Another Re: Marisol’s Odds Go Down

Andrew notes that marrying the future mother of his child would have put Mynor Montufar on the path to citizenship. The various considerations that go into figuring out why that was a road not taken highlight the fact that, while not all decisions follow rational thought processes, incentive structures still apply broadly.
As Andrew describes in the comments to his post, the process of becoming a citizen based on a spouse’s status does require a number of forms and a $1,000+ in fees. An illegal immigrant would also not likely wish to enter into the system (although this one was willing to have his mug published in the state’s major newspaper). Getting caught isn’t the only disincentive, however. Although I don’t know whether it applies in this case, adding a father’s (or a husband’s) income to the household total might decrease government benefits, and in Rhode Island, children (i.e., their parents) continue receiving support even when it has expired for the adults.
Illegal immigration and poverty advocates look at this set of incentives and see harmfulness in the restrictions. The fees and forms (and risk of getting caught) provide disincentive to get married, as do the decreases in public support. To them, illegal immigrants ought to be able to live openly, applying for licenses and benefits as if they were citizens, and recipients of government money ought to be able to collect up to higher boundaries. To the contrary, such an approach only makes the incentive structure more perverse: Immigrants have no reason to pursue citizenship, and many to avoid it, and women have incentive to produce even more children whom they lack the resources to support.
The villain in the scenario is ultimately the act of immigrating illegally. Its co-conspirator is destigmatization of living on the public dole. A third culprit, easily forgotten after its victory, is destigmatization of out-of-wedlock procreation.
Again, I’ve no information about the government support of the specific family in question, but it oughtn’t be a matter of contention to suggest that the subculture affects their decisions regardless. In that context, the names of young Marisol’s closest relatives convey discouraging information:

  • Father: Mynor Montufar
  • Mother: Carmen Marrero
  • Maternal grandmother: Lilliam Muniz

A shared name does not a family make, of course, but I don’t think it’s mere knee-jerk traditionalism to suggest that it is not entirely devoid of importance and that it often comes in conjunction with other qualities for which society ought to provide incentive, sometimes in the form of disincentive for alternatives.

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16 years ago

Have you considered that this alien might have a criminal record barring him from legal status? Type Muntufar or Muntufer into the RI Judiciary criminal history page. It’s public info.

16 years ago

Of course, the good ole ACLU has stepped in… FromPro jo:
ACLU set to address immigration raid
A local advocacy group plans to hold a news conference this morning to discuss lthe immigration raid prompted by the publicity given to Mynor Montufar after he became the father of the first local baby born in 2008.
The baby’s mother and grandmother will join the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union to discuss the arrests of Montufar and another man, as well as the apparent suicide of a third man.
All three were illegal immigrants and were living in the house together when Immigration and Customs Enforcement made the arrests Friday. Montufar is set to be deported to Guatemala, according to ICE officials. The other man arrested is awaiting a hearing.
Based on the information that family members have, “it seems pretty clear to us at this point that the suicide appeared to take place during or after the raid,” Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island ACLU said this morning.
The meeting, set to begin at 10 a.m. at St. Teresa’s Church at 8 Pope St., in the city’s Olneyville neighborhood, will also be attended by representatives of different community groups, according to a statement released by the ACLU.
Brown would not say whether the meeting would be a precursor to action on the organization’s part. Representatives from various community groups will also be present.
— staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson

16 years ago

I found Minor Montufar charged with simple domestic assault last year and ordered to take domestic violence classes. wonder if he ever took those?

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