As a long time Florida resident, Rafael Gaytan has made every effort to become a productive member of his community.
A business owner, loving father, and caring husband, Rafael has been able to overcome many of the obstacles that his immigration status presented to him – all with the intention of providing for his family in Florida.
However, when Rafael got notice that his sister became ill and was in need of attention back in Mexico, he was suddenly presented with a difficult choice. Rafael could travel to Mexico to take care of his ailing sister and elderly parents, or he could watch from afar as his family’s health continued to deteriorate.
As an undocumented immigrant, leaving the United States meant that Rafael would be unable to return to his wife and his U.S. Citizen children in Florida. But being torn between his family back in Mexico and his family in Florida left Rafael with little choice, so he made the difficult decision to go to Mexico in order to tend to his sister and his elderly parents.
Watch Mayra Gaytan, Rafael’s wife, speak out about her husband’s case in the video below:
Unfortunately, Rafael’s sister passed away shortly after he arrived in Mexico. And now, in order to return to his business, home, and family in Florida, Rafael will present himself at the border and plea that he is readmitted into the United States.
In less than 48hrs Rafael will turn himself in to DHS. Help him & family #BringRafaelHome sign http://t.co/NyXNQNHByb pic.twitter.com/oUrO1TSZhM
— Y.A.D. – Florida (@YAD52110) October 4, 2015
This is a truly compelling and moving case, as Rafael could have been spared this entire ordeal had Republicans across the country not blocked the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program that President Obama announced back in 2014.
It is people like Rafael, hardworking and passionate individuals, who remind us of the work that lies ahead in order to fix our broken immigration and reunite families who continue to be separated by deportation policies and lack of relief.
The Florida based organization Young American Dreamers is helping Rafael reunite with his family in Central Florida. As support continues to build ahead of Rafael’s appearance at the border, Florida advocates are collecting petition signatures to show support for the Gaytan family.
Members and their parents today at #YAD HQ after our monthly meeting supporting the Gaytan Family to #BringRafaelHome pic.twitter.com/M3ejLqbnTd — Y.A.D. – Florida (@YAD52110) October 3, 2015
Rafael will present himself at the U.S. and Mexico border tomorrow morning and ask that he is allowed to return back to his family in Florida. You can follow Young American Dreamers on Twitter for the latest on Rafael’s case.
We will expand this blog post with more as the story develops.