Livin’ the Dream: How to Spend Your Time as an Illegal Alien

Julissa Arce was an illegal alien. She says so in the piece she recently wrote for NBC news, criticizing Texas’ pro-immigration-enforcement SB-4. Despite not having any right to be present in the United States, Ms. Arce was charged in-state tuition at a Texas university and received a scholarship. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, she also scored a highly paid job at Goldman Sachs by using a fake Social Security number and fake green card.

Eventually, she exploited a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that allows people who entered the United States lawfully, but overstayed their visas, to obtain a green card when they marry a U.S. citizen. She subsequently became a U.S. citizen. Now, having repeatedly violated the INA in ways that should have barred her adjustment of status and her naturalization, she’s being lauded by the mainstream media as an expert commentator on U.S. immigration policy.

CNBC appears particularly fond of the type of nonsense that Ms. Arce peddles. In a February 2017 piece, she states, “The fact is, for most undocumented immigrants there is no application they can fill out, process they can go through, not even a fine they can pay to start the process of becoming U.S. citizens.” O for shame! The United States doesn’t want to reward illegal aliens for breaking our laws. That’s what legal luminaries, policy wonks and behavioral economists call deterrence.

Ms. Arce’s criticism of SB-4 isn’t any more illuminating. It parrots the standard American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) line that local police involvement in immigration enforcement will lead to a police state. And it employs the usual “politically correct” catch-phrases and buzzwords. She writes, “SB4 is essentially a ‘show me your papers’ law that is set to create an environment for racial profiling.”

Of course, Ms. Arce seems totally incapable of appreciating how her own story simply confirms the mind-numbing idiocy of her assertions. If she was “profiled” by anyone it has been as the “up-and-coming dreamer kid,” rather than any negative stereotype associated with illegal aliens. And, despite her ongoing and unrepentant disrespect for the laws of the United States, the racist, jackbooted thugs whom she claims to fear never appeared. She’s now a citizen. Being an illegal alien didn’t hold her back, it made her a celebrity. Julissa Arce hit the jackpot and lived an American dream that most native-born Americans never achieve.

And that’s exactly what is so disconcerting about the current immigration debate. Too often, it seems to focus on the immigrants and their needs. It almost never focuses on the citizens of the United States and what immigration should accomplish for them. Maybe it’s time the media and government started paying attention to what Americans want from immigration – and not what immigrants want from America.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    You don’t enter a Nation illegally and expect to be catered to period. You don’t enter a Nation illegally and hurry up and marry/impregnate someone as fast as you can just to get a foothold illegally. Which Americans usually end up supporting. Saying people are In American knowing damn well we’ve given Mexico billions and their illegals are costing us billions every year and yes sending billions home without it going back into our economy. They are actually a hell of a lot worse than the blood sucking leaches on welfare…I would demand payment from Mexico for every penny they have cost the taxpayers of this Country. Go step across the border with your Liberal thinking and see if your bleeding heart **** works both ways.

  2. avatar

    Shouldn’t she be in jail for using someone else’s Social Security Number?

  3. avatar

    Peter go insult someone you know. You do not know me except that my family built this country. Im pretty sure your a liberal new arrival ,you all sound the same. One of your precious illegals killed two wonderful Doctors last week in my liberal state of Masssachusetts. I’m pretty sure that every time that happens that this state turns more red. The only people in this state that vote Dem. are new arrivals and welfare recipients, which one are you?

    • avatar

      Fed up if your family built “anything” then be an example of it and not an embarrassment…. it is usually the case the later generations improves…and you are correct i do not know you nor I am interested . Learn how to differentiate a human being……..basically the good ones have a positive effect here and the bad ones as per you comment that I agree, they should be kicked out BUUUUT……then you are wrong to condemn them for something the good ones did not do…and in any case if illegals were to come here..the bad ones would somehow be here illegal….use your brain for a change… the fact Maddof is a crook and a thief….as an American does not mean you are a crook and a thief or that all Americans are crook…. but as per your twisted book….if I were to follow your mentality you are a crook and thief then……you are unable to grasp reality….and you are the one that insulted me first… live up your to you lala land…..

  4. avatar

    The fact of the matter is:
    This woman got the achievement that she deserve, not because she accomplished her goals means she didn’t had to go thru all the obstacles that anyone under her particular circumstances have to deal with.

