From the New York Times comes a heart-wrenching op-ed from Ehiracenia Vasquez, a member of the Texas Organizing Project.
Ehiracenia, like millions of other families across the country, is eligible for the immigration relief announced by President Obama late last year. A long-time resident of Texas and mom of two U.S. citizen children, Ehiracenia will have a chance to apply for a work permit and be safe from the constant fear of deportation.
But as Ehiracenia writes, a single judge in Texas has put her dreams on hold. Though she’s collected every piece of paper she can find to document her family’s roots in America — anything from property tax receipts to medical records — she and millions of others are essentially living in a legal limbo following the judge’s order to temporarily stop the President’s program.
In Ehiracenia’s own words:
I keep all these papers in a drawer next to my bed, so I will have easy access to them as soon as I need them. These are the documents that were supposed to allow me to apply for a new program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans — the documents that would protect me, for a time, from deportation, and give me some relief from the constant fear that comes with life as an undocumented immigrant…
In November, it seemed we would be able to move, however slowly, out of those margins. We would have temporary relief. I gathered my documents together and kept them safe. We were prepared.
Then the judge put it all on hold. Everything we had been working toward — a break from life in the shadows — is now on pause, in limbo, maybe never to be a reality.
I allowed myself to feel a little disappointed and a little bit sad. But I am not going to let myself feel defeated. I am still trying to organize people to go to meetings so that they can be ready when the program moves forward.