ObamaCare, Welfare, for the masses..!
Evelyn made the journey from Mexico to Texas more than two decades ago to pursue a better life. But now, her life is constrained in other ways. Evelyn lives in the Rio Grande Valley, where multiple interior border checkpoints prevent undocumented immigrants from traveling north — unless they want to risk arrest and potential deportation.
So given all of the rubbish that is in the news now it is time to face reality — and that is one is not to be comfortable when breaking the law whilst entering a sovereign nation with adequate documentation.
This affects Evelyn’s ability to care for her son, David, who is both deaf and blind. The only school that can accommodate David is about 300 miles north in Austin. Evelyn can’t take him there herself. For years, she’s had to rely on friends.
Evelyn — who doesn’t feel comfortable using her real name because of her undocumented status — is just one of many immigrants living in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley who are forced to define their lives between border checkpoints. (Not forced, she initially made a choice.)
In the name of national security, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operates 35 permanent and hundreds of “temporary” border checkpoints to crack down on drug smuggling. These checkpoints allow agents to check the citizenship status of people passing within 100 miles of a U.S. land or coastal border. In order to pass through, immigrants are required to present documents like a U.S. passport or a driver’s license. (So what is the big deal?)
In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that these checkpoints are allowed as long as the stops involve a “limited inquiry into residence status” and a visual inspection of the car. Now, about 200 million people live in what the American Civil Liberties Union refers to as a “constitution-free” zone where they can be subject to checkpoints. Certainly that comes as an unavailable number someone’s picked.
At some checkpoints, border agents can go so far as to stop ambulances to check the immigration status of patients. In one case, an immigrant with a broken foot was allowed past a checkpoint to get treatment, but was told he would later be detained. He now has a pending immigration case, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Immigrant women are especially at risk now that Texas has slashed family planning funding and shut down clinics in the Valley. Even legal immigrant women who need birth control or cancer screenings are too afraid of crossing the checkpoints because they fear immigration enforcement.
Evelyn is holding out for comprehensive immigration reform, but she is also just as hopeful for a temporary fix like President Obama’s executive action known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Residents (DAPA).
DAPA would grant undocumented parents of legal U.S. citizens with the ability to secure a Social Security number needed to get a state identification card or driver’s license — something that could help Evelyn, since David has citizenship. But it’s been tied up in the U.S. Supreme Court because of a multi-state, Republican-led lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the initiative. Or in other words — amnesty. Has anyone asked the simple question, “Why?”
Evelyn hopes DAPA is upheld so that her family can benefit from David’s continued therapy sessions.
“It would be good most of all for him because he’ll be able to go back to school,” Evelyn said. “If I have DAPA, I will be with my two children and build a better life for both.”