Proponents of tougher immigration laws often do not see the effects that those laws can have on families in the Los Angeles area, particularly for children. Thousands of children who are U.S. citizens have seen their families ripped apart when at least one of their parents went through deportation hearings and were removed from the country.
This is the case for a 10-year-old girl who was born in the United States after her parents emigrated from Mexico without legal permission to do so. Her father was recently deported after being held by immigration authorities for a year over a DUI arrest. Her mother is currently receiving treatment for a chronic illness, something that may not be available to her in Mexico.
The young girl, who did not know that her parents were undocumented until two years ago, says that she misses her father very much and doesn’t understand why authorities would not let him stay in the U.S. She understands that she could be reunited with him if she moved to Mexico, but feels like she shouldn’t have to leave the only country she has ever known and where she is a citizen.
If the new immigration bill currently being considered by the Judiciary Committee, is passed, the girl’s father may be allowed to reenter the country. Because the girl faces hardship with her father being gone and her mother being sick, the proposed law would take this into account. It also would pave the pathway to legal status for immigrants without papers.
If you or a loved one are currently living in the country without legal status and would like to know how the new immigration bill would affect you, you may wish to speak with an immigration attorney.
Source: Huffington Post, “Stephanie Pucheta, 10-Year-Old, On Dad’s Deportation: ‘Why Do They Have To Be So Cruel?’” Elise Foley, May 20, 2013