We know we’re winning the fight for President Obama to take executive action on immigration, but we wanted to hear directly from people affected why the President should act — and we ended up receiving hundreds of submissions from all across the country.
We’re still reading through them, but they all have one common thread so far: President Obama must use his existing legal authority to protect families and communities, and he must do it now.
Here’s a few of the submissions so far. If you haven’t sent in your story yet, please do so here.
President Obama should act because we are desperate for reasonable comprehensive immigration reform.
I am a US citizen. My family has been in this country for centuries and has fought in almost every war to protect the rights and safety of others. I am married for four years and I cannot help my husband who came into this country without inspection over 20 years ago. President Obama, he is a decent person who pays taxes each year. He has not seen his mother in over 20 years. I am afraid at the age of 54 or older I will be forced to leave my own country and family in order to have a normal life with my husband who I love very much.
Our life would be more normal, but I would not be happy living in a foreign land and not speaking the language and missing out on my family. I will fear for my safety in his country. As sad as my story is there are so many others much worse off. Please keep your promise to us. I know Congress has failed you every chance they get.
Seleste in OH:
[Seleste is a mother of four whose husband, Pedro, was almost deported last year. Pedro is the caretaker of their 25-year-old son, Juan, who has severe cerebral palsy. Pedro’s stay of deportation expired in August, and the family is still unsure what will happen to him.]
We are on pins and needles and I feel like this is worse than capital punishment. We are dying slowly and have done no crime to deserve it. This isn’t easy. I pray they make the right decision, if not, I’m going with my children to sleep at the White House so that Obama and his wife and girls can see my pain. If my kids have to suffer I want it to be seen firsthand. I suffer seeing my son Juan get worse, I suffer seeing my husband cry daily. I need a little relief here, I don’t know how much more I can take.
President Obama should act because I don’t want my husband to be deported.
We have such a life together and I can’t bear the idea of him being sent back to a land he does not know and hasn’t lived in since early childhood. Mexico is dangerous to people like him and I am terrified he would be preyed upon.
President Obama should act because families like mine are being separated every day.
My husband was deported on November 19, 2013. My husband would have qualified for a pathway to citizenship had comprehensive immigration reform been passed. I’m a US citizen and we have 2 US citizen children, a 4 year old and a 14 year old. Our lives have been in turmoil since my husband, their father, was deported. We’ve lost our apartment, now living with my parents. We’ve lost our family business. My daughter has gone through a depression and has started cutting herself. My son, 4, has withdrawn into himself and has nightmares every night.
Mr. Obama, no family should have to go through this. You have the power to end my family’s nightmare.
President Obama should act because my father who was deported 15 years ago deserves a LEGAL way to reunite with his USC wife and children!
We miss him dearly and we have no way of mending our family without him.
Current laws do not allow any feasible solutions for my families reunification! Pls reevaluate our draconian immigration system!
President Obama should act because I don’t want my daughter to be separated from us.
We are a mixed status family. Parents are LPRs. A daughter is a US citizen, the son is a DACA recipient yet the eldest daughter remains undocumented and can not use her Master’s Degree and work.
What a waste of resources!
President Obama should act because…millions of families are living in out communities who would be affected by changes to our immigration system. These undocumented people are true citizens seeking life liberty and happiness for their families.
They are hardworking and support our country’s economic system. It is time to do what is right for our communities and the family units that comprise it.
I am a citizen born in the USA and my husband of over 9 years is an undocumented immigrant who is in the process of obtaining his visa, thanks to the president’s act to change the waiver process so that he could a just his status without him having to leave the country for many months or years.
If more changes were made to the immigration system in favor of immigrant families many of our friends and family would benefit and no longer have to live in fear in the shadows.
Amanda in IL:
President Obama should act because it is the right thing to do.
And he should act not only for families but for all immigrants who have made their lives here and have been contributing members to our society. My husband is undocumented and has lived here for the past 20 or so years.
We don’t have children and he does not currently qualify for the relief proposed in the Senate bill because of something he did 15 years ago. He already paid his time for the mistake he made and has been a hard working man who has stayed out of trouble ever since.
He takes the bus an hour and 15 minutes each way to work every day because he doesn’t have a license and doesn’t want to break the law. He has stayed in a low wage position for many years at his workplace despite being offered promotions because they would require him to drive and fly to other sites. He is a good man and is loved by me, his family, and the church we are actively involved in.
I urge President Obama to consider giving the most widespread relief he can to immigrants and their families. We don’t want to live in fear of separation any longer.
Hilda in TX:
President Obama should act because the DACA approval changed my son’s life completely. He graduated from College in 2013 and all the time he spent in College we were concerned about the day he will finish his education and be able to work because of his immigration status.
He graduated High School with honors — being in the top 10% of his 2009 class — and won scholarships that help us pay for his college tuition since he had very limited help from the State of Texas (TAFTA).
