Illegal Aliens Continue Going Public to Avoid Deportation

One of the newest trends illegal aliens are embracing as a means to escape deportation might surprise you: they’re going public.

This brazenness is thanks to the Obama Administration’s issuance of prosecutorial discretion guidelines, which direct DHS agents to ignore illegal aliens so long as they are not convicted of crimes the Administration deems serious. (See FAIR’s Morton Memos Summary, Jan. 2012)

This mandated “discretion” sends a clear message to illegal aliens that it’s okay to break the law. The amount of confidence bestowed by President Obama’s administrative amnesty policies has been enough to encourage illegal aliens to come out of hiding, stage their own rallies, and even challenge immigration authorities directly.

Here is a sampling of these “coming out” stories:

• In February, José Luis Zelaya, a graduate student at Texas A&M University, gained attention by running for the highly publicized position of Student Body President, integrating his illegal status into his campaign platform. (Fox News Latino, Feb. 29, 2012)

• Daniela Palaez of Florida gained nationwide attention in March when she was named her high school’s 2012 valedictorian. Palaez, who was brought to the U.S. as a young child, was facing imminent deportation until her story went viral and Florida Reps. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera, as well as Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, made public appeals on her behalf. Within four days, ICE granted Palaez a two-year deferment of deportation, citing prosecutorial discretion. (FOX Phoenix, March 2, 2012; see also CBS Miami, March 6, 2012)

• In mid-April, Florida State University Law School graduate and tourist visa overstayer Jose Godinez-Samperio was spotlighted by the media when he petitioned for admission to the Florida Bar Association. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners is now requesting decision assistance from the Supreme Court, which marked the case “high profile.” (see also Orlando Sentinel, April 15, 2012)

• Mohammed Abdollahi, an illegal alien residing in Michigan, brazenly explained that “the more public [illegal aliens]are with our stories, the safer we are.” (USA Today, March 12, 2012) Abdohalli, fearing he would be deported after years of living in the country illegally, got himself arrested and publicly pled his case. Sure enough, his lawyer was notified by an immigration official that Abdohalli would not be pursued for deportation. (Id.) Abdollahi now works for the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA).

• Most recently, Dulce Matuz, an illegal alien, and graduate of Arizona State University, was granted a coveted spot on TIME Magazine’s 2012 list of the Top 100 Influential People in the World. Matuz, who is the founder of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, is working hard to reach Latino voters in Arizona with her belief that illegal immigrants deserve a pathway to citizenship. (WCVB-Boston, April 20, 2012)

So many illegal aliens feel comfortable going public under this Administration that they’ve even created their own day of recognition. National Coming Out of the Shadows Day was first hosted in 2010 by the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL). The group’s Facebook page proudly notes that their event spurred “actions of civil disobedience” in a multitude of states. (See Business Week, April 16, 2012) One such action took place in Philadelphia, where two illegal alien students challenged immigration officers by entering an ICE field office and declaring their illegal status. They were arrested for blocking a street and ICE initially filed detainers on the two students, but eventually released them without consequence. (Bi-College News, March 20, 2012)

While some illegal aliens choose to “remain in the shadows,” a growing number continue to flaunt their status as if their unlawful presence alone merits citizenship, and suddenly a different descriptor comes to mind: entitled.

The rise in confrontational tactics by illegal aliens provides clear confirmation that President Obama’s administrative amnesty measures are serving as a positive reinforcement to the illegal community, cementing the idea that illegal aliens deserve citizenship simply due to their presence.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    The thing that this article forgets to speak about is that the majority or all of the illegal immigrants named in this article who are “flaunting” their status had no say or personal responsibility in coming to the US. These people were children, babies, who were unfortunately brought to our country by their economic migrant parents. This means they spent nearly their entire lives right here in America, yet have never been able to participate in the same society they grew up in. They went to school with the children of the people who write articles like this and speak English better than many native born American kids. Their only wrongdoing is being the child of someone who broke the law. Do you understand where I am coming from? We shouldn’t punish children for the sins of the father, which is what is happening to millions of people. If you want to punish someone, deal with whoever was an adult upon entering the US. Children are innocent. I hope you reread your own article and apply the correct context, knowing that these people you speak so negatively about were babies when they were basically smuggled here by their parents and no know other home or way of life but here. Many don’t even speak another language but English.

  2. avatar

    I find it so ironic how people say they broke the law by entering the country illegally. They are many people who break the law texting and driving or drinking and driving and having the possible of killing someone on the road yet people “break the law” by entering the country illegally only to seek a better life and contribute to the country. If only people could realize how much these illegal aliens need help an support from the country to stay here legally, theyll see how they can contribute even more. For example, if they can stay legally they can pay taxes and bring the economy back up but i don’t know I’m just saying. My thoughts… I think people rather see broken families than see how much they can contribute to the country. Smh

  3. avatar
    Marco Tighpants on

    I agree. Undocumented youth need to come out and make their voices heard even more!

  4. avatar
    Edward Lewis on

    I think that denying these young people, many of whom have lived in this country virtually their entire lives, the opportunity to thrive is the great civil rights issue of this time. Also, giving them legal status would allow them to contribute much more to our economy. It’s a win-win all around.

  5. avatar

    As a US Citizen activist and advocate for these young people I am pleased to call those mentioned in your article as my friends. Thank you for noticing. Now if we can only get the Obama administration to be as active in stopping the deportation of these young people as you seem to believe they are. In case you haven’t noticed the current administration has deported more people and split up more families in less than four years than the Bush administration did in eight. So much for your perception of an immigrant friendly administration. How do you think the thousands of young people who are American Citizens will grow up to view this country after it deported their parents and placed them in the foster care system? Make no mistake about it, the broken immigration system will change. Like it or not.

  6. avatar

    illegal immigration has many consequences throughout our society but one consequence that most people do not think about are the people who want to follow the laws and go through the process of immigration and citizenship.

  7. avatar
    Ana Zuniga-Maus on

    They can do what ever they want in this administration, because they know Obama and his government will not enforce the laws, they just look the other way hoping they will stay and vote for him in November.
    Obama has made America the laughing stock of the world, as most of the people in the civilized world, cannot understand how we can let illegal people, do what they do in this country, without any respect for our laws and with the blessings of this administration.

  8. avatar

    Even if the Court finds in favor of 1070, they are safe as church, and know it. Although I am not racist at all, at this juncture if I could get a “racist tax exemption” that protected my taxes from being paid to support this circus, I would take it, and a bumper sticker proclaiming my sins to the world. I do not believe this will happen, as without American tax payer support, S.B. 1070 would have been unnecessary.

  9. avatar

    Our main goal is to get Obama out of office, then we can demand change through the new President who has already stated that he believes deportation needs to happen so all these “out of shadow” illegals will be running for cover with no place to hide.

  10. avatar

    Good the more they become visible, the easier it will be to permanantly kick them out after we get rid of this corrupt regime of Obama/Holder/ and the rest of his perverted cronies.