    The author is right, she lived the american dream that most american born citizens never achieve, because they do not have what it take to do it, is not enough to be born geographically fortunate.

    The college graduates can’t find a job for the same reason, they don’t have what it takes, the good and capable SOFTWARE ENGINEERS are busy in their jobs, don’t have spare time to be trolls.

    The author can keep bragging about having more titles and diplomas all day long, but about education, doesn’t have much to show for it, never got over the racial hatred hole particular of individuals with very low or zero education.

    • avatar

      No, the “good and capable” tech workers are getting laid off by companies bringing in foreign replacements who work for far less salary and benefits. If the American tech workers are no good, why do the companies insist, with the threat that they won’t get a compensation package, that they teach the foreign replacements how to do the job? If they are so incompetent, the companies should not want them teaching the new workers anything. Doesn’t make sense. Neither do you.

      • avatar

        No Leland stick to the point……I have seen these dreamers not being hired and discriminated by a law Firm office in Chicago because they were dreamers….

        I disagree with you and even Matt that do not have all the facts……the dreamers that got the jobs deserved it an got it through efforts…..and extremely negligible against the tech workers’ situation…YOU ARE WRONG……

        They mostly replace the experience with the oversees H1B visas inexperience… the graduate hardly a chance…..what do you know Leland….only what you are led to believe in the writings …

        Many born here have done and still do that and do better…without any merits in school…..for instance the Facebook CEO, etc

        Even without the dreamers most born never get it because simply they have to be as good to win it……so you Luga and Matt have to be corrected….
        Last Leland I am glad I made an impact on you that anybody that things correct as per the facts you think it is me!!!….you are a troll but not of this blog, but in life.

        • avatar

          Peter I’m recognizing your liberal style of writing. Anyone that’s a American citizen would not want open borders and think illegals are better than their own citizens. Your not even a new arrival, your probably from India and can’t get a visas. All telemarketers man in India like the name Peter.

          • avatar

            Fed up you are a loser…..1st a liberal then from China to liberal… are an illegal from Honduras……

    • avatar

      She may have, but she did so fraudulently by using someone else’s identification. She should be jailed for that. If I, as an American citizen, did that, it would be considered a felony, and you can bet that I would be doing some jail time.

  5. avatar

    There is a video in the NBC link in which former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez claims that NAFTA does not even need to be renegotiated, much less dropped. Never mind that all those projections from back then, like every trade deal since, have turned out to be completely wrong. We went from a small trade surplus with Mexico to huge yearly deficits and the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs.

    Gutierrez also claims we need more immigration, not less, because, you guessed it, the native born workforce is “shrinking”. That assertion is false on the face of it, and it relies on economic theories more appropriate to the early 20th century, not the early 21st. Many jobs, up to 25% or more, will be replaced by automation in the next 20 years. EVERY single economic study says so. Many already have been. Many fast food places now have ordering kiosks. That’s one less job to hire someone for. The last thing we need is more unskilled undereducated workers. He also wants more H1B visas. I guess he thinks not enough American tech workers have been fired already.

    The anti Trump pro amnesty media keeps running to the anti Trump pro amnesty John McCain for quotes. McCain claims that the Trump issues are the same as Watergate. Utter nonsense. Nixon and his staff committed numerous provable felonies. In a March 1973 tape Nixon approved a million dollars to buy the silence of the Watergate burglars, some of which was proven to have been paid through a front group.

    McCain is not one to talk. He was a member of the Keating 5, a group of Senators who took large contributions from Charles Keating, who looted a savings and loan in the 80s and went to jail for it. Keating also gave huge loans to McCain’s wife and father in law and took them on family vacations to luxurious resorts. McCain, who passionately defended Keating, and the other 4 Senators were censured by the Senate for their actions.

        • avatar

          Well Leland I think you got yourself another friend: Luga..

          How about this……you were born here…..and was not even capable to do as good as Ms Arce when youwere her age… how come an illegal has higher IQ and better material to this land than you are? Explain that please…..

  6. avatar

    And of course nobody wants to file legal papers contending her existing status as fraudulent, that would be just be racist!

  7. avatar

    One Good Thing

    College Graduates can’t find a job either….all this pandering to IAs won’t admit this Progressive/Rino fake news lie….it makes Obama/Bush look like a failed buffoons…

    Dreamer, go back to your Motherland and use your education to fix your own OVERPOPULATION…we have no budget for you.

