Luisa Argueta, DREAM Act-Eligible Teen, Asks Sen. Feinstein to Stop Deportation

Categories: Immigration
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Luisa Argueta, center, and her mother, Brenda Gutierrez
Update, 5:30 p.m.: A Feinstein spokesperson says that the senator's office received information about the case and "is currently reviewing the matter."

Original post:

A 19-year-old Antioch resident eligible for the DREAM Act is asking Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-San Francisco) to halt her and her mother's deportation in September. Feinstein has proved to be a compassionate resource for such interventions: Last year, she did the same for City College student Steve Li, saying it would be unfair to deport him to Peru before Congress voted on the DREAM Act.

Luisa Argueta is what her attorney calls the "classic DREAM Act kid." Argueta's mother brought her to the United States from Guatemala when she was 4 months old. Argueta recently finished her first year at Diablo Valley Community College, and hopes to transfer to a four-year university. She is eligible for the DREAM Act, which would provide a route to citizenship for immigrants who were brought to America as kids and who complete two years of college or serve in the military. However, the legislation was defeated in Congress in December, which means Argueta has to leave.

But the question is will Feinstein intervene again?

"They're basically out of options," says San Francisco-based attorney Zachary Nightingale, who is representing the women. "We're asking Senator Feinstein's office for a special bill. ... it seems like a sympathetic case that someone like Feinstein would be interested in intervening in."

Luisa's mother, Brenda Gutierrez, applied for asylum after arriving in the United States, but the petition was denied in 2007. The government claimed they had insufficient grounds of persecution in Guatemala. Still, the Department of Homeland Security granted them permission to stay in the country until 2010, because Brenda's five-year-old daughter, Daniela, has neutropenia, a rare disorder that requires attention and frequent medical screening.

They reapplied in January, but immigration officials told them they would be deported on September 12.

Nightingale says that Feinstein is considering the private bill request, but the senator's spokesman didn't immediately have a comment on Thursday afternoon.

The deportation would break up Argueta's family. Her mother is now married to a U.S. resident who owns a moving company and they have two young daughters -- both are U.S. citizens.

"The family therefore represents exactly the type of mixed family of United States citizens and foreign nationals that any comprehensive immigration reform bill would seek to benefit," Nightingale writes in a statement.

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12 comments
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Caradox
Caradox

I'd actually like to ask a question rather than offer an opinion because this situation is confusing to me, and I am trying to better understand it.  Illegal immigration is a topic that I haven't yet formed a definite opinion on, and I have the feeling that there may be a -lot- about it that I don't understand.

I guess the first thing that I would like to know is this:  When Brenda brought her daughter to California from Guatemala, she apparently felt that conditions there were in some way threatening and therefore felt compelled to leave.  However, when she applied for asylum, the United States government decided that there were "insufficient grounds for persecution."  So ... what exactly -was- going on in Guatemala that compelled Brenda to leave, and how have things changed there over time?  If Brenda and Luisa would be put into a dangerous situation by being sent back there, then I believe it is the case that our country has an obligation, under international law, -not- to do so.  But I know pretty much nothing about Guatemala.

I received information about this issue in a magazine sent to me by Amnesty International, of which I am a member.  However, I'm having a hard time forming an -opinion- on the issue as I feel that there is a lot that I don't understand.  If anyone here wouldn't mind helping fill in the details for me so that I -could- form an opinion, I'd appreciate it.  Thanks.

TickedOff
TickedOff

sorry but you need to be deported ... my family came here when Hitler's men went throughout their village and hung all the men from telephone wires ... my family worked for their citizenship and took the time to go through the proper guidelines ! whereas you all are just another people who abuse our country and our kindness ... bye-bye !!

bigriggs
bigriggs

Yawn.....another sob story. Send them back home.

Nativo Lopez IX
Nativo Lopez IX

Luisa's mother is a deviant criminal and embarrassment to hard-working latino Americans everywhere. Her deportation proceedings need to be completed and executed with the utmost of speed. As for Luisa, she needs to take a long look at herself in the mirror and ask herself, "Who am I? What do I stand for? Have I no sense of ethics or fairness?" After she has answered each and everyone of those questions honestly she will know what to do. 

Opinionizmiown
Opinionizmiown

This mess is a mess because Brenda broke the law by entering the country illegally. Poor choices, not our problem nor should it be our burden.

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmid
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmid

Can't you see that Lauren is the reporter and she is got her information from their lawyer!!! Your the one that need to go back to school!!

Lauren Smiley
Lauren Smiley

Note from reporter: Nightingale says that the family enrolled all three of their daughters in private schools and paid taxes.

Opinionizmiown
Opinionizmiown

Did they pay full tuition or qualify for reduced or free tuition due to the hardships of them being here illegally caused? Many folks here legally experiencing their own hardships who should have benefited instead. 

JasminePerez1985
JasminePerez1985

Hey Lauren, CAN YOU READ? the reporter never said anything about the family enrolling their 3 kids in a private school. READ THE ARTICLE AGAIN, PLEASE!!!!!!!! AND GET YOUR INFO RIGHT! OMG!!!!!Maybe you need to go back to school or take a lesson from Luisa on getting your facts straight. HELLO! Wow....a mind is a very TERRIBLE thing to waste LAUREN. TERRIBLE.lmao

Joanbeckman
Joanbeckman

we paid for her education, why shouldn't we pay for her college too? I don't need to send my kids to college, I am sure they are not as deserving!

HAZEL...
HAZEL...

YOU DIN`T PAY FOR HER EDUCATION SHE WAS IN PRIVATE SCHOOL ..  AND SHE IS PAYING FOR HER COLLEGE TOO  SO DON`T WOORY THEY ARE NOT USING YOUR TAXES......

Caroline
Caroline

You do NOT pay for her college! Undocumented kids are not eligible for grants, loans, scholarships, AND have to pay out of state tuition which is THREE times as much as the rest of the people in school. Did you have a choice in whatever your parents did when you were 4 MONTHS OLD??!! This is her country, she doesn't remember those four months in Guatemala, but she certainly remembers her 19 years in the USA.

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