Meet the Star College Student Who Will Be Deported Tomorrow Despite Having Lived in the U.S. Since She Was 20 Months Old

Nadia Habib is a star psychology student in her junior year at Stony Brook University in New York. She has no criminal record. Her Bangladeshi father, a Queens cab driver who's lived in New York for 20 years, has a green card, and her three siblings are all U.S. citizens. But because Habib was 20 months old when her mother brought her to the U.S., both she and her mother are scheduled to be deported tomorrow.

Habib didn't learn she was undocumented until she was in high school, and her mother has been seeking asylum for the two of them since then. Earlier this month, their final appeal was denied. “We have to be there with 50 pound of baggage each and have our passports and be ready to leave or they can detain us,” Habib told a CBS affiliate in New York last week. She told the New York Daily News:

"If we have to leave I'd be leaving my three siblings, my father and my entire life," Habib said. "It would mean losing a lot, everything basically, of what we have."

"I don't even know if I were to go back what I would do - I can't even speak the language," said Habib. "My mom's just scared."

Habib's friends at Stony Brook, Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY.), and the New York State Youth Leadership Council (a student group that fights for undocumented youth) have all appealed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Habib's behalf. Yet under President Barack Obama's softer deportation policy, Habib and her mother shouldn't need an army of sympathizers to stay in the U.S. Immigration officials now have additional "prosecutorial discretion" in determining who to deport. That phrase means ICE officials will not be punished for deprioritizing undocumented workers who have family in the U.S., hold down good jobs, or are in school, but are technically in violation of U.S. immigration law. From the White House blog:

Today, [DHS] announced that they are strengthening their ability to target criminals even further by making sure they are not focusing our resources on deporting people who are low priorities for deportation. This includes individuals such as young people who were brought to this country as small children, and who know no other home. It also includes individuals such as military veterans and the spouses of active-duty military personnel. It makes no sense to spend our enforcement resources on these low-priority cases when they could be used with more impact on others, including individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes.

So DHS, along with the Department of Justice, will be reviewing the current deportation caseload to clear out low-priority cases on a case-by-case basis and make more room to deport people who have been convicted of crimes or pose a security risk. And they will take steps to keep low-priority cases out of the deportation pipeline in the first place. They will be applying common sense guidelines to make these decisions, like a person’s ties and contributions to the community, their family relationships and military service record. In the end, this means more immigration enforcement pressure where it counts the most, and less where it doesn’t – that’s the smartest way to follow the law while we stay focused on working with the Congress to fix it.

By Napolitano's own standards, Nadia Habib and her mother, Nazmin Habib, perfectly fit the profile of immigrants who shouldn't be deported. To a lesser degree, so does Paula Godoy, a Guatemalan woman who was scheduled to be deported on her American-born kids' first day of school after she was stopped while driving with a suspended license. After spending her life savings on legal advice and bidding goodbye to her kids, Godoy was granted a six month stay the day she was supposed to be deported. Habib, who is scheduled to meet with ICE officials about her appeal tomorrow, could get the same "lucky break." But that's hardly the outcome promised by Obama's softer deportation policy. 

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  • o2||

    yet another example supporting obama's DREAM act...blocked by the house gop

  • Colin||

    It's Obama who's deporting them, you moron. Not Republicans.

  • o2||

    obviously and the DREAM act is obama's too...which the gop blocked

  • Neil||

    Wait, wait, wait...both sides suck? Unbelievable!

  • ||

    20 months?
    missed the part about being an anchor 20 month old...oh yeah it doesn't exist...

  • ||

    Honestly, if we're going to have Big Government™, I have a lot less moral qualms about helping people get an education than forcing people out of their homes.

  • PR||

    but auntie welfare and uncle drunk get to stay

  • Colin||

    +1

  • Obamao||

    For now.

  • Tim||

    Another travesty.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kick her out. She probably doesn't know our culture or even speak American!

  • MWG||

    FTW!

  • Chris||

    "She probably doesn't know our culture or even speak American"

    She came to this country when she was just 1 year old, and we don't speak "american" it is called "English".

  • db||

    Evidently irony is a concept alien to you.

  • CT||

    Sarcasm, how does it work?

  • American College Students||

    Bro, THEY TOOK OUR GRADEZZZZ!!!

  • ||

    They took yer gradez!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Where's Tom Haverford when you need him?

  • Mo||

    Why doesn't family reunification apply to the Habibs?

  • BakedPenguin||

    It probably does, but they would first have to apply and then wait.

    My brother dated a Filipina-American, and she'd been waiting for 10 years for her half-brothers to be able to move.

  • MWG||

    ^This. I know a couple people in this situation. 10 years is not a stretch at all.

  • Old Mexican||

    Mexican siblings and children of Mexicans have to wait around 15 to 18 years.

    By the way, it has NOTHING to do with backlog. According to one site (sorry, I don't remember which) all applications could be done and solved within a year. However, since the process is limited by an arbitrary quota, the number of cases solved per year is small enough to create an artificial backlog that can be as far as 18 years. That is what your tax dollars pay: for people to sit around taking their time with an artificially lowered workload.

  • MWG||

    Having been through the immigration process myself, this seems to be true. 95% of the work is done by those filing the paper work. It shouldn't take more than 5-10 mins to look at an application and decide whether it's approved or not.

  • ||

    That is correct. It's not a paperwork backlog. It's the annual quotas that cause the waiting list.

  • ||

    IIANM, there is no quota for immediate family members (spouse, minor children, parents).

    There is, I believe a quota for more extended family members including adult children (who may not qualify at all).

    The general quota applies to everyone else. And it's ridiculously small. Apply young, or there's no way you'll ever get in. You'll either have died or gotten to old. Yes, they don't admit old farts, except as part of "family reunification".

