When the issue of deportation arises, some citizens of Los Angeles may think that it is only a minor inconvenience to the person or family that is facing the possibility of being removed from the country. Some may believe that the deportee will have just as much opportunity in his homeland as he does here, but for a vast majority of undocumented immigrants, that just isn’t the case. In fact, many face a much larger threat, even the threat of bodily harm or death, when they are returned to their native country.
One family that may be facing this fate recently spoke out at a news conference held on their behalf. The mother of the family fears that because her family most likely does not qualify for deferred action or a refugee status, they will soon face deportation from the country.
In order to qualify for deferred action, undocumented immigrants must be at least 16 years old, but no more than 30. They are required to have a clean criminal record, be enrolled in school and have a work permit. Because the teenage sons recently entered the country, their eligibility is in question.
The four boys came to the country after a gang in their homeland of El Salvador demanded they pay a ransom or be killed. Their mother had entered the United States years earlier in search of employment to help support the family. When she received word about the death threat, she tried to bring her boys into the United States. She was forced to call Border Patrol for help after they were left in the desert by people she had paid to help them get into the country. It remains to be seen if the family’s lawyers will be able to secure the family’s long-term residence in the United States.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, “Utah family says deportation would be a death sentence,” Lee Davidson, Feb. 18, 2013