Let’s face it: This country is in a funk.
With millions of gallons of inky oil continuing to gush into the Gulf and the economy still spinning its wheels in the mud, even anticipation of summer and the year’s longest days has done little to improve the national mood.
If you live in Boston, as I do, the Celtics heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the NBA Finals didn’t improve things.
So it was awfully nice to pick up The Boston Globe and read a story with a happy ending, a story a lot of people cared deeply about. Last week, I was among those who wrote about the idiocy of U.S. immigration officials in San Antonio handcuffing Eric Balderas, a 19-year-old Harvard sophomore who had gone home to visit his mother. Balderas was valedictorian of his high school class and hopes to become a cancer researcher. But he faced deportation to Mexico because his mother brought him to this country illegally from Mexico when he was 4. That’s right, 4.
Today’s front-page Globe headline reads “Harvard student won’t face deportation.” The paper reported that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had informed Illinois Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin that it would not try to deport Balderas. Durbin, Harvard officials and thousands of supporters who organized a Facebook page had lobbied on Balderas’ behalf, The Globe reported.
So, even as BP’s chief executive once again dissed the world by taking time off to watch his yacht race in England, today we could score one for the good guys, for sanity, for some semblance of social justice.
Still, don’t lose sight of Eric Balderas or others like him. He won’t be deported — for now. But illegal immigrants like him, college students ready, willing and able to help rebuild this country, still have no clear pathway to citizenship in a country more interested in sealing its borders than settling on a sane immigration policy. That needs to change.
Postscript: For some reason this did not post when I posted it last night. I’m reposting on Sunday.