  • ||

    Sorry, even though there is no quota for immediate family members, it still takes years to get approved. It just takes the fewest number of years of any of the classes.

  • ||

    This is ridiculous, but not a reason to adopt the "Dream Act". Just, the common sense act. Each person who is in the country illegally, but wants to stay here, should be reviewed using common sense. Yes, that is too much to ask for.

  • ||

    "Common sense" = prosecutorial discretion.

    No thanks. I prefer something a little more . . . definite.

  • k2000k||

    how about a measurement standard for women you know something like

    34C-28-34?

  • ||

    I am more inclusive. I would accept B cups.

  • Stupid PC Liberal||

    28???? Send that hog packing!

  • ||

    Such as?

  • freeforall232||

    Why is it illegal for non-Americans to be in America?

  • Federal Dog||

    It's not if they enter with permission and retain permission to be present in the country.

  • ||

    “We have to be there with 50 pound of baggage each...

    There's a lot of things I'll blame on the tyranny of the US Govt. but c'mon ladies...

  • ||

    There's some missing information here, such as:

    (1) How did she get through immigration in the first place? Was she smuggled in, or on some kind of visa?

    (2) If the latter, as I suspect, what options were there for her to get some kind of green card?

    I shouldn't need saying, but even the most ardent closed borders types would have to agree that the current horrible bureaucratic maze is utterly unacceptable, and is exactly what leads to this kind of case. The more uncertainty, complexity, appeals, options, exemptions, etc., that you have, the more likely you will "discover" people who have made lives for themselves here over years that aren't here legally.

    I don't think there's any such thing as justice that isn't pretty simple and pretty quick. Open borders or closed, the rules should be simple, and the process speedy.

  • ||

    I agree. I don't think the solution is thousands of pages of legislation written by Congressional aides. That has never made things better.

    A forceful (i.e. the ability to fire incompetents) change in management might help. Some leadership by actual leaders and not political hacks like Napolitano would definitely help.

  • ||

    There are penalties in the law for being in the country illegally. For one thing, it makes you ineligible to apply for a green card for (IIRC) 10 years. You have to leave the country, wait 10 years, then apply.

    So, even though her father has a green card and could sponsor her and her mother, or her bothers could sponsor her, she still wouldn't be eligible.

    Also, there is a huge waiting list for family sponsorship visas, so it might be an additional 5 years if her father sponsored her.

    Fastest route is probably to wait for her father to naturalize and then sponsor her. But there's still the penalty period.

    Personally, I think that penalty period needs to be abolished.

  • Abdul||

    The only good thing about the penalty period is that without it, there's no incentive for immigrants to attempt to play by the rules and wait in line without it.

  • MWG||

    What line would that be Abdul?

    http://reason.org/files/a87d15.....116079.pdf

  • ||

    Believe it or not, that cartoon is actually a STRICTLY ACCURATE description of the immigration process. You might think they are exagerratin but that is exactly the legal process.

  • MWG||

    Not at all. I've been through this hell.

  • ||

    Yes, well, the fact that you hasve to apply draconoian penalties to give people an incentive to try the legal process should tell you something about the legal process.

  • MWG||

    ^this.

  • wayne||

    If she married an American citizen would she be allowed to stay?

  • Overt||

    Agreed. The problem is that there are a significant number of "Secure the Borders" types who are actually "Close the Borders" types. They want near zero immigration and they use reasonable sounding "checks", "verification" and "processes" to secure us and- coincidentally- make it impossible to navigate the legal immigration process.

    I say this as a "secure the borders" guy myself who disagrees vehemently with Open Borders folk, but has watched sadly as those closed border folk derail or ruin every possible fix to this mess.

  • ||

    I'm a "secure the borders" type also. I can't tell if this is deliberate sabotage of legal immigration - or just bureaucratic incompetence in action.

  • ||

    The latter accomplishes the former discreetly.

  • ||

    It is deliberate sabotage.

    Case in point:
    For employment sponsorships, the Department of Labor is given the task of ascertaining that there is no american worker available who could possibly do the job the employer wants to hire you fore.

    Think about that. The DEPARTMENT OF LABOR gets to make the decision over whether an immigrant is allowed to get a visa.

  • ||

    Is that rule legislated or from an Agency?

  • ||

    Legislated, I believe. Not 100% sure, but the labor certification is pretty deeply embedded in the process. Actually, it IS the ENTIRE process. The stuff at either end that goes via the Department of State is fluffy window dressing.You just fill out the forms right and it's good. It's the labor certification that takes years and thousands of dollars in legal fees.

  • ||

    The Department of Labor is one I would truly love to see defunded and dissolved.

  • GILMORE||

    Old Soldier|9.28.11 @ 11:43AM|#
    I'm a "secure the borders" type also.

    WTF does that even mean? Minefields between the US and Canada? Are you worried about a new Pancho Villa terrorizing Texans?

    meaning, what would be so different about a "more secure" border than we face today, and why aren't our border 'problems' more a part of our actual policy (i.e. drug war, shitty temporary work permit system, etc) than a lack of 'security?

    I think the idea of 'secure borders' as characterized today in popular discussion is mostly a fantasy-state that has little to do with actual 'security'

    As noted by anyone who's ever looked at illegal immigration (nay, all immigration)...90%+ of them come through the door, not swimming the rio grande. The problem isnt the borders - its our policies.

  • robc||

    I dont know what they mean by it, but I prefer the "tall fence, wide gate" border.

    ANYONE that can pass a basic background check (not a felon or terrorist?, welcome in) can get a work visa, no limits, no quotas, no H1B bullshit.

    Anyone caught crossing the border anywhere else will be treated as a foreign invader. Capture or shoot. Whatever.

  • GILMORE||

    re: robc|9.28.11 @ 12:46PM|#

    your definition makes sense to me.

