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Painfully ironic day for one Latino boy

January 29th, 2013
04:43 PM ET

President Obama made a landmark speech in support of major immigration reform on Tuesday – the same day that a little boy in Phoenix, Arizona had been told his father would be deported back to Guatemala.

Earlier this month 11-year-old Jose Garcia Ramirez was getting into the family car to head to school when I.C.E. agents (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detained his father. Jose was born in the United States, but his father is an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour spoke to Jose as he waited to learn the fate of his father. You can watch Jose’s tell his story in the video above – he was joined by Viridiana Hernandez, a Hispanic undocumented college student in Arizona who is an activist fighting for immigration reform.

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soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Tina

    Greate country greate nation

    January 30, 2013 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • Andrew


      January 30, 2013 at 8:24 am | Reply
    • Galactus93

      Would you please pay my property tax for me. I don't want to pay the thousands of dollars to send the children of illegal aliens to our public schools.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
      • bianca

        I would love to pay u to move out the USA

        January 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
      • Zidane

        Funny, a hispanic telling an american that he should move out of the US.

        January 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • Marden

        How about if an american indian told you to go back to the dump in europe that you came from. Would that make this argument more valid for you?

        January 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • Zidane

        There was no country back when american indians lived in these lands. They lost several battles, when you lose battles you lose land, it's the way the world works. You don't see germany crying over the land it lost after World War I.

        And if an american indian told me to go back to Europe, I'd tell him to go back to Asia across the bering straight.

        Time has passed, a nation has been established, predominantly by white people (and black slaves and asian slaves) and I don't see illegals fighting a war to claim the land, I just see them breaking the laws of the country, which means they should leave and do things the legal way.

        Also times have changed, and so have the laws that established this country (in case you're thinking of arguing that immigrants came here by ship from europe and just stayed). Back then that was how you legally entered the US, now things are different because a larger workforce has been established and the country has matured.

        February 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • Name*erasmo

        If Blanca is an American citizen she has as much righto make a comment as anybody. If she's willing to pay to send that other guy packing, I'm willing to help her out a little.

        February 4, 2013 at 12:12 am |
      • nicoloco41

        Latin Americans arent aliens they are rightfull citizens of our planet that y we HR letter ... please be more careful

        February 21, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
  2. Galactus93

    Nothing but a PUFF piece. Any father who is a criminal would be punished. We have laws for a reason and this boy could go back home with his father. NO AMNESTY. No Path to Citizenship. We want our laws enforced. Deport all illegal aliens. That is the law.

    January 30, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • rvastag

      AGREED !!

      January 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • Name*erasmo

      We are all decended from illegal aliens except for the native Americans who were here first. Blanca has as much right to make her opinion heard as the the other white illegal defendants. Ha ha.

      February 3, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  3. edward

    To galactus i dont know who you are and i dont want to know who you are,you need to get some quality education,illegal immigrant has been in existence even before your great grand father was born,and theu have contributed immensely to the development of any country which they reside,if they have the opportunity to be lagalise they work and obey the laws of the land more than your sorry ass.and they will equally pay the property tax,presently they equally pay their house rent and electricity and gas bills and other bills.all the country needs to do is to visit their case and find a way to legalise them.they have come far and wide to seek for a better life and work.dont treat them like animals.illegal immigrant is not a criminal....

    January 30, 2013 at 9:21 am | Reply
    • Mary

      Edward, if our immigration laws had been enforced since 1986 as was promised to US Citizens, this man would have never made it to our country. This man made the choice to violate our laws, showing a fundamental disrespect for following laws in general. It really doesn't matter how much someone contributes; he could be contributing back in his home country without violating laws. It is a slap in the face to all people who thought the US was a nation of laws when over 11 million people who willfully violate our laws every single day are rewarded with legal status. There are millions and millions of people around the world who would like to immigrate here but who are staying in their country because they respect our laws. Those are the people I would rather have as immigrants instead of the over 11 million (bigger than some of our states) who choose to break our laws.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Zidane

      To dear little naive edward. I have US citizenship, I'm a dual-citizen, my father is a permanent resident, my whole family is South American. My father has never worked a day in the US, but because we are permanent residents he pays US taxes as well as taxes over here. I also work here in SA, and guess what; I pay taxes here and for the US.
      Do you have any idea how much it costs to go through the residency process; do you have any idea how many fees I've had to pay; how much time I've had to waste to maintain my residency; how much taxes I've had to pay? Do you have a clue how much time it took me to get citizenship the legal way? Of course you don't because you live in a bubble where you think it's ok to break the law because you don't even realize people like me exist.

      I have had friends who applied for visas for the US just so they could go and VISIT as tourists; they were rejected even though they had good jobs or good grades and were either working or attending University. They were rejected and often times it's because the person that interviews them suspects they want to leave their university studies or their career to stay in the US illegally. They don't get the money they spent for the visa application back by the way. It's around $150 per application.

