Today, Dream Activist brings us news of a ninth grader who is scheduled to be deported