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By Sofia Navas-Sharry:
The battle to stop Alberto Yanez’s deportation is far from over, but at least it has been delayed for another year.
Alberto Yanez — father of three American citizens, brother of two American citizens, and a passionate DREAMer — saw major breakthrough when he was granted a one year stay of deportation through January of next year. This is a result of thousands of people calling on the Obama Administration to stop his deportation, as well as a change.org petition that received over 2,500 signatures.
Alberto has been here for 23 years, arriving when he was one, and has proven himself a bright and talented person. He was placed in the gifted program when he was in the third grade, and worked full-time while pursuing a degree. He is now working on becoming a pharmacy technician, and is a loving father to three American children.
It is largely in thanks to the support of his community and advocates (like you!) that he was given this temporary stay. This is undoubtedly a small victory in his much larger battle to stay in the only country he’s ever known since he first arrived in California as a toddler, but his fight is long from over. Alberto and his mother are still at risk of being torn apart from each other, their family, and friends — as is the case with countless other DREAMers.
A few weeks ago, ICE Director John Morton sent out a Prosecutorial Discretion memo regarding the agency’s enforcement priorities, which outlined various factors that ICE agents should take into account when handling individual deportation cases. The memo also explicitly mentions that ICE should decide if an individual should be deported only if he or she fits enforcement priorities.
Yanez does not fit those enforcement priorities. Alberto, who came to the country as an infant, has no criminal record and poses no threat to our national security. By no means does he meet any of the “deportation criteria” outlined in the Morton memo.
But we’d be giving ICE too much credit if we thought at all that the agency had its priorities straight. When ICE agents aren’t stalking kids and their parents at elementary schools, or strip-searching a mother in front of her son, or denying a six month pregnant woman medical care, they’re trying to deport undocumented Americans, such as Alberto, to countries they barely know, draining our society of talented individuals whose only wish is to give back to the country that they consider home.