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When 14 year-old Eric Lara first launched a MoveOn petition to stop his dad’s deportation, he never expected that over 35,000 people would sign it.
Eric’s dad, Jesus Lara, is scheduled for deportation on July 18. He had been living here for 15 years, paying taxes, and is working legally under an Order of Supervision. But this March, Jesus was abruptly told to pack his bags and leave.
Since then Jesus, his four U.S. citizen children, their supporters, and the entire community have been working to try to stop this deportation. Last Saturday, they spent the whole day canvassing in Willard to build support, and adding 380 people to the list of petition signers.
Eric’s petition asks U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs to “call the Department of Homeland Security and tell them to let my dad stay here in Willard.” It was signed by a total of 35,654 people, including 609 of Rep. Gibbs’ constituents, and another 1,352 people from across Ohio. Hundreds of supporters have called Gibbs’ office, and the case has received compelling regional, local, and national media support.
Today Eric, his siblings Edwin (11), Anuar (9), and Elsiy (6), and dad Jesus walked to the Willard Library and emailed off 35,000 names to Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH). In the email, Eric wrote: “I’m scared about what will happen to me and my family if [my dad] is deported. Will you please help us?” He and his family eagerly await a response.
View the petition here, and watch the Lara children’s video below:
Here are some of the quotes from Jesus’ children:
Eric: I want my dad to stay, I don’t want him leaving. We are in front of the library in the morning. I want the people to help my dad so he can stay.
Edwin: I want my dad to be here because he is going to pay for our education and we are going to help him with his vitamins when he is older.
Anuar: Can you please help us, so our dad can stay here, so we can get a good education, and not be alone with our mom so she doesn’t struggle.
As a Sandusky Register editorial published today said of Jesus and his family:
There’s nothing plain and simple about what Lara Lopez’s American born children face in the months and years ahead if the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency does not back down from its plan to deport Lara Lopez next week…They’re children and they have names. They’re Americans and they have every same right you do.
That includes the right to stay with their father. Will the Trump Administration, DHS Secretary John Kelly, and Rep. Bob Gibbs really separate this family?