With Congress considering major changes in the immigration system in the United States, there has been a major push in the last few months toward influencing the decision. Rallies and campaigns have occurred around the nation, including Los Angeles, in an effort to support immigration reform.
Immigration reform bills come during a presidency that has seen more deportations than any other. Since President Obama took office in 2009, there have been almost 400,000 people deported each year. Many of these deportations affect families; an estimated 152,000 children were caught up in them.
Many of these children were born in the U.S., and are therefore U.S. citizens. One boy who knows firsthand the consequences of having a parent deported, recently appeared before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to share how it has affected his life. His mother tried to avoid deportation by taking sanctuary in a church, but was eventually forced to leave the country when she came to California to lobby her case. The boy, who was born in the U.S., left the country with his mother and now lives in Mexico. He would like to see immigration reform that would allow families to reunite after one or more of their members has been deported.
This is the aim for the current immigration reform bill that will be presented to Congress. The goal is to provide a pathway for those who have been deported and have a child, parent or spouse who is a U.S., to reenter the country under the terms of a waiver. The applicant would be required to meet certain eligibility guidelines, including having a clear criminal background.
To learn how this new family immigration legislature may affect you or a loved one, you may wish to speak with an immigration attorney who can answer your questions.
Source: Voice of America, “Children of Deported Push Congress to Reunite Immigrant Families,” Kate Woodsome and Mitzi Macias, June 5, 2013