    People froth about the feared potential of 'uncontrolled' immigration, not acknowedging that the system (or lack thereof) currently in place hardly 'controls' shit. They think their policies are 'hard nosed', when in fact they're just retarded and ineffective and do almost nothing useful about the 'problem'. In fact, there probably wouldn't BE a fucking problem without the current INS approach. It cant nearly cope with millions of unregistered, and many of the people it does catch up with are like the above girl: someone we'd probably be better off allowing to stay. people who try to "do things right" spend decades trying to negotiate the system. Its nothing but disincentives for even trying to do things right.

    Our immigration system is fucking stupid, costs too much money, destroys people's lives unecessarily, and doesn't even accomplish its ostensible mandate.

    Basically, typical for government work.

  • ||

    What robc said.

    We admit enough people to maintain some growth. Not more than we can effectively assimilate.

    Since the government is staffed by retards, we get this shit instead.

  • MWG||

    As an 'Open Borders' type, you've highlighted my frustration with 'Secure Border' types pretty well. It seems that many of the Secure Border types (particularly GOP candidates) argue that we cannot fix immigration until we've 'secured' the border. On the surface it seems reasonable until you compare it to alcohol prohibition. It's a bit like arguing we can't end prohibition until we've ended illegal alcohol use.

  • ||

    Or that you can open the borders before you dismantle the welfare state.

  • tarran||

    ... or that you can allow unlimited births before dismantling the welfare state

  • MWG||

    ...or that you can lower taxes before you dismantle the welfare state.

  • ||

    I think limited births is one of the factors killing the welfare state - at least the whole live off the government for free after you turn 65 part of the welfare state.

  • BikeRider||

    I dealt with immigration when I adopted two children from overseas. It was a nightmare. They treated us like #$%&* and I think we got better than average treatment when they realized that we were citizens doing international adoption.

    Why? Because we can vote. We can go back home and complain to our representatives about how poorly we were treated.

    Most who deal with INS can't vote. Therefore the INS people don't have to answer to anyone for their totally crappy service.

    I tend to agree with conservatives on many issues but not this one. I think we need to make it much, much easier to get into this country legally. Unfortunately, there's not a significant voting block that cares enough to make that happen.

    The occasionally amnesty programs just make things worse. They ignore the basic problem of getting in legally and create a lottery mentality for those who come in illegally.

  • Ray Ray||

    Um, they can't vote in the US because they aren't US citizens. Doi, they can't vote.

  • craftd||

    There is no such thing as a "star psychology student".

    My only advice to my son when he goes to college will be, "Don't date a psych major, they're all bats#*t crazy."

  • Hannibal Lecter||

    No such thing as a "star psychology student", you say? Perhaps we can discuss this over a nice chianti...

  • Colin||

    I was once in love with a psych major.

    Sometimes batshit crazy is a good thing. :)

  • ||

    I'm in what you might call an "amicable arrangement" with a psych major (she has her masters, actually), and while she's not batshit crazy, she's definitely very liberated in her approach to interpersonal relationships.

  • ||

    She was a redhead, right?

  • robc||

    Never stick it in crazy.

  • T||

    A rule men need to be reminded of constantly.

  • robc||

    This is because the benefits of sticking in it crazy are very obvious in the short term.

    It requires some long term thinking to realize its a bad idea.

  • ||

    Sticking it in crazy isn't the problem if you have and escape plan.

    Marrying the crazy, now that's to be avoided at all costs. You don't even have to end up like Phil Hartman for it to be a bad trip.

  • ||

    Marriage just requires an even better Escape Plan, shouldn't it? Something involving a waterfall, video camera, and a simulacra, etc.

  • Latin Nazi||

    Simulacra is plural, neuter gender. You're looking for simulacrum.

  • ||

    don't even date crzy...
    talk about a stalker times 10...

  • bosty||

    my working theory since Freshman year has been that Psych majors are all crazy and the reason they're Psych majors is to find out why.

  • db||

    Similarly, my one social worker friend insists that 90% of social workers have had serious problems in their past and they're trying to slay those demons by helping others...except they often can't see past their own past to really understand their clients' unique problems.

  • ||

    If they promise to go undercover for the ICE and participate in murder and drug smuggling, they might have a chance. They need to prove they are good citizens who believe in the law.

  • ||

    They could start doing straw buys for the ATF.

  • ||

    Suppose a young child is snuck into a ball game by his parents. In the ninth inning, they are caught and thrown out.

    1. It isn't his fault, his mom snuck him in.
    2. He has been a great fan. Polite, everybody in the row likes him.
    3. He invested his time in the first eight innings, now you are going to throw him out in the ninth.
    4. Baseball needs fans.

  • ||

    He snuck in at 20 months old, and now he's in college? Sounds more like crickett than baseball.

  • ||

    Except he would be thanking security in that scenario.

  • ||

    My son and I started watching cricket on some weird channel many years ago. I actually understood the rules after a while, but never got to the end of a game. If there was one.

  • tarran||

    Since a game (with one Inning for each side) takes a couple of days, few people ever watch an entire game.

  • robc||

    Thats only test cricket. And that is 2 innings per side (their is no such word as inning in cricket). And it is max 5 days.

    Then there is ODI cricket, which is One Day International. One innings (see) max each, but also max 50 overs each. It finishes in one day, imagine that.

    Then there is Twenty20 cricket. 20 overs per side. Lasts about the length of a baseball game.

  • ||

    Why exactly didn't mommy and her get a green card in the roughly 18 years they've been in the states, but Daddy has his green card?

  • ||

    Because once you areyou've been in the country illegally, you're ineligble to get a green card. You cannot receive one unless you prove continuous legal status in the US, or else leave the country for something like 10 years.

