Undocumented Immigrants to be Adopted Symbolically
(This article was originally posted by New American Media)
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“Thousands of Undocumented ‘Adopted'”
“For a safe America, adopt an immigrant,” says a coalition that recently initiated a program where American citizens can symbolically adopt an undocumented immigrant in the United States. More than 12 thousand undocumented children and adults in the United States have already been “adopted.” What’s more, some activists opposed to illegal immigration say they support the program.
The objective of the program, initiated at the national level last November, is to promote immigration reform that offers legal status and safety to undocumented immigrants, stated Osvaldo Cabrera, director of the Latinoamerica International Coalition, which initiated the movement.
Cabrera and other organizations began the program in hopes of collecting at least 200 thousand adoption signatures to present in the nation’s capitol between May and June of this year as proof of what they say is the desire of people to legalize the status of undocumented people in the United States.
“Although the adoption is symbolic, we want to find a solution to the psychological trauma that surrounds four million American children, whose parents don’t have legal immigration status and have been deported,” said Cabrera.
The activist told EGP, “We want to help the immigrants that strengthen this nation with their labor, culture, taxes and good moral conduct,” noting that only undocumented adults who can prove they pay taxes and have a clean criminal record can be adopted.
To the surprise of supporters of the “adoption campaign,” some anti-immigrant activists say they support their efforts.
“I love and care about the well-being of my ‘colleagues’ of Mesoamerica and I only wish the best for them,” declared Ted Hayes, who heads the “The Crispus Attucks Brigade (CAB).”
He points out that he understands and believes that “the program is a good idea and lends itself to greater improvement as far as the situation on the border goes,” adding that the individuals adopting should be legitimately American and only adopt an undocumented person in the country who is trying to become legal.
A member of the Minuteman Project who wished to remain anonymous added, “the program is good as long as those who are symbolically adopted are people who really wish to work legally in the country and don’t have a criminal record.”
According to the coalition, in order to demonstrate the legitimacy of the intent of the symbolic adoption form, the persons involved must have their signatures notarized.
“This demonstrates that we aren’t messing around; that there are people who set out to adopt undocumented and such a document could serve to be presented before a courtroom in case the adoptee is ever detained and found to be undocumented. It shows that there is someone who wishes to be held accountable for this person,” says Cabrera.
Different organizations such as Hermandad Mexicana and Federacion Mexico Unidos have joined the coalition along with the consulates of Honduras, Peru, Guatemala and Nicaragua to promote the program.
“In December of 2006, some two thousand children had been adopted and along with 10 thousand adults. We don’t want to cause divisions but vehicles of help,” said Cabrera.
For more information on how to participate, call (213) 627-1433 or (213) 627-1497.
I think it’s really interesting to see this new sort of symbolic adoption emerge as a vehicle for attaining legal status for illegal immigrants. I also find it very interesting that so many people are on board with this idea of “adopt an immigrant.”
It’s a good symbolic gesture, but I also think it has (at times) much more merit and legitimacy, than those a-families who are simply looking to add yet another philanthropic tokenist trophy to their familial display case….ahem::cough::cough::angelinajolie::cough