high school students protest anti-immigrant legislation

so much good news in the Post lately, abramoff gets jail time, jill carroll freed…

but this story just made my day. hundreds of high school students in northern virginia have joined hundreds of thousands of people across the country in protesting pending legislation that would crack down on those in the US illegally. the legislation passed by the House makes it a felony to be in the US illegally and makes it a crime “to offer aid ” to those who are in the US illegally. according to the New York Times, offenders, “who might include priests, nurses or social workers,” could face up to five years in prison for aiding persons in the country illegally.

anyway, back to the good news: immigrants and their supporters aren’t taking this lying down. i’m particularly happy to see high school kids so engaged in taking a stand. it isn’t surprising though, considering that many teenage children of immigrants stand to lose the most from this legislation: their families. many teens are US citizens whose parents are in the country illegally. the Post article quotes one of these teens, Ephram Lopez, who is worried that the new law will take his mother away from him and his two little brothers. talk about “family values,” huh? let’s just rip apart thousands of loving families across the country, why don’t we?

it breaks my heart that these young americans are displaying such respect and love for their country when the government is showing so much disrespect for their families. one of the young protesters even made me cry when he was quoted as saying “People have forgotten the meaning of America.” (you know, it’s really not hip for bleeding heart liberals like myself to be as sentimentally patriotic as i am.) indeed, in my personal experience it seems as if first generation US citizens are often the most law-abiding, patriotic, good citizens that our country has to offer. just another in a long list of contributions that undocumented immigrants have made (and continue to make) to our country.

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