    $54 Billion cut from IA social spending in Trump’s 2018 budget….Social Security and Medicare spared from cuts.

    • avatar

      SWE are you high?…….an illegal has nothing to do with our graduates…..hahahahahahaAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! HA! you are NUTS!!!

      • avatar

        Peter, illegals receive grants and other paid tuition assistance at MUCH higher rates than do American kids in their own states. Why? Because out of state (country as well) are charged more money. Now, the colleges and universities make more money and receive more federal funding for it. My youngest daughter couldn’t get the same preferential treatment, she can’t get the classes she needs to finish her degree because they re full of out of state/country tuitioners. Before you go off, she is a first generation American. Her mother and I are naturalized Americans that did it ALL the RIGHT way. And this is how we re paid back. Higher taxes to pay for MORE “entitlements”, more “freebies”, more “welfare” and less freedoms than the illegals have.

        The state of Kalifornia has roughly 10 million plus immigrants of questionable (illegal) status. The estimated tax burden for all the entitlements (medical, schools, housing assistance etc…) is $25+ BILLION per year to the Kalifornia tax payers. Now, you are going to say that illegals pay their taxes and are “entitled” to them. WRONG. The estimated paid taxes by illegals is a paltry $3.4 BILLION. That leaves a deficit of approximately $22 BILLION. A HUGE burden upon LEGAL residents and tax payers.

        They (Kalifornia socialists/democrats) have GIVEN them drivers licenses. They have dropped the “requirement” to have a social security number in order to obtain a Kalifornia contractors license. Monies they make are (for the most part) NOT spent here. They are sent back to their country of origin. How does THAT benefit OUR economy? MY eldest daughters BEST HS friend was killed by a convicted 3 TIME DUI illegal alien out on parole. Yes, drunk out of his mind. Killed her instantly. She was a newly wed to her life long boyfriend. Life had just begun for her, instead, the hell bent legal system in Kalifornia gave him (the now 4 time drunk driving illegal) 45 days in jail and NO vehicular manslaughter charges because such a stink was raised that “they were out to get him because he was a Mexican”. He was given the option to self deport, he did for one month, then came right back. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE IN THAT?

        BTW numb nuts, HB1 and HB2 visa workers and illegals ARE taking an enormous portion of the jobs away from Americans. HS kids have a harder time finding summer jobs as well because businesses are fully staffed with lower wage illegals that are full time, year round. Instead of regurgitating what the Alt-left is throwing up on a daily basis, do some homework on your own, some research on your own. Come to your OWN conclusions. Not just the Alt-left talking points.

          • avatar

            That is not true. You have to be legally here to have financial aid in the universities so that is a big false statement.

            Be more specific about H1-Bs because even the H1Bs foreigners that paid to go to school here are not getting the jobs because they were outsourced or not hiring Americans…so Dave you are mixing apples and oranges……

            Agreed justice is a gray terrain sometimes but for instance….Fed up Leland and SWE do not want people like you here to come at all because of population….you are misinformed and/or you have not told us all the details….

            Dave travel the US and learn of what is going on……

            Is your daughter a good student? if she is she will get the scholarships and good opportunities but she has to look for them.

        • avatar

          So Dave if your daughter is a better student than any body there, you should complain and your daughter will get in the classes…no doubt….you are hiding details….if the other guys are smarter then go to a different university….. SO REMEMBER NO FINANCIAL AID in the Universities unless you are legal….

          The system in Academics does not discriminate academic performance, and if it does, get a lawyer, is your daughter right to have that opportunity…so not sit down and accept that reality…

          So how did you get your green card….marriage or work? I did some research of my own, I was born here, raised and work through my teens…

          Actually, not my conclusion facts that come from my ancestors 1600’s here…you are very green and know nothing about this land….so where are you from? Mexico?

          • avatar

            I’m from liberal MA. And illegals do get lots of financial aid at Universities. Universities are even adding extra fees to pay for illegals tuition. I’m also a Mayflower descendant and a D.A.R. Member. My family fought in every war in this country, and I resent people who come to this country illegally and did NOTHING to deserve to be here.

          • avatar

            Fed up in order to get financial aid you need to prove you are legally here. I looked into this AND this is a decision that has been made with money from The People that decided that for the undocumented. So, we are free and the therefore they are making sure the the kids that are good get a chance.

            None of your business nor mine. They decided to get the funds for this. You should be happy these kids are studying instead of on the streets….guess what?…..We The People invited the illegals and bused them…the reason they stayed…..