      Your little thought process of "poor them they're just trying to make a better life for themselves, they were just unlucky they were born in another country, they deserve to break the law" is flawed. I guarantee that the lowest level of life in Guatemala is at least good to people in Africa. So how is it fair that Mexicans or Guatemalans get to cross the border while African children starve every day or get mutilated by rebel armies? If you go by that logic, then the US should give priority to an open-border policy for African nations.

      You have no idea how the real world works, you live in a bubble and your childish ideals only prove how little you know.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  4. todez

    Illegal means criminal. If someone breaks into your home, do you allow them to stay? There is no difference between an illegal immigrant and someone that breaks into a home. They are both criminals because they KNOWINGLY broke the law. End of story. Illegal Immigrants should not be rewarded with citizenship. It is a degradation of America. They have already brought the U.S. down to Third World status. It's time that Congress (the traitors that they have been to the Citizens of the U.S.A) and the President protect the nation and its Citizens, They should stop this vote getting ploy immediately and get back to the business of balancing the budget, cutting spending and creating a better America for its LEGAL citizens. Unfortunately, they aren't listening to the People. So it's time for the People to make them listen.

    January 30, 2013 at 10:05 am | Reply
    • rvastag

      I second that motion.

      January 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
    • Name*erasmo

      Immigration is what the majority of politicians make it. If the politician wins reelection do you really think he or she cares about legal or illegal. Ha ha. Don't be late paying your taxes. Oh and cut your whining.

      February 3, 2013 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  5. Andrew


    January 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  6. edward

    get some education

    January 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  7. rvastag

    I wish everyone would stop referring to this as 'immigration reform'.

    So the plan is to protect the border, enforce e-verify and employment laws, etc etc. And give citizenship to a bunch of people who illegally entered the country. Sounds like amnesty mixed with doing what is already required.

    Why is giving a path to citizenship for a bunch of illegals connected to border protection and law enforcement? Why can't the government enforce CURRENT laws first ... and then discuss if anything other than deportation should happen for the illegal immigrants??

    January 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  8. J. Chr!st

    I wish everyone would stop referring to this as 'immigration reform'.

    So the plan is to protect the border, enforce e-verify and employment laws, etc etc. And give citizenship to a bunch of people who illegally entered the country. Sounds like amnesty mixed with doing what is already required.

    Why is giving a path to citizenship for a bunch of illegals connected to border protection and law enforcement? Why can't the government enforce CURRENT laws first ... and then discuss if anything other than deportation should happen for the illegal immigrants??

    January 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  9. Bella

    Do not judge before knowing the complete story. Immigration is a part of the U.S. It's in her roots. This country was built from the hard working people, regardless of being white, black, asian, latino, arab, etc. Live and let live people.

    February 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  10. ytuque

    Yet another case where illegal immigrants have abused the 14th Amendment which was put in place shortly after the Civil War to protect freed slaves. Immigration reform cannot take place without getting rid of the 14th Amendment as this case clearly shows.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:03 am | Reply
  11. USMC-ilegal

    It is so sad to see the petty comments that go back and forth among Americans
    If we spent this much time and energy on continually make ourselves better we may get back to the the America my Mom believed in. ... just so you know that we came from all places... I was brought to the US as an illegal at age 8, I worked next to my mom cleaning until I was 12 and on my on since then (in case you wonder we paid someone to use their ss # -so taxes were paid). Due to "immigration reform" I got my papers and joined the US Marines as a 0311. I later become a citizen and work as an IT security consultant. I made the decision to have my kids attend high school outside the US to hopefully have them see that America is a great country but it is not the only country and we are not here to tell anyone else how to live. Again I hope my story helps you see that where you start does not dictate where you end up... In case you are wondering I still US taxes as a lot of my work is with US companies

    February 4, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  12. Sylvia

    I'm an immigrant to this country. My mothers family applied for us to come as refugees. The process took almost three years. Within those three years when the paper work arrived my country the government took my father to work in the government camps doing mediocre jobs the normal civilians would not do. They were considerer "persona non grata". I don't remember seen my father that often he used to come home once a month for the weekend.The sleep in hammocks in the open cold weather and the food sometimes had bugs in them. My father aged in those three years but he did it to get us out an oppressing regime. We arrived this country almost 4 years later with nothing, just the clothing in our back .Mom concentrated in housekeeping and cleaning a restaurant in the evening. When the time arrived to legalized us she got to work and filled the paperwork and made end meets. Immigration visits were done in public transportation. Dad worked his butt hard and after been here two years purchased his first house. Did I mentioned they had seven kids plus the two of them nine. It was not easy but everything they did they did it legally and in a humble way. He traded one house for another for a third time and finally bought the house of his dreams almost forty years later. We are all American Citizens even Mom and Dad but it all came legally and in due time. Im proud of the approach Mom and Dad took in this situation because it showed us values, respect and resilience. Giving Citizenship right off is a slap in the face to the families that done it legally.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
  13. barbara

    Stop blaming our government for enforcing our laws. This man brought this situation upon himself. Really sick and tired of CNN biased reporting. It's the hallmark of poor journalism.

    February 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Reply
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