We, his parents, paid the rest of the college expenses. My husband has 2 jobs and I also worked so that we could afford this for him. We told him the status we have, was not going to stop us to give him an education and that in the future he will appreciate more than anything.
The approval of DACA was the best gift for him on his graduation day on May 2013. Ever since then he is like any normal successful American that has an education.
Sometimes we still get concerned but we still have faith in God and the Obama Administration. We also have a daughter she is been a cheerleader for 5 years and will be attending her HS Senior year this coming fall and we still hope she gets benefit by DACA as well.
We are a normal family who struggles every day with inconveniences about the immigration status but we are not going to give up until we are all legal in this country who already has provided us with a much more better life with hard work in our end.
Thank you so much for all the time and dedication you give to this dream that has helped thousands of youth.
Felipe in CA:
President Obama should act because thanks to actions like DACA, I am able to exercise my BS and MS degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Angela in IN:
President Obama should act because I have been married to my husband for almost 7 years and we have a beautiful daughter age 5.
I have 2 children from a previous marriage and he has been a father to them when their own father abandoned them.
We would all be totally devastated if he were to have to go back. We have been trying for so long to get his papers finished and have had road block after road block and has cost us thousands of dollars and still not there yet.
Rigoberto in CA:
President Obama should act because I will have a future by continuing my education so one day I may be a social worker or a bilingual teacher and so maybe I will feel I’m worth something, not having even a work permit makes me feel worthless.
Merlin in IL:
President Obama should act because it would help my husband get the salary that he deserved. We both have a BA degree, my husband even has a master’s degree from one of the best universities in my country.
We lost our H1-b case and have been undocumented since then.
My husband still work in architecture field but he got paid low compare to what he deserved to have with his experience and knowledge.
I have to work because we have 2 kids born here and to help with household expenses. I really hope the President would act soon so my husband can “spread his wings”.
Nick in TX:
President Obama should act because I am a U. S. citizen, and I want my wife to remain in our home in the United States with me.
Without change, she will be deported.
This is a photo of my mom.
President Obama should act because I miss my mom who was deported 13 years ago.
I miss her lot and she is now 77 years old trapped in Europe with chronic health problems.
She is in Europe by herself with no family and no legal papers. Her children are American citizens and medical practitioners not listed to medical doctors.
My moms departure affected my medical education but I managed to finish medical school I need my mom back. She sacrificed everything to bring her family to America. She worked for 26 years as a registered nurse. She paid her taxes and no criminal record.
Alejandra in NE:
President Obama should act because our families need to be able to stay together and stop living in fear of being deported for not having a license or committing a small traffic violation.
If DACA is expanded it would give lots of hard working people the chance to come out of the shadows and even offer them better futures. For example, my parents have both worked very hard to support my sister and I, they have finished their GED course, & are always trying to improve their English; however, my mom has been forced to stay in a job that exploits her, gives her no benefits, and gives her a very low wage and my dad has had to work multiple jobs in order to make enough to support us.
They are also afraid because they do not have a license, and we can’t visit our family members in other states because it is too much of a risk to drive across the country without a license. We all know that everyday we face the risk of being torn apart due to deportation and it is troubling to even picture what would be of my sister and I if we were all separated.
I have received DACA myself and I have experienced the benefits since I am now able to attend a university, have two jobs that I enjoy to help pay for school and my expenses, and to simply not be afraid of being deported, which would mean being unable to accomplish my dream of graduating from college. I simply want the freedom and peace of mind for my own family and the rest of our hard-working and deserving community.
Mia in AZ:
President Obama should act because my family has been living in the dark. My husband has been unable to fix his immigration status due to a mistake made several years ago when he was younger.
We have three USC daughters ages 4, 10, 12 who would be absolutely devastated. Our lives would be shattered if he were no longer able to live with us.
My husband and I have always struggled to stay above water. He has always provided for our family. He helped put me through school so I could obtain my Degree. Our family is very united and we continue to stay strong. Our one downfall is that he has no immigration status. We have been married for 12 years and we have been together for 13 years. we were very young when we started our family and we are together despite the financial, emotional and family strain this has had on our lives individually as well as a family.
We own a home together and our lives are pretty much set if it weren’t for the chains that weigh him down reminding him he is not from here. He is as much of a good citizen as anyone else and deserves the opportunity. We love and need him in our lives, to continue to live in a country we were born and live in and one that he has adopted as his own. He lost hope a long time ago that he would ever be able to do anything in this country he so desperately desires to live in with his family, and even until this day he still believes there may be nothing he can do. I don’t want that hope to die, I have hope that he will qualify for an extended Deferred Action program.
Paul in WA:
President Obama should act because hardworking people and loving families already part of our communities should not live in fear or the shadows.
President Obama should act because my mom was deported on January 5, 2011.
Since than she has missed my sister’s and I college graduation. She also missed my two younger brothers graduation from high school.
We lost the home we had lived in for 12 years. My mom has missed nearly four years of our live and has been living on her own in Mexico.