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Reader reactions - Part 3

Here are some reader responses to the third in a three-part series, Choices of the Heart. In this installment, Nanci Nuñez must decide whether to take her sons back with her as she faces deportation.

"I am responding to my feelings about the article on the front page of the Boston Globe, Tuesday, September 25, 2007.I was out-of-state and missed the first 2 articles, but this one really touched me.

"Nanci Nunez, was not an instigator of the sale of Social Security documents. She was targeted by a co-worker who was a police informant, probably because she was a Dominican Republican. Even though she is an immigrant, she is a citizen. The government wants to target immigrants to show that they are working on terrorism. Nunez was not someone who was acting on her own. If she had not been approached by a police informant, she would not have done what she did.

"As for her sons, it is a very hard, deseprate decision. It is not one any of us would like to face. She did not bring the situation on herself, and her family should not have to pay.. Separation from your mother is a very bad event. Even if family can care for the boys here, they should not have to. Nunez should be allowed to stay here and raise her family, perhaps on probation (which I would not approve).

"I strongly believe that "our" government is targeting immigrants of whom they disapprove. What if this had been an Irish, English, or even Italian immigrant ? Would the result have been the same ? I strongly believe that it would not !

"I hope that somewhere there is someone with power who is pursuing this case."

Nancy Johnson

"I enjoyed reading your article, Choices of the Heart. You are a good writer, and you accomplished what most writers are unable to do: Captured the essence of your subject, Nanci Nunez.

"It was a very compelling and poignant piece. Keep up the excellent work, and I hope Nunez gets a second chance."

Cochise Pearson

"Once more the Globe wants us to have so much sympathy for someone who clearly broke the law while living off of the benefits of being in America. A few weeks ago we were supposed to decry the arrest of illegals at work because, after all, they had children.

"May not a large number of law breakers have children and families?? Let's show the same sympathy for a child who loses a father because he gets a jail term for bank robbery or assault with a deadly weapon. ( I await a Globe series on this.) The only pleasure I get from reading such an article is the gratitude I have for those who enforce the law. There should be more of it. We all make mistakes in life. We all have to live with the consequences for those mistakes. So do illegals and sellers of Social Security numbers and people who made bad mortgage choices."

Arthur F. Cody
Cambridge, MA

"What is particularly sad about Nanci’s case, is that if she had sold the social security cards in April, rather than March, immigration laws would have allowed her to apply for an immigration “pardon.” Such a pardon could only be granted by an immigration judge and only after the judge reviewed all the details of Nanci’s crime and weighed it against the other important factors of her life, including her children, her work history, and any other history of problems or criminal activity. This case highlights how unyielding and often irrational our nations’ immigration laws are. Often exceedingly minor details regarding a person’s case will make the difference, determining, in a largely random fashion, who stays and who goes home. Unlike many other areas of law, Immigration Judges have very little discretion in deciding whether someone can stay or go. More often than not, the technicalities of the law prevent judges from granting these “pardons” where they could evaluate someone’s entire life and only after that hearing make the fateful decision about whether someone who is a lawful permanent resident should be sent back to their country of origin."

Susan Church, Cambridge
(Church is the immigration attorney for Nanci Nunez)

"Nanci Nunez is not a criminal. She is a victim of entrapment. When will we stop allowing our government to continue taking advantage of immigrants like this?"

Colleen D.

"I just read your article.

"How can you even think of applying this sympathy aspect to this woman's plight. She is a criminal and self confessed at that. She knew or should have know the repercussion of her actions. She made the decision to violate our laws she deserves the punishment be it jail, or deportation. I am insulted you can possibly even try to suggest she is a poor victim as is evident in your way of writing the article. Your attempt to portray this woman as a poor soul is also an insult to the hardworking LAW ABIDING IMMIGRANTS in this great country."

Michael from Lynn

"Thank you for the article on Ms. Nunes, if our government had passed a comprehensive immigration bill this poor woman would not have had to engage in this illegal behavior. I blame the government for all of the suffering these poor immigrants are going through. For me they are undocumented workers and a slave class in this country.

"I am an American and a veteran of this country and I am very disappointed in our senate."


"Thank you for your article about her heartbreaking plight. I am so disgusted with those empowered in our country to see that justice prevails. I don't minimize immigration law or the fact that she committed a crime, Desperate people do desperate things sometimes. And they should be accountable for their actions but deportation - what has happened to this great country of ours?

"She had nothing to do with 9/11, she's a mother who loves her children. Must we lump her together with those held in Guantanamo? Is that how our laws work?"

"Go after the little people who can't afford expensive lawyers, that's how family values work? High moral values?"

