Unlike illegal immigrants of days gone by the newest generation of illegals in California proudly wave the Mexican flag, maintain a social media network of attorneys who can represent them, and openly declare that they are “undocumented and unafraid.”
This approach to illegal status stands in sharp contrast to the behavior of their parents, many of whom keep their heads down and remained quiet to keep from drawing the attention of authorities who would send them back to their countries of origin.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the 1990s hosted a furor against illegals that gave way to a mellowed approach in the early 2000s and, finally, the more welcoming conditions encouraged under Governor Jerry Brown (D) and the policies enacted by President Obama.
For example, in the 1990s Californians pushed to “deny taxpayer-funded services to those in the country illegally, including children.” The early 2000s became a counter to the anti-illegal posture via the number of attorneys available to help illegals increased exponentially. In 2012 Obama instituted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), “which gives a work permit and a deportation reprieve to people who were brought to the U.S. as children and stayed illegally,” and since then Governor Brown has been doing all he can to make illegals’ California experience one that is on par with the experience of legal immigrants and natural born citizens.
Brown has taken the word “alien” out of California’s labor code, “signed legislation allowing [illegals] in high school to serve as election poll workers” and has fought to defend the “rights” of illegals who are minors when they are involved “in civil suits.” Under Brown, California also legalized driver’s licenses for people in the country and state illegally.
Because of these things, Karla Estrada–a 24-year-old beneficiary of DACA–says “Yes, I’m undocumented and so what?”
And Estrada says she has no plans to go quietly if immigration officials ever come for her:
If they are going to deport me, they are going to have a very bad taste in their mouth. I’m going to call this person, this organization, this lawyer. I’ll get on Facebook … Twitter. I’m going to do a media circus. I’m going to stay in this country.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.