            So mine came not for religious persecution but to build a country starting with the Massachusetts Bay Colony with the John WInthrop Fleet; ” The City on the Hill” the wealthiest men came in that fleet, ;lawyers, builders, doctors, The most influential people that built this place and who we are.

            Not only my ancestors were in every war, but they funded them like the American REvolution War with more than 50 million dollars, survived handicapped and were never paid back, a couple o forefathers, h.1645 great swamp fight, founded cities, in the law, Heroes in the WWI etc….senators….etc

            I hold patents and worked my way up even though my family was wealthy but never got a tip had to work for it and get my hands dirty with the least educated and sent overseas to learn about other cultures, and my family exported American technology to build other countries…..etc etc etc.

            I have seen how the illegals are taken advantage of and slaved to make us wealthy,…SOOO

            It appears even in ancestry there is lots you need to learn and nowadays why nobody ever cared in the past….

            You resent what??? “people who come to this country illegally and did NOTHING to deserve to be here.”

            Really..may be a few and other few are criminals n murderers..I agree kick them out BUT for those abused and their children it is THE AMERICAN WAY to give them a chance they deserve it..
            BTW..what your ancestors and mine did….BELONG TO THEM it does not give you nor me the right to anything……every generation needs to earn that right and make sure the way of life is preserved… accountable,,,,educate yourself…learn what it is accountability as a country as people..and what these unfortunate people have to go through

            I worked in a store while going to school and this dishwasher went back to Colombia after 30 year plus to be abused here…..paid taxes….by the tie he went back…was to see her parents grave, grandchildren etc…

            He was paid $5/jour still managed to support his family and educated his sin in Europe, did not bring him here…..and went home with a broken hip when he could have gone to the hospital here….

            I do not think you have what it takes to do what this man did if you were in his shoes…you simply do not have is not in you…..yet … do not deserve to be here?,,,,,you are nuts and un-American,,,,then people say go back to the line…that tis called ignorance…..

            Not all illegals are bad…..and I am glad that real Americans are still with us…taking care of our future…..THe American Way to make the best for everybody for the future and our land and children……you are short-sighted…..

        • avatar

          So Dave what happened where are my answers…..I gave you enough feedback to get your scholarships and classes for your daughters. Now to be honest so you understand this better….most the bloggers here feel you should not be here and take American jobs…so that you become humble and improve this land…Welcome. and I do mean it….make sure your daughter is well educated and perhaps she will be somebody that will help this country to be better…I hope so…..

          • avatar

            forgot Dave….and you are supposed to do ad be the same as good or better than us…I will not say good luck but instead go for it!!!

      • avatar

        Educate yourself….starting where you came from and WHY…you share a common thing with these people and the illegals beig ran way from their countries….

        • avatar

          Peter from India, my ancestors were settlers and have NOTHING in common with illegal aliens. Don’t even try to compare my ancestors to any of the law breaking criminals that your probably one of. A true American has respect for the people who fought and died for this country. Illegal aliens like you have no respect for this country. You just reinforce why we need a wall. Keep up the good work.

          • avatar

            Exactly Fed up, you should be bowing at me… I am American royalty compared to you…!!!

          • avatar

            Peter we do not bow to people in the United States. You my dear are not American. Your not fooling anyone. Your a liberal person from some other country .

          • avatar

            Well Fed up if you wet to school, you would infer, understand n realize, that was a methaphoric way to answer which meant to answer you.

            Obviously, college did not do anything good for you which tells me at best high school…..

            Anything you say about being an American you should learn obviously you MF ancestors are disappointed at you….

          • avatar

            Peter, Americans don’t use metaphors like American royalty and bowing to them. Your country does. We don’t have a monarchy.

          • avatar

            Fed up you have the right and freedom to believe whatever you want; that is, based on my ancestors effort, wealth and lives……it is also part of the American Dream to live in lala land…..enjoy it!!! 🙂

          • avatar

            Peter, I respect your comment. I realized that our comments where getting very childish. In America everyone has their own opinion. You have your opinion and I have mine. We may not agree, but that’s the wonderful thing, we can express our opinions freely.

          • avatar

            Fed up so finally you came down to our senses as per you last feedback:
            Fed up on May 22, 2017 at 6:49 pm

            below, glad we are in agreement of freedom of speech and opinions, then the respect is mutual….