‘We are not bad people’

Being Nice Doesn’t Qualify You for Citizenship

There’s in article in the Boulder Colorado Daily Camera titled Taking sanctuary in Boulder, Ingrid Encalada Latorre hopes to educate: ‘We are not bad people.’ It’s the story of a Peruvian woman who entered the United States illegally. She is currently living in a church in Boulder.

Encalda Latorre wants you to know that “we are not bad people. We came to this country to make our lives better. By doing so, we better our lives and we also improve the economy of the United States because we pay our taxes.”

In conclusion she says, “I’m upset by the fact that there are 3-year-old kids being taken to court and asked if they have a lawyer or not. As immigrants, we are good people and not animals as our president has stated.”

Here is my letter to her.

Dear Ingrid,

Thank you for summing up your situation in the last line of the article — “As immigrants, we are good people and not animals as our president has stated.” Your president is named Martín Vizcarra and not Donald Trump. You are a citizen of Peru and not of the United States. I’m certain you are a very good person and I’m sure you are raising your sons to be a good men.

However, you have no more right to live in the United States than I have to live in Switzerland.

I notice your sons are American citizens. You’re lucky! Had you decided you wanted to live in Switzerland, your sons would still be Peruvian citizens since Switzerland does not grant a child citizenship for being born on Swiss soil.

If I wanted to become a Swiss citizen, I would need to live there legally for ten years and meet a number of other requirements such as knowing an approved language and demonstrating that I’ve integrated in the Swiss way of life, am familiar with Swiss customs and traditions, and comply with the Swiss rule of law. And even then citizenship is not guaranteed. A felon cannot become a Swiss citizen any more than a felon can become an American citizen. I’m sorry you are convicted felon but, as you say, this sank your chances of gaining legal standing in this country. It is, however, the consequence of breaking the laws of the United States.

You said “I feel that I’ve completed my commitment toward paying for it and now I’m facing deportation anyway.” I do not “feel” the same way. I feel you have entered the country illegally and have broken the laws of the United States. The citizens of the United States, through our elected representatives and our laws, determine when someone has met the requirements to stay in our country. You simply do not.

As I’m certain you’re well aware, the United States has a number of methods for individuals to obtain legal entry into the country. People who meet these requirements are all welcome here. My grandfather came from Europe through Ellis Island so I am well aware how legal immigration works and the benefits it has to our country. His name was Bela Ruzinak but the helpful immigration officer entered the name as Bill Rosneck. When he served in WWI, the helpful War Office changed his name to William Rosneck and William is my middle name in honor of him.

Governor Hickenlooper denied your request for a pardon on the felony conviction after saying he had spoken with you directly. He said “I am moved by Ms. Encalada Latorre’s dream of being an American and her extraordinarily hard work to support her family while she was here” but that his decision was “clear but still painful.”

You have received due process and you are now an ICE enforcement priority. I’m sorry for that because of the hardship this will create on you and your family. However, you do not qualify to stay in the country and it’s time for you to go.


Mark Rosneck
Mead, Colorado

Mark Rosneck

Written by Mark Rosneck

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