Living Undocumented In Connecticut

What Is It Like To Build A Life In A Place Where You May Not Be Able To Stay

What Is It Like...
Photo:r.f.m II on Flickr Creative Commons
Living Undocumented In Connecticut
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Living Undocumented In Connecticut


"The average American, in my experience, has no idea what the immigration experience is today."
So writes a woman on my Facebook page today. She spent ten years reapplying for work status renewal as what's called a "temporary non-immigrant." It was, she said, a bureaucratic nightmare and each renewal application also renewed her worries she would not be allowed to stay.
Our immigration show today tells some of those stories: A woman whose husband is in prison awaiting deportation to Australia, a Catholic priest who says addressing the plight of migrants is a fundamental moral issue, and an undocumented student at a local community college.
Immigration is one of those issues about which -- for most of us, including me -- the ratio between our opinions and our actual knowledge tips heavily toward the former.  So today, we'll listen to real stories of people living with the current system. 
You can email us at or tweet us your comments to @wnprcolin.
Manos Unidas invites you to a "Forum on Immigration" on Saturday, March 9th, from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm, at St. Marks Episcopal Church, 147 West Main Street, New Britain, CT. 

For more information, call Tim Eakins 860-752-4328 or Jose Diaz 678-480-9586



Jennifer writes:

I am currently in the same situation as Mrs Lacoco. My boyfriend and I are not married though, but we have been together for 11 years. We were planning on getting married and starting a family until ICE picked him up on November 11, 2012. We were actually in the process of buying a house, luckily that didn't go thru or I would be stuck trying to pay 2 mortgages on my own. I was born in America and so have my parents and their parents. I had always thought that we were the greatest nation that treated their citizens and immigrants (who built this country) the fairest of all countries and gave the most opportunities. But being in this situation has put a lot of doubt in this image of the U.S. and is not talked about enough. Most people talk about illegal immigrants not ones with a green card working and paying taxes being deported.

His parents brought him here when he was 6 years old from Poland. His entire family is also here and he has never considered Poland to be his home or country.

He also pled guilty to possession with intent to sell. His original arrest was in March 2011. His attorney at the time was well aware that he was not a U.S. citizen however never advised us to see an immigration attorney. We had no idea that this was a deportable offense until ICE picked him up in November. This was his first offense. He is not a bad person. He made one mistake. He was working and going to school for his plumbing license. Now the government is spending a lot of money to keep him in jail and not receiving taxes from his employment.

I wish that you had talked more about the Padilla v Kentucky case. Our understanding after speaking with attorneys is that CT does not recognize that case as an argument.

Like Mrs Lacoco said, we are not looking for handouts, and his family never has. We just want fairness.

Even though we have not yet started a family, if he is deported I will be absolutely devastated. As well as his family. As for the people who are saying to deport them immediately, I think they would be changing their tune if they had a loved one affected by this and were in our situations.

Thank you for doing this story and making more people aware of what is going. I just don't know if it will help soon enough for Mrs. Lacoco's family and my boyfriend.

USA Today recently had a story about ICE quotas. That might be something else you could look into.

Jennifer Lucas

Aaron writes:

If an american is arrested on a felony charge and pled guilty, he or she should expect to serve jail time. Shouldn't Tony have expected jail-time/deportation, why should he be given leniency because he chose to get married and have a kid? There's pleanty of immigrants who DONT buy or sell crack and still get deported.

Olia writes:

Thank you for sharing this important topic. The broken system is why I stopped practicing immigration law two years ago. Just hearing "aggravated felony" which could be as small a thing as simple larceny, sends chills down my spine...remembering the time I had a client deported for stealing an iPod for his kid.