ICE Holding Their New Stance, Deporting Illegal Who Committed Fraud For 18 Years Within U.S
For some, Francisca Lino has become a symbol of all that is bad about ICE. Lino is facing deportation later this year. Mainstream media has flashed pictures of this wife and mother all over. She has become a “victim” of the system, but there is a big piece of the puzzle missing.
Lino admits to using falsified documents 18 years ago to enter the United States. As a mother of several children who are U.S citizens, she lived many years illegally. It is a crime to use fake documents to immigrate and live within a foreign country. Lino admits to knowing it was illegal to use these documents and also admits to entering the country illegally. There is no dispute that a crime was committed here.
There is also no dispute that Lino has been on the radar of ICE agents for many years, she has been required to check-in regularly. It was not unknown that her illegal actions could some day mean she would face consequences. This risk was something she was aware of long before she obtained a fake passport. The risk did not stop her from then using a fake passport to establish herself in the United States.
After living for 18 years illegally, the local ICE office in Chicago gave this mother of 6 time to settle her affairs and prepare to be deported. She was not ripped out of her home in the middle of the night, she was told during her most recent check-in to prepare to leave. She would have several months to make arrangements for her family and return to the ICE office with tickets to leave in hand.
It is not the evil ICE agents that are tearing apart this family, it is years of breaking the law catching up with an individual. Lino knew from the early starts of her family in the United States that at some point her legal issues could catch up with her. Making a choice to use illegal means to enter the United States does not make her a victim. Breaking the law for 18 years with a passport that did not belong to her was a choice she made.
Holding law breakers like Lino out as a victim of the system is a dangerous practice. As ICE agents do their job, they suddenly become the bad guys. Hard working Americans are becoming the enemy and those who break the law are the victims.
Even with the facts surrounding the violations of the law, news sources spin these types of stories into tales of mistreatment. One such news story described Lino’s meeting with ICE, “…as her meeting drew near, anxiety mounted. Terror gripped her. She wondered if she’d fall victim to the new administration’s hardline immigration policies, which dramatically expand the power of immigration officers and make clear that no one, including people who otherwise have not broken the law, is safe from deportation.”
Lino is not asking for leniency, she is now the victim and the focus is on the pain she suffers. She is not asking to take responsibility for her crimes. Many time fake documents are tied to very real names, social security numbers, and other information that has been stolen. Is the use of the forged passport the only crime or is there also a real American citizen out there that does not know their identity has helped Lino live freely in the U.S?
ICE agents and the increased efforts of the new administration to address issues at the border are not tearing apart this family. The actions of the mother long before the family was started is the cause of the deportation. Lino has gotten away with her illegal choices for 18 years but that is now coming to an end.
Lino is not the only mother facing deportation. She is not even the only one being held up as a victim of the system. Jeannette Vizguerra is an example of another “victim” the media has glossed over a laundry list of crimes for.
Vizguerra is also facing deportation after decades of working illegally in the United States. She would come onto the radar of ICE after being stopped by police in 2009. That traffic stop was described by mainstream media: “Vizguerra was charged with not having a license or insurance and for having an expired license plate, but those charges were dismissed, court records show. She also was charged in connection with what her lawyer, Hans Meyer, said was a job application on which she used a made-up — not stolen — Social Security Number. She pleaded guilty to “attempted possession of a forged instrument.” Identity theft and other similar charges were dropped, records show.”
To say “victims” like Lino and Vizguerra are law-abiding members of their community is not accurate. When Vizguerra moved to the United States in 1997, breaking the law to enter the United States would be the first of many violations. For whatever reason, all charges related to the 2009 stop were dropped. This does not change the fact that driving without a license, driving without insurance, operating a vehicle without a legal registration, and using a fake social security number to secure a job are all laws that were broken.
In many cases across the country, illegal immigrants are facing deportation after living years or even decades in the country. The on-going and often daily breaking of laws to work and live here have become a part of who they are. The media is not portraying those underlying criminal activities.
There is a certain level of risk each person crossing the border illegally takes. It is the consequences of their own actions that are putting families at risk of being separated. In many cases, including both of the cases here, the families have had many years to prepare for deportations. They are able to make choices now as well; travel as a family or to split up and leave some members in the United States.