Monday, June 25, 2007

This is the good life? Area's illegal immigrants tell why coming to America is worth the perils

These 2 women tell the stories about their journeys to this country. And why it was worth the agony. Even though they are both still undocumented, they consider themselves part of the U.S. DP

By Thacher Schmid For one of Cowlitz County's illegal immigrants, fear first appeared in the form of extreme hunger, during a life-threatening journey across the treacherous Sonoran desert. Nowadays, it's a trip to the local Safeway.

Antonia Abendano said she was twice abandoned by "coyote" guides in the Sonoran desert while illegally crossing into the U.S. On her first journey, which ended in deportation, Abendano said she took refuge in an Indian's hut, living for 25 days on nothing but coffee and water.

A Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid on a Fresh Del Monte warehouse in Portland last week brought the realities of America's illegal immigrants back to the forefront and sent shock waves through local Latino communities. Like the 160 workers hauled off to Tacoma from the chilly confines of the Portland warehouse, local undocumented immigrants often work tough jobs for low pay, and maintain a low profile.

Meanwhile, President Bush, in a marriage of convenience with Democratic Congressional leaders such as Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has been pushing the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which would provide a complicated, multifaceted amnesty for illegal immigrants -- if passed. Many details remain to be worked out.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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