  • hightower||

    It is so tiresome when sympathetic personal narratives are used to gum up political arguments with irrelevant emotional appeals.

    "Habib didn't learn she was undocumented until she was in high school, and her mother has been seeking asylum for the two of them since then."

    Boo-Hoo. Bitch at your parents, not the U.S. Government or U.S. laws. It's your parents fault that you aren't in the country legally. The fact that your father has a green card is a clear sign that your family was not ignorant of the law.

  • tarran||

    Why should she bitch at her parents? They're not the ones who suck.

    The anti-immigrant hysteria in this country has resulted in laws that are just as hurtful as Jim Crow laws, and frankly the lawbreakers are not the ones who are behaving shamefully.

  • Obamao||

    laws that are just as hurtful as Jim Crow

    I got mine. Fuck Haji.

  • ||

    The anti-immigrant hysteria in this country has resulted in laws that are just as hurtful as Jim Crow laws.

    Thank you. The immigration laws have created a vast underclass of "illegals". People who cannot legally work in anything except medial jobs. They are ineligible to get visas so their status is permanent. In effect, it is really not much different from having an institutionalized class structure. You have a class of legal citizens who can hold professional degrees and get rich, and a class of serfs - undocumented immigrant manual laborers who are forbidden from entering any higher profession, and who live perpetually in fear of the police.

  • Al||

    Yeah, but it's their own fault for wanting to come here for a two thousand percent raise. I mean, all they have to do is wait on line for a couple of lifetimes. What's the big deal?

  • ||

    *golf clap*

  • ||

    amazing...tell me how laws work?

  • seguin||

    Shittily.

  • Federal Dog||

    "You have a class of legal citizens who can hold professional degrees and get rich, and a class of serfs - undocumented immigrant manual laborers who are forbidden from entering any higher profession, and who live perpetually in fear of the police."

    If they had half a brain, they would have understood that living illegally in a foreign country is a bad idea for them and their children. People that low-functioning intellectually couldn't be professionals anyway.

    No one can help stupid people be not stupid. We can only protect society from the illegals' stupidity and greed.

  • ||

    If you had half a brain, you wouldn't be an incompassionate fuckwad.

  • Ray Ray||

    Oh, boo hoo. The Dog Whisperer was (is??) an illegal alien, HE is living the American Dream. There are plenty of felons out there who can learn a thing or two from illegal aliens b/c when white Americans go to jail, they can't even go work at McDonald's. And the standard of living is obviously better here than it is in their home country, or they would go home. More people work unskilled positions than professional positions. Yes, I understand your point is that it is easier for legal citizens to attain a professional degree/career than it is for ILLEGAL citizens to, but a) not very valid as a response to a story about a girl who is in COLLEGE here, and b) you are completely wrong if you think illegal aliens have it significantly worse off than your average, legal, working class citizen.

  • ||

    The law forces families to live separately for years while incompetent bureaucrats mess up your application repeatedly or fail it based on arbitrary b.s. Hardnosed compliance with immigration law is easy to talk about for someone who obviously has zero experience with it. The INS is easily one of the most incompetent bureaucracies.

    But conservatives love incompetent, wasteful bureaucracies as long as they accomplishes their desired ends, like keeping out swarthy foreigners and killing swarthy foreigners overseas.

  • ||

    Hardnosed compliance with immigration law is easy to talk about for someone who obviously has zero experience with it.

    So....George Clooney for Head of The INS?

  • Escaped slave||

    Teh law is teh law, right hightower?

  • ||

    Pfft. Psychology Major

  • ||

    Forgive the dumb question (I don't know much about the naturalization process), but why did they spend time applying for asylum instead of seeking citizenship? I'm assuming there's a pertinent reason, but I don't know what it is.

  • ||

    It's a step by step process. Need residency first.

  • ||

    They lived in the US for 20 years - residency requirement is 5 years.

  • ||

    You have to be a resident for 5 years. As in, have a green card.

  • ||

    The NATURALIZATION period is 5 years. You have to have residency FIRST. Residency is a legal process involving obtaining a legal permanent resident's visa aka "green card".

    Only AFTER you have a greed card does your 5 year period for legal residency start.

  • ||

    I had really hoped this question was so obvious that it would have been answered already: what would keep her from getting a green card when she found out she was illegal?

  • ||

    Are you being intentionally dense? You cannot become a resident automatically just because you've been here 5 years. You need to apply for a green card first. Then, if you get it, after 5 years, you can seek citizenship.

  • ||

    Asylum, if granted is the easiest path to getting resident alien status. And yes asylum seekers get green cards after which they have to wait five years before they can be naturalized.

    On the other hand asylum is not the slam dunk most people think it is. Most petitions are denied.

    They presumably used asylum because they did not qualify (or thought they did not qualify) for resident status under any of the other rules.

  • Al||

    The fact that's she's illegal. All she has to do now is leave the country for ten years then she can start the five to ten year process to get a green card.

  • ||

    sounds like someone is waving the "not fair" flag again...

  • ChrisO||

    That might have been an option for the father, but once the mother and daughter went "off the grid" following the expiration of whatever visas they arrived here with, it would have become much more difficult for them to seek citizenship status. The law penalizes such folks by making them return to their home country for an extended period before they can even apply for another visa, let alone citizenship.

    What I'm guessing happened is that the father came over first on a work visa and brought his wife and daughter over for a "visit" once he got established. They may have applied for permanent resident status (a prerequisite for citizenship, I believe) once here but been turned down.

    The options were then to (a) split the family, (b) return en masse to the poverty-ridden hellhole that is Bangladesh, or (c) take the risk of staying here as a family.

    The daughter ought to think about relocating to India if that is possible, since there are few options for educated women in Bangladesh (apart from a few wealthy families that pretty much run the place).

  • ||

    Thank you for a respectful answer to my question, ChrisO.

