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Immigrants Of The Day: Jesus Manuel Cordova of Mexico, John F. Timoney of Ireland, and M. Night Shyamalan of India

by Kevin R. Johnson

Jesus Manuel Cordova (Mexico)

Our Immigrant of the Day is Jesus Manuel Cordova, the hero who saved a young boy in the desert whose mother died in an auto accident on Thanksgiving Day.  Cordova cared for a 9-year-old boy found wandering alone after his mother died in a canyon crash near the U.S./Mexico border in southern Arizona. The boy was looking for help after his mother crashed her van off a cliff on Thanksgiving Day.  Unable to pull the mother out of the car, Cordova comforted the boy while they waited for help. The woman unfortunately died a short time later.

"[Cordova] stayed with [the boy], told him that everything was going to be all right," the local sherriff said. As temperatures dropped, he gave him a jacket, built a bonfire and stayed with him until about 8 a.m. Friday morning, when a group of hunters passed by and called authorities.

Cordova was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. He had been trying to walk into the U.S. when he came across the boy.  Cordova was returned to Mexico where he was later interviewed; he mentioned that he watched over the boy in the desert because he was thinking about his own four children in Mexico and could not leave him alone while he completed his journey to Tucson.

Click here for our original post on this story and a link to a news report, and here for more about this story.

UPDATE  AP later reported that Cordova, who rescued a 9-year-old after the boy's mother died in a car accident in the southern Arizona desert, was honored on December 4 by U.S. and Mexican officials at a border crossing. He stood by shyly with his mother and stepfather as officials talked about his efforts to save Christopher Buchleitner on Thanksgiving. The district director for U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said Cordova deserved the opportunity to come to America to work and that the congressman plans to introduce legislation that will let him get a special visa. Such legislation rarely passes, but Grijalva aide Ruben Reyes said it was the only way they knew of to show their thanks.

November 26, 2007 | Permalink

John F. Timoney (Ireland)

John_timoney John F. Timoney was appointed Chief of Police of the Miami Police Department in 2003.  He previously served one year as Chief Executive Officer of an international private investigation and security company in New York City and four years as the Police Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, where he commanded a diverse police force of approximately 7,000 officers and over 900 civilian employees.

Timoney, a native of Dublin, Ireland, immigrated to the United States at the age of 13. He earned two graduate degrees and is a vocal proponent for enhanced formal education of police officers and democratic policing.  Timoney is considered an authority on terrorism. He created and laid the groundwork for the establishment of the City of Miami Institute for Democratic Policing.

December 20, 2007 | Permalink

M. Night Shyamalan (India)

Mnight_header_smallest_shadow Sixthsense_logo Film Director M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN is our Immigrant of the Day.  "I see dead people." If you are a fan of the American cinema, you'll recognize this phrase from "The Sixth Sense."  It was written and directed by Manoj Nelliattu Shyamalan, an Indian immigrant known professionally as M. Night Shyamalan.

Shyamalan is widely recognized as a leading American film director.  Besides The Sixth Sense, he directed the films Unbreakable and The Village.

The Sixth Sense earned Shyamalan the Academy Award nomination for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the age of 29. The American Film Institute named the film one of the 100 greatest motion pictures of all time.

December 21, 2007 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.