On the Cusp of 2 Million Deportations, New Video Highlights American Families Being Ripped Apart
As House Republicans stall progress on immigration reform, American families continue to pay the price. The Obama Administration has been deporting immigrants at a reckless pace—over 1,000 a day—and is set to make history in the coming days when it hits the 2 million mark on deportations. Two million is too many.
A new video from America’s Voice documents the case of one such family. Brigido Acosta-Luis was deported this past November even after his U.S. citizen wife, Maria Perez, waged a grueling battle to keep her family together. Despite the fact that he qualifies for “prosecutorial discretion” under a 2011 memo from former ICE Director John Morton, and is eligible for a green card based on his marriage to Maria, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) denied all of Brigido’s legal options to stay and he is now living in Mexico, thousands of miles away from his wife and kids.
As Maria says in the video:
We did everything together. We cooked together. We did the laundry together. So when you take a part of that team out, it just breaks up the family. My son needs him. My daughter needs him. And I need him.
ICE targeted Brigido on an “expedited removal” order from 2002. Back then, Brigido entered the United States with a valid tourist visa but was inexplicably detained, stripped him down to his underwear, and interrogated for hours at the airport. He was bullied into signing a paper and flew back to Mexico on his own ticket. According to ICE, this counted as a deportation. So when he was found living in the United States in 2013, ICE reinstated that prior order of deportation and took him into custody.
This story is just one family in two million, but it provides a small glimpse into the aftermath of deportation so many families are experience across the country (see here for a collection of other heart-breaking stories of families fighting deportation on America’s Voice’s new action page). Many of these targeted individuals would qualify for legal status and citizenship under pending legislation House Republicans are blocking in Congress.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
House Republicans are to blame for stopping immigration reform in its tracks. The Senate has taken action, the public supports reform with a path to citizenship and the votes exist today in the House if only House Leadership would give us a vote. Their inaction comes with far-reaching political consequences that could well doom the GOP future. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. The President has the power to stop the bleeding and roll back the deportation machine. He can and must use his executive authority to take immediate, temporary and common sense actions to change course and stop the egregious deportation of people that would qualify for citizenship under legislation he supports.
Watch the video and learn more about similar paces on America’s Voice’s new action page here: http://americasvoice.org/2million/