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A Bittersweet Ending To a Family Crisis: Natalia Campana Granted Humanitarian Visa to Attend Husband's Funeral

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Telemundo and Univisión today lift up a very sad story about a family that was separated by deportation and remind us all of the consequences of inaction on immigration by both this administration and this Congress.  Natalia Campana, immigrant mother and wife, who simply wanted to see her husband one last time before he was buried, was released from detention at the U.S./Mexican border and granted a temporary visa to attend her husband’s funeral.

Natalia Campana was deported to Peru 3 years ago after falling victim to immigration fraud and forced to leave the country after 25 years.   She later learned that her husband, a legal permanent resident, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died last Tuesday.  She was left with no other choice but to try to enter the United States to attend her husband’s funeral, but was apprehended at the border and held in detention for 5 days.

Meanwhile, her son, Karlo Campana, a U.S. Citizen, took the streets on May 1 to protest against the deportations and demand that Congress take action and pass immigration reform.  He also started an online petition asking the Obama Administration to help bring his mother home for the funeral.

According to reports, thanks to the support of thousands of petitioners and the support of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Natalia was released from detention on a humanitarian visa so she could attend the funeral.  The visa is temporary and Natalia will once again be forced to be separated from her family unless Congress acts and passes reform.

Karlo told Univision’s Primer Impacto:

“I’m happy that my mother is here, but at the same time I feel pain inside because we need to lay my father to rest…”

Stories such as that of Natalia and her family highlight the urgent need for this administration and this Congress to act and offer relief to families in crisis; and that any overhaul of our broken immigration system needs to focus on reuniting families.