    My sincerest apologies to Hazel Meade for not knowing everything. Can you fix this moron's thermostat while you're at it?

  • ||

    Another moron who doesn't know anything about immigration, obviously.

    In order to become a citizen you have to become a resident first.

    It's very difficult, almost impossible, to become a resident unless you have an college degree or an immediate relative who is a citizen.

    Even if yoyu have those things, you're ineligible to get residency if you've been in the country illegally.

  • ||

    No, actually, I'm not a moron. I don't generally need to keep facts on the citizenship process handy, so I don't. It's called allocation of resources.

    "Even if yoyu have those things, you're ineligible to get residency if you've been in the country illegally." -- that was the sentence I was looking for.

    By the way, if you're concerned about morons, you should check your own spelling first.

  • ||

    I apologize. I've been through the immigration process, and I can't tell you how many idiots I have met who think that becoming a citizen is a simple matter of walking into the INS office and filling out a form.

    There are so many people who claim to oppose illegal immigration who are frankly astonishingly ignorant about the immigration process in the US.

  • ChrisO||

    There are a lot of missing facts here. It would be interesting to know what, if anything, the family has been trying to do to obtain legal residency status for the mother and daughter for the last 20 years. To me, it seems ridiculous to grant green-card status to a person but not to their spouse and minor children at the same time.

    Unlike some, I'm not willing to just throw open the borders and eliminate immigration controls. However, the current system is far too complex and restrictive--it ends up penalizing good folks like this and rewarding scofflaws simply for being better at remaining undercover. It actually encourages crimes like identity theft.

  • ||

    I'm guessing that at the time the father came to the US, he was on a non-immigrant temporary worker's visa (maybe H1B). He then brought his wife and infant daughter over illegally. He then had three sons, born in the US who are thus citizens. Later, after obtaining a green card, he found he could not sponsor the wife and daughter because they had been illegally residing in the US.

  • ChrisO||

    That seems like a plausible explanation. H-1B visas are not easy to get, either, but much easier than green cards. I did think that H-1Bs went mainly to specialized workers like engineers, doctors, etc., and not to cab drivers, since there's a whole certification process that goes into them.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: ChrisO,

    H-1B visas are not easy to get, either, but much easier than green cards.


    It is certainly easier to get an H-1B visa, but it is more likely to be struck by a bolt of lighting than be the lucky bastard to win the lottery for one. Oh, and Mexicans are barred from the H-1B lottery, just so you know who your friends are.

  • ChrisO||

    Mexican engineers or other professionals whose skills are in demand here can get an H-1B if they have an employer sponsor, I'm pretty sure. It seems like much of the H-1B process is employer-driven.

    Isn't the lottery just for people who don't qualify under the "scarce labor" provisions?

    All I really know about this is the small sliver of case law I occasionally read on the subject. And those all involve skilled workers who either applied for jobs here prior to entering the country or whose employers sought to bring them over. The employer ends up shouldering much of the application burden in those cases.

    And from reading those court decisions, I'm well-aware how mind-numbingly complex, arbitrary and harsh the entire process is. It's a national shame for a country built on immigration.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: ChrisO,

    And from reading those court decisions, I'm well-aware how mind-numbingly complex, arbitrary and harsh the entire process is. It's a national shame for a country built on immigration.


    The case here is that most of these laws are driven entirely by a protectionist/mercantilist mindset that stems back 3 centuries. Despite the economic advantages of immigration for the whole country, especially whe it comes to Division Of Labor, the immigration regulators manipulate the requirements as if they were privvy to each area's, region's, county's or industry's requirements - i.e. they purport to read minds, to put it more succintly.

    Mexican engineers or other professionals whose skills are in demand here can get an H-1B if they have an employer sponsor[.]


    ONLY, and it is still subject to the lottery. If you happen to work for a multinational company with a Mexican and US part, the employer may apply for you for an H or L visa, or a TN visa. But if your employer is American only, the process is more drawn and complicated, because of the requirement to advertise the job posting and proving that the only person that can fill the post is the foreign brown-skinned human with the engineering title.

  • ChrisO||

    I didn't realize those were subject to a lottery. I thought that instead it was simply up to the employer to demonstrate the lack of U.S. citizens qualified to fill a given position. My mistake.

    What a crazy fucking thing it is, from start to finish.

  • ||

    There is a lottery on H1-Bs these days because the demand exceeds the number of available visas. This started in the last 5-10 years.

  • ||

    The labor certification really is the killer.

    You have to prove that no American worker can do the job. To the satisfaction of the federal department tasked with protecting the interests of domestic labor.

    It is, essentially, the labor unions way of keepiing foreign labor out.

    I don't know what asshole came up with that law. It must have passed during some period of rampant xenophobic hysteria. I doubt it would pass today, but you know how difficult it is to get something repealed. The chance of anyone saying "hey let's abolish the labor cert" is pretty much nil. Republicans will oppose it just to not appear soft on immigration.

  • ||

    The labor certification really is the killer.

    You have to prove that no American worker can do the job. To the satisfaction of the federal department tasked with protecting the interests of domestic labor.

    It is, essentially, the labor unions way of keepiing foreign labor out.

    I don't know what asshole came up with that law. It must have passed during some period of rampant xenophobic hysteria. I doubt it would pass today, but you know how difficult it is to get something repealed. The chance of anyone saying "hey let's abolish the labor cert" is pretty much nil. Republicans will oppose it just to not appear soft on immigration.

  • ChrisO||

    The H-1B visa goes back to 1990, though it has precursors going back to 1952.

    http://www.zazona.com/shameh1b/H1BHistory.htm

  • ||

    The H1-B has been around, but there wasn't a lottery for it until they started exceeding the quota in the last few years.

  • ||

    Oh yeah, cab driver ... I wonder ... asylum maybe?

