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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One phone call saves immigrant family Marlen Moreno to be deported July 8th


Deportation Threatens to Tear Immigrant Family Apart on Technorati.">Article first printed in Technorati as “Deportation threatens to tear family apart”


The problems undocumented workers face in the U.S. are far more complicated than they look. One solution offered by conservatives is to force them to “go home” and “wait their turn in line”. The solution over-looks practical matters like shredding of families. Marlen Moreno is a good example.


Marlen, husband and children

Marlen and her family, facebook


This young lady came to the U.S. at age 13. A child of that age is not considered responsible for her actions nor capable of understanding the consequences or implications of crossing the border “illegally”.


For the next 13 years, Marlen lived in Tucson, Arizona where she went to school, learned English and was the first person in her family to graduate from high school. She married a permanent resident and is the mother of two U.S. citizen sons. Marlen’s dream is to go to college and become a pre-school teacher. She believes motivating students to stick with education and graduate is the path to their success. 


According to witness reports, Marlen was in her home with her 8 month old son by her side when ICE showed up. She was arrested and spent four months in detention fighting deportation.


Vincent Picard who handles media relations for Tucson ICE responded immediately to my phone call. He indicated the case had gone to the 9th circuit court of appeals and had been denied. Marlen’s last recourse is the U.S. Supreme Court, not a likely venue for her.


Mr. Picard said he cannot speak directly to Marlen’s case as she has the right of privacy. He said in general, the Obama Administration supports cases where family unity is an issue, a big change from Bush Administration politics. However, as a law enforcement agency, once a case has gone through the appeals process and lost, ICE is bound to follow the rulings. In short, the agency is not likely to intervene on Marlen’s side.


The deportation process is complicated and full of pit falls. Something as slight as a missed interview means certain deportation with little recourse. Anyone who has acquired two misdemeanor charges is not eligible for citizenship. Use of someone else’s ID to work is a serious matter, a fact often not understood by young undocumented immigrants. Unfortunately, the process is rigid and unforgiving.


Marlen’s case is a good example of why sending people home to “wait in line” is impractical. The problem is, she will leave a husband and two children behind. In the alternative, she can take her two U.S. citizen children with her and raise them in a foreign country. When they later return to the U.S. they will know nothing of US culture, politics or how our system of government works.


Meanwhile, Marlen’s husband will be in a long distance relationship. Marlen knows little of her home country and has no means of support. Two children have no mother. This is a lose-lose for everyone, first for two children, and most of all, for this great country.


If you wish to help Marlen you are asked to call Janet Napolitano, Director of Department of Homeland Security immediately, and ask that DHS stop her deportation: 202-282-8495. You can also call Representatives Grijalva (202-225-2435) and Gutierrez (202-225-8203) and ask they intervene. These are live numbers with real life people on the other end of the line. You can also sign a petition at America's Voice!


In the long term, comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) strengthens the border while giving undocumented workers a path to citizenship after a background check and payment of a fine which in total could add 3 billion to the US treasury. It would allow the U.S. to identify all people living within the borders and provide them with driver’s licenses and hence, allow all drivers to obtain insurance. There is also a 6 year wait. Until then, the shredding of families continues, and two children will soon be without a mother! How many more families must suffer?

1 comment:

  1. We need immigration reform now. The hate needs to stop and solutions need to be found.

    Macon, IL