"It makes me sick that we have sunk so low. Emma Lazarus must be turning in her grave as to how we treat her wretched refuse yearning to be free. I am not proud to be an American with a government so callous, so disrespectful of humanity but very good at starting wars, lying deceiving,cheating,bribing then shouting. God is my co-pilot ! Let us pray for Nanci Nunez !!"
-- Saul P Heller

"One point that I have not seen mentioned in the beautifully reported story of Ms Nunez is the way in which law enforcement may have entrapped this vulnerable mother. She had just lost her job and was approached by a police informant whom she perceived to be a distressed friend. It is not at all clear that she was disposed to commit this crime without the temptation by a federal. I am sure that there are those who would judge her harshly, but I think the possibility that she was lured into committing a crime is a potentially disturbing reflection on our the behavior of our government."
-- Miriam

"The sad story of the mother forced to leave her children is just that, sad. What is tragic, apart from her cancer, is the fact that she does not expect the FATHER of these children to raise them, as if unwed motherhood and fatherlessness were her cultural norm, or fate, or lot in life. Indeed, this poor woman prays to the God who created and ordains marriage."

"The father should be found and FORCED to pay for his children, or he should be deported, too. What does a single woman tell her child about his or her father? She doesn't have to say a word because the child will eventually know that a 'father" is a man who has sex with her mother and leaves."

"Child abandonment by fathers is a nationwide crime and the deadbeats should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
-- Caroline E.

"One can certainly feel compassion for people like Ms. Nunez and sympathy for her children."

That said, it is obvious to me that she saw nothing wrong (at the time) with helping criminal aliens evade the law and prosper in their illegal endeavors. She saw nothing wrong (at the time) with people who forge social security cards, nor the purchasing of their merchandise. She saw no reason (at the time) to balk at cheating America out of its right to decide who gets to come here and who is not welcome. If, after she procured the first card, she had regretted it and talked to the police, I might have more generosity for her. But she didn’t. She not only felt no shame, she went out a few days later and did it again. Only after being arrested did she think about what she had done, and even then she didn’t admit that it was criminal. She characterized it as 'a mistake.' A 'mistake' is a misunderstanding, a misconception, maybe even carelessness…it is not a deliberate breaking of the law. She knew what she was doing. She knew it was illegal. She did it anyway."

"America may need hard working immigrants like Ms. Nunez and her sister, but we DON’T need any more people here who regret breaking the law only AFTER they’ve been caught. We have enough home-grown criminals without importing more."
-- Merry D.

"Seems to me if Nanci Nunez truly valued all the things the United States has to offer, like clean running water & her 2 sons going to school to learn English, she would NEVER want to do anything to jeopardize her American dream, like break the law. Nanci made the decision to twice sell fake social security documents & I believe she deserves to be deported. Bye, bye. Take your sons with you & quit crying!"
-- Carolyn

"The story that you wrote regarding "A besieged mother wonders how to put her children first" was a real sad story and well written. As a fellow Dominican, I sympathize a great deal with this story and agree with the your approach.

"Please let me know if there is way to help these two children.

Edward Martinez

"Moving, complex, beautifully envisioned and told with compassion and clarity -- thank you!"

Elatia Harris

"While I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two stories in the series (maybe "enjoyed" isn't the word, as they were difficult subject matter), and thought the writing was particularly good, I found the topic of the final chapter to be laughable at best.

"Are we supposed to feel sorry for a woman who chose to break the law? She certainly didn't seem to put her children first when she sold the fake documents. Should we feel pity for drug dealers who get sent off to jail and leave children at home? The protagonist of this story admittedly was making money prior to her forgery - if someone robs a store to get a little extra spending money, should we applaud?

"This story also brings up the matter of border jumping. My husband, a Canadian, has worked very hard to obtain his Green Card in order to work in the United States. We have made sure all of our transactions are by the book. I feel nothing for people who obtain the means to stay in this country illegally, as they slow down the system for those who aren't breaking the law. We have laws in this country meant to protect its citizens - if you want to stay in this country, you have to follow the rules, the same as everyone else.

"Thank you,"
Amanda K.

"Thank you for this amazing series, and for all of your stories. They are heart-wrenching just to read.

"You enrich my mornings, and (I hope) my understanding of the world."

Karen Victor

"How is this mother "besieged"? She decided to be a criminal. It happens that she was unlucky and got caught committing a crime. How many times had she committed this crime before she was caught. Didn't she wonder about the welfare of her children before she committed this act?

"She and her children should be deported immediately. If she was an American born citizen should would have already been prosecuted and her children put in foster care.

"Your article does bring sorrow for her and her children. But she decided to be the criminal here. If she was a man would we have the same sympathy?

"Please, investigate and write about good citizens of the area and how they are undermined my the "system". Report on real injustices. Thank you for your time."


"I feel lots of compassion for this article and this woman. We are wondering if there is anything we could do, maybe a petition even though I am sure that won't help. We just feel so bad for her. I wish I could take back that moment for her to, when she accepted the offer to help the undercover. Any way, have a wonderful..... :("


"I truly hope that you continue with this story to let us know that at the last minute Nunez does not get deported and she can stay here in the States with her boys. What a heart wrenching story. I will keep looking to see if there are any updates on this. Thank you for bringing this story to us."

Debbie from Wakefield

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