year old's papers was not returned to them. (Below, Zeus with a friend at Church Camp.)
Zeus was allowed into the country. He obtained a green card, and still has one to this day. Zeus' mother met a man named Gary Lee Griffin, originally from Richmond, Virginia. They married when Zeus was four, and Mr. Griffin adopted Zeus when he was eight years old. Zeus' parents then applied again for his residency in 1998 shortly after he was adopted, paying out another $400, and including the $80 processing fee this time, they believed that being adopted by his step father would greatly improve his chances of residency being granted. It was denied. No reason was given. Zeus applied again, at age fourteen in 2004, and they stated that he needed to get a physical in his country of origin, so his parents took him back to Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and obtained a physical for him. Then they stated that he needed vaccinations. So they made the trip again. After pandering to these mundane requirements, they told him finally that he needed a sponsor for his residency.
The stress of the whole situation finally got to his parents. His father basically told him, the only way you're going to get residency, let alone citizenship was to either 'join the military or marry an American.' Two years later Zeus' parents split up due to personal reasons. Case workers at a woman's shelter filed paperwork for Zeus again in 2006, as well as 2007. Each time he was denied because of 'missing paperwork.' (Below, Deming High's Mock Trial Team that Zeus participated in Mock Trial with, Zeus is center.)
In High School, Zeus participated in many events. He was in Mock Trial, Rachel's Challenge, National History Day, Student Council. MESA, Football, Wrestling, and Captain of the Track Team. Zeus was district champion for his wrestling division, and attended a Leadership Camp, called Camp Ryla, hosted by Rotary International. He also went to church camp each year, and did a lot of volunteer and community work. Zeus graduated from Deming High School with the Class of 2008, earning a GPA of 3.5. (Below, Zeus before a Mock Trial Event during High School.)
Zeus is now attending college at New Mexico State University, majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Criminal Justice. He is a member of the Hispanic Heritage Society, as well as the Boxing Club. He has a GPA of 3.3.
Last year, Zeus was granted a worker's permit. It has been an entire year, and they have not given him this permit to allow him to work in the United States. Each time they give a different vague reason as to why it hasn't come in yet, along with an even vaguer estimate as to when he will receive it. Zeus is a college student who wants to work to support himself. He cannot do that due to his luck with the system.
Should Zeus settle for just a worker's permit? Or should he be able to be a citizen, like so many other immigrants who have obtained their citizenship in less time than he? Zeus knows more about this nations history than most, and if you were to speak with him, you would never be able to tell that he wasn't born here.
Zeus's effort, and this article have been sent to the following politicians:
- Senator Jeff Bingaman
- Senator Tom Udall
- Congressman Martin Heinrich
- Congressman Harry Teague
- Congressman Ben Ray Luján
- Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish
- Governor Bill Richardson
- New Mexico Secretary of State Mary Herrera
Let's see who responds to his issue, and the issue of immigration reform itself, this Examiner will follow up with an article on which of our elected officials actually care about the issues we present to them.