Thursday, November 2, 2006

Bear-trap bureaucracy denounced in groundswell of support for ordinary immigrants

Claudia Nunez and other Nashville residents caught in deportation threat

Sparked by stories in the Nashville Scene and Channel 2 News about Claudia Nunez, a young mother targeted by the federal government for deportation after driving without a license, local commentators are taking up her cause and petitioning not only for her, but also against a bear-trap bureaucracy that treats ordinary people like enemies of the state.

A variety of Nunez-supporting comments from across Nashville were listed here on, with the resulting petition for Nunez being circulated here.

The Nashville City Paper described the plight of two other potential deportees in this story on Wednesday, and then published this editorial today calling for simplification of the path to legal immigration status.

A coalition of dozens of Tennessee organizations that has been fighting for years for ordinary immigrants and against bear-trap bureacracies is the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. The coalition's fourth annual statewide convention will be held this Saturday at Glencliff High School (details here).

Update 11/2/06 12:15pm Today's Nashville Scene has this follow-up story about the Nunez case, the petition, other demonstrations of support, and a possible appearance by Nunez at the coalition convention this Saturday.

Update 11/3/06 6:30pm It's worth mentioning that every representative from Tennessee except Jim Cooper voted last December to sharpen the teeth of the bear trap and make Claudia Nunez and everyone in her situation a felon (HR 4437 provision regarding “illegal presence” - roll call here). HR 4437 is what sparked the massive immigrant rallies and boycotts this past spring and was known as the "House bill" that stood in contrast to a Senate bill that took some of the red tape out of obtaining legal status. The only portion of either bill that has become law is the component approving the construction of a partial fence along the Mexico border - but not any appropriation to fund it. So after the politicians weaponized the immigration debate for whatever gain they expected to receive in return next Tuesday, the status quo is unchanged, and Nunez and millions of ordinary people remain in the same old trap.

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