    In any case, the dad isn't a citizen yet, so he obviously got some sort of legal non-immigrant visa, initially.

  • ||

    Alternatively, they might have married after the mother and daughter came over illegally, possibly hoping to get her a legal visa.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: ChrisO,

    There are a lot of missing facts here. It would be interesting to know what, if anything, the family has been trying to do to obtain legal residency status for the mother and daughter for the last 20 years.


    Only US Citizens can request a greencard for famili members (spouse, children or parents), not greencard holders. The husband would have to first apply for citizenship, which may cost him something like $10,000.00 USD, and then be able to request that his wife and child be issued an entry visa and then a greencard. For the spouse it may take a few months, but for a child it may take YEARS.

    So it's not as clearcut as YOU think. Some countries may have tougher immigration laws, but at least you know what you get yourself into. With American immigration law, things change from year to year, which is why immigration lawyers in the US are so wealthy.

  • ||

    Naturalization shouldn't cost $10,000. I think the issue is that it probably took him this long to get a green card himself.

    Maybe he came to the US himself on a non-immigrant work visa or asylum or something, then eventually got a green card through family sponsorship. But his kids were already in their teens by that point, so he's not eligible for naturalization yet.

  • ChrisO||

    Oh, I know how non-clearcut the process is. Even from the relatively small amount I've read about it, our immigration processes are straight out of Kafka.

  • ||

    I've read Kafka, and yes, they are.

  • ||

    That wasn't an instruction manual?

  • ||

    Straight forward neutralization processes do not cost 10k.

    If he's had his green card for the five years needed for residency, has filed his taxes properly for the entire time, and has no criminal record it's about 2k (that's with filing fees, biometrics, basic legal fees, and includes wasted time in dealing with the fuckwit government bureaucracy.)

    If there is even the slightest complication then the money needed can get interesting.

  • MWG||

    "However, the current system is far too complex and restrictive--it ends up penalizing good folks like this and rewarding scofflaws simply for being better at remaining undercover. It actually encourages crimes like identity theft."

    Thi alcohol/drug prohibition.

  • MWG||

    Grrrr... 'Think'.

  • Chatroom Crank||

    "But because Habib was 20 months old when her mother brought her to the U.S., both she and her mother are scheduled to be deported tomorrow."

    False, they are scheduled to be deported because they are not supposed to be here. Once she became 18, she was legally responsible for herself. Time send her back to where she belongs, then repeal the idiotic 1965 Immigration Act which has done more than anything to destroy this country. Diversity kills.

  • ||

    "Back where she belongs"...which obviously isn't the country she's lived in since she was 20 months old.

  • Zeb||

    It must be nice to know with such certainty how things are supposed to be.

  • Spartacus||

    Took yer job, did they?

  • ||

    Random or variable enforcement of the laws leads to corruption and a loss of faith in government. It's easy-- enforce the damn laws or revoke/change them. DON'T have functionaries or politicians randomly deciding which ones to enforce and against whom.

  • Joe||

    They likely were not eligible for the discretionary relief delegated to ICE by Obama in the first place because their case was already before an immigration judge.

  • Colin||

    I'm totally sympathetic to her, but the language argument is weak. She wouldn't have any problems speaking English back home.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Collin,

    I'm totally sympathetic to her, but the language argument is weak. She wouldn't have any problems speaking English back home.


    She would not have access to a Panda Express "back home." That is torture in my book.

  • ||

    Panda Express = Yummy!

  • ||

    Eww. Gross.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Proprietrist,

    Hey, it's the cheapest lunch one can buy for a family that does not consist of cardboard hamburgers! At least from my point of view!

  • Neil||

    What do families of cardboard hamburgers eat?

  • ||

    Give me Taco Bell any day over Panda Express.

  • ChrisO||

    Oh really? English is taught in Bangladesh, but I don't believe its use is as prevalent there as in India or Pakistan.

    The bigger problems she'd have are economic and cultural. I'd think she'd be better off in India.

  • ||

    In Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, English proficiency is the path out of poverty as it opens up opportunities. But unless you speak the local language you will be utterly isolated from any local society. Except, possibly, in major cities like Delhi, Bangalore or Mumbai (and maybe a couple others I missed).

  • ChrisO||

    That's undoubtedly true.

    Also, I'd sure rather be looking for work in Mumbai or Chennai than in Dhaka. And that's doubly so for an educated single woman. She'd probably have issues anywhere in the subcontinent, but Bangladesh really is the worst of the worst, from all I've read.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, I think the Indian government is even more hostile to immigrants from Bangladesh than the good old USA is.

  • ChrisO||

    Yeah, that's probably true. She's probably run out of time to explore all the options, but continuing her studies in India could conceivably be a way around that. That way, she's not 'just another hungry Bangladeshi peasant', which is primarily what India is trying to avoid acquiring more of.

  • ChrisO||

    Like everything else, some of dad's money (probably not bad by standards over there) might help grease the skids, whichever path she takes.

  • ||

    Seriously? I'd love to see how you'd feel to get ripped away form the home you've known for your whole life.

    They might speak English there but it's not the language of the people or culture.

  • ||

    BTW, if called for any federal or state jury service I will state my intention to refuse to find guilty anyone for any reason based on the Fed and state selective enforcement of the laws by category and groups of people, as well as the acceptance of sancturay cities perpetuating anarchy be refusal to enforce/abide by selected laws.

  • tarran||

    I thank you for this pledge; juries full of emotional people who can't think clearly tend to produce the most unjust outcomes, and your recusal should be a perturbance in the right direction.

  • ||

    That's nice, but in immigration cases, the defendants are not entitled to a jury trial. These cases are decided by a judge.

  • tarran||

    Shush Hazel! The guy is refusing to serve on juries! That sort of thing should be encouraged, especially when the person in question makes incoherent arguments!

