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Hartford DREAMer, Mariano Cardoso, Jr., Faces Deportation

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mariano cardosoAnother day, another fight to prevent the deportation of another DREAM student. This is what we get in the absence of a coherent federal immigration policy.

This weekend, America’s Voice learned the story of Mariano Cardoso Jr. of New Britain, Connecticut, a 22-year-old DREAMer who is stepping away from a life in the shadows to very publicly fight against his imminent deportation.

Mariano, a good student months away from graduation at Capital Community College, has long hoped to someday become a math professor or civil engineer—exactly the kind of student that President Obama is so fond of saying we need more of. Instead, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, led by Janet Napolitano, is spending its resources trying to deport Mariano and others like him.

Mariano is afraid that his DREAM is now derailed—all because immigration officials showed up at his uncle’s house a few summers ago, where Mariano happened to be, looking for an unrelated woman.  The agents did not have a warrant and his uncle refused to let them search the house, which led the agents to ask for the family’s papers. They ultimately arrested Mariano, his uncle, and his father.  Despite having no criminal record, Mariano was sentenced to deportation.  He appealed his case and lost; he has one more appeal available to him, but his lawyer has advised that it would do no good.

Brought to the United States from Mexico as a baby, Mariano has never known any other home. From Mark Spencer at the Hartford Courant:

Cardoso has overcome his fear and shyness and now shares his story with anyone who will listen. He explains that it was not his decision to come to the U.S. illegally. He says he feels as American as anyone else who grew up here, except for having the piece of paper that makes it official. A good student, he talks about what he can contribute to his community.

“It’s just not fair,” Cardoso said. “It just doesn’t seem reasonable for me to be kicked out of my home. I’m not a criminal. I’m not a monster.”