Friday, October 24, 2008
BU student supports Hilary Clinton's immigration views
By Jenny Taft
BOSTON- Gina Lee will never forget the day her fourth-grade social science class discussed how to become the president of the United States. Lee, a bright young student, was eager to learn how she could become the first female president. Lee’s teacher told the class that the first requirement was to have been born in the United States. Lee was shocked.
“I went up to my teacher after class and told her I was born in Korea.” Lee’s teacher replied, “Well I’m sorry, but there’s no way you can be president.”
Lee, a junior at Boston University, still takes politics very seriously. It is hard to ignore all of the Democratic posters that are all over the backseat of Lee’s car. “Change we can believe in” was written on numerous signs that were visible from all angles.
In fact, Lee spent the last few weeks of her summer interning at the Democratic National Convention, which Lee says, “was the best experience of my life.”
“I wanted to be a part of it. I worked 12 hour days and I absolutely loved it,” Lee said.
When asked about her political involvement, Lee, a strong Hillary Clinton supporter, spoke passionately about her.
“I’ve supported Hillary since her first Senate campaign in 2000. She’s such a great example of a strong, intelligent woman,” Lee said.
You would never guess that Lee wasn’t born in the United States; she doesn’t even speak Korean. But as a South Korean immigrant, Lee recognizes “that Hillary Clinton is a pioneer for the working class, which is why many immigrants can relate to her, including me.”
Lee has few memories of her life in Korea, but she knew that coming to America was a big step for her family.
Things weren’t very easy for the Lee family when they first moved to New Jersey in 1990.
“I remember one year we couldn’t afford a Christmas tree, and that was very hard for me and my sister,” Lee said.
With the help of Lee’s uncle, the Lee family successfully started their own laundromat service. It didn’t take long for it to become a very successful business, and today Lee’s family owns over seven laundromats throughout New York City.
When asked about immigration laws today, Lee was not exactly sure about the specific rules and regulations to legally immigrate to the United States. But she doesn’t find it right that so many immigrants who are living in America are illegal.
“Obviously, I have an innate bond with immigrants, I understand why they are coming to America. But at the same time, my parents did everything right and legal. I don’t believe that people should be living here and not paying taxes, but I also don’t think that they should be exiled back,” Lee said.
According to the Government Center for Immigration Studies, more than half of post-2000 arrivals (5.6 million) are estimated to be illegal aliens.
Lee agrees with Hillary Clinton’s views on ending the immigration crisis, which includes “strengthening U.S. borders, greater cooperation with our neighbors, strict but fair enforcement of our laws, and a path to earned legal status for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar, including learning English.”
“Hilary knows what she is talking about when it comes to immigration, and I think she understands what the U.S. needs to do to improve the immigration situation,” Lee said.
“The truth is, in fourth-grade I probably really thought that I was going to be the first female president. But at the same time, I really feel that if anyone else could do it well, Hillary Clinton would be my pick,” Lee said.