  • ||

    This country was such a hellhole before INS and ICE were invented.

    Thank scrod we came to our senses.

  • ||

    Thank scrod we came to our senses.

    No kidding. Look at `em. Fucking brown people.

  • ||

    No kidding. Look at `em.

    I am. She (currently) qualifies as "cute as a button".

    I say let her stay.

  • ||

    Ditto. They should have some discretion to let the cute chicks stay.

  • ||

    All this time and effort, pain and misery, money and injustice.... all over imaginary lines.

  • Knee Jerk Anti-Immigrationist||

    Illegal is Illegal!

  • MWG||

    I think you mean, teh law is teh law.

  • ||

    Not grasping the point of this article. So the girl is a star student whose parents dropped the ball. They had 20 years to take care of this. Go back and start at the end of the line. That's the rule. Because she's academically successful, we're supposed to make and exception? Like she's better than anyone else?

  • ||

    They had 20 years to take care of this.

    You've obviously never been through the immigration process.

    It took me 17 years to get a green card.

  • ||

    I got a green card in the early 60s with my parents. Never applied for citizenship until I was in the Army in the mid 70s. My paperwork was lost twice. Since I was overseas, I had to do it through the US embassy in Frankfurt. It took 6 years to get my citizenship. Right about the time I graduated from college. And I was married to an American. People have no idea.

  • robc||

    BTW, I think military service should be the easiest (well, maybe not easy) method to citizenship.

    Honorable discharge - would you like citizenship with that?

  • ||

    You have to have a green card before you can join the military.

  • ||

    Service members only reqire a three year wait rather than five for citizenship, though. Wikipedia says it's one now. I can't be bothered to read the whole thing so I'm not sure.

    Of course, the words FUBAR and SNAFU were invented by the military. As rac notes a law saying something should be so does not necessarily make it so.

    During the draft years, all US males 18-26 had to register regardless of citizenship or residence status (only exceptions, sons of diplomats and other select foreign government employees) and were subject to induction if they didn't qualify for any deferrals. Foreigners, both leag and illegal, were routinely drafted.

  • ||

    Also, I heard an interview on NPR with a law prof, who is also an Army Reserve JAG, who said that is only service branch policy, not law.

    Any of the service branches, according to her, could recruit aliens regardles of immigration status if they wanted to.

    I would not be at all surprised if anothe JAG lawyer opined differently, but as I noted, illegal aliens have served in the US armed Services.

  • wayne||

    I absolutely agree with you on this. Serving in the military, honorably, ought to entitle you to citizneship. And, upon discharge, you ought to be able to list which of the 50 states you reside in.

  • Amakudari||

    Go back and start at the end of the line.

    Cool. You believe there's a line.

    Any other mouthbreathers who've never been through the process want to take a stab at this one?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Sorry, I don't want to make fun of what all of you have been through, but it's very telling that INS made libertarians out of so many people.

  • MWG||

    In my case, that's not far from the truth. If nothing else, it's made me despise republicans all the more.

  • Holy Cow||

    Yes, yes, good idea. Let's base our laws on

    1) shoddily written news stories
    2) personal anecdotes
    3) emotion.

    'Cause that's all that's going on here.

    Whoever wrote this story has no clue as to what they are talking about.

    The fact that the father has a green card, but the STAR STUDENT who didn't learn until she was 18 her immigration status is proof that this story is BS as written. The first thing a father would do is secure residency rights for all their kids.

    And their residency status never came up ever ever ever during dinner or something? "Hey, Dad, where are you and my 3 siblings going?" "Uh, er, em, to see a lawyer, darling." "About what?" "Um, er, uh, you know, like, stuff." "Oh, okay, guys have fun. I'll just be here at home studying for my psych test."

    I mean, did any of the nitwits writing this story ask how the father was able to obtain his green card? Did they?

    Because in order to work in the US, if an immigrant, your employer has to sponsor you. And you can only be sponsored if the employer can prove that you and you alone can do the work. (such as language translator or entertainer or some such specialized skill).

    In short, cabbies can't get sponsored because any American with a drivers license can drive a cab. If he was going for a job with a software developer in Silicon Valley that needed Indian translators, then he'd be fine.

  • ChrisO||

    You can tell that there's plenty wrong with the immigration system, just from this article. I agree that there's a lot more to this story than we're seeing here, and I also agree that "basing our laws" on hard cases full of emotion like this is unwise.

    I just don't see a point to admitting an adult to any kind of residency status without also admitting his/her spouse and minor children to the same status.

  • Amakudari||

    I just don't see a point to admitting an adult to any kind of residency status without also admitting his/her spouse and minor children to the same status.

    Well, from a mainstream immigration standpoint there's a justification for extending visas to skilled workers but not their families. You bring in the workers, they pay taxes, consume few services, and eventually leave. But if you do permit their family to come to the US, it absolutely should be under the same status.

  • ChrisO||

    If we're talking short-term work visas, I agree. But even the mainstream position can't justify granting permanent residency status for a worker but not their spouse & children. Doing so has only one possible outcome--huge increase in illegal immigration. I'd go so far as to say that the same visa should extend to the family, not just the primary individual, so long as they can show they are legally married and that the entering children are minors.

    The biggest unknown in this case is how the father got into the country in the first place. That obviously bears on what status his wife would have had at the time, even under my proposal.

  • Amakudari||

    But even the mainstream position can't justify granting permanent residency status for a worker but not their spouse & children.

    Oh, certainly. I'm not disagreeing with that, just saying that there's an understandable place for a temporary residency status that excludes the worker's family. Permanent residency without offering the same to the family makes no sense at all.

  • ||

    The thing is that bringing one's family over makes it much more likely that you will never leave.

    That's why the government tends not to approve visas for spouses of supposedly "temporary" workers.

  • Amakudari||

    I think we're saying the same thing.

    Temporary visa restrictions to workers only is defensible, but permanent residents and their family should share the same status. SLD that I support open borders.

    And, of course, the idea of bringing a girl to the US at 20 months and deporting her to one of the shittiest countries in the world at 20 years is antithetical to almost every value worth having. But staffers really seem to smoke out the Republicans here with immigration posts.

  • ||

    It's entirely possible that they have been trying to get legal status, unsucessfully, for the last 20 years.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    It's possible, but the article doesn't indicate that.

  • ||

    Actually, it does.

    From the New York Daily News FA:

    Habib's mother has unsuccessfully fought to reopen their asylum case for a decade. On Sept. 10, they got a letter saying they have to leave.

    [italics mine]

    She could very easily have spent nearly a decade before that in the maw of the INS before they rejected her petition.

    She has now presumably run out of appeals, and since she and her daughter are such obviously dangerous criminals they qualify for deportation under the new Obama administration guidelines.

  • ||

    But that's just the asylum claim. The article mentions that the father has LPR status. When did he get it? Did he file for his wife and daughter? I'd like to see a follow up.

  • ||

    cry me a river

  • ||

    Like she's better than anyone else?

    This is a valid point. In fact, we should force all citizens, natural born and otherwise, to RENEW THEIR CITIZENSHIP REGULARLY. We can call it the "What Have You Done For U S Lately? Act". Why should some lazy slob like me get a free ride just because his family arrived on the Mayflower?

    I'm underemployed, so I'm not paying my fair share of taxes.

    I have never even paid more than $1500 for a car; I'm evading my duty to support the auto industry, and to put myself on the hook for massive vehicle registration fees (ROOOOOADZ!).

    I don't trust or support the government; I don't even believe in American Exceptionalism.

    I don't vote, because I believe our corrupt system serves up nothing but corrupt candidates.

    I'm unmutual.

    All I want is to be left the fuck alone.

  • ||

    I like this idea.
    Every five years, everyone on the planet should be allowed to apply to be a citizen. We can kick out all the lazy welfare moms nad white trash, and let in all the smart hot indian girls.

  • Ray Ray||

    And the person who took 17 years to become a US citizen admits she wants to kick out all the white people. That's gonna help your cause...

  • Applederry||

    Nothing like a good immigration article to air out all the Republicans.

  • ||

    is that fullbore hate or just a mild dislike?

  • ||

    I was never even a Boy Scout, much less in the Army.

  • wayne||

    OK, you got me with that one. You should be deported immediately.

  • ||

    Only US Citizens can request a greencard for famili members (spouse, children or parents), not greencard holders.

    No, actually Lawful Permanent Residents, ie Green Card holders can sponsor family members for Legal status.

    They just have to follow a slightly different set of rules tham US citizens.

    That said, the conditions under which both classes have to operate can only be described as byzantine (I notice Kafkaesque is already taken).

  • ||

    Isn't the lottery just for people who don't qualify under the "scarce labor" provisions?

    One of the lotteries is for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program which makes 50,000 diversity visas available annually.

    It is explicitly closed to Mexicansonly open to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

  • Michael||

    I go to Stony Brook University and am a very close friend of Nadia. It is very sad to see this happening to such a sweet girl. I have been on the frontlines trying to contact ICE officials and calling around to get support for Nadia. If you know this girl personally like I do this deportation will crush her. Tomorrow Thursday September 29th, the day of her deportation, there will be a rally at
    Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building - 26 Federal Plaza from 9:30-11:00. This is a last ditch effort to prevent my friend from being deported

  • wayne||

    marry her.

  • ||

    Doesn't matter. She's been in the US illegally. She's not eligible for a green card.

    Besides, it would be too obvious. The INS would never fall for it.

  • ||

    Yes, that marriage thing might work well in movie plots, not so much in the real world.

  • Michael||

    UPDATE: 12:40 She gets to remain in the U.S.

  • Isaac Bartram||

    Glad to hear it, Michael.

  • ||

    If Gilibrand were such a lad she would attempt to pass a private act to make them citizens or at least allow them to stay. I mean it is not impossible.

  • ||

    Implying Gilibrand actually gives a shit about New York students?

  • ||

    good riddance to bad rubbish! America must get back to its moral values and the values of these foreigners will put you on the path to hell.

  • ||

    Good Bye and Good Riddance. Your parents knew what they were doing. It is unfortunate that she must suffer but the law is the law. SHIP HER OUT!

  • WillMunny||

    Should we have open borders? You know, where anyone who wants to, can simply show up in the United States and claim citizenship?

    If not, then shouldn't we have rules to determine who can claim citizenship?

    We don't "punish" people who break those rules, we simply return them to their own country. And in this case, our taxpayers get to pay for two plane tickets to Pakistan.

    The US isn't in the wrong.

    Should children of thieves get to keep the loot?
    Should children of embezzlers get to keep the cash?
    Should the children of car thieves get to drive the stolen BMW?

    How is this different?

  • ||

    Should we have open borders? You know, where anyone who wants to, can simply show up in the United States and claim citizenship?

    No. But we should have open borders where anyone who wants to can simply show up in the United States and claim residence.

  • ||

    Whenever I see one of these cases, I just think if that would happen to one of my ancestors. They migrated to America in the 1860's to the 1890's. Am I sure that all their paperwork was completely correct?

  • philmon||

    This is what really gets me about the whole "debate" over illegal immigration. There are people like this lady, trying to play by the rules, and they get grief and in this case, deported.

    Meantime Arizona's being sued over a law that allows cops to ask for identification when they pull someone over or arrest them for some other crime -- if they have reason to suspect they might not be here legally.

    It's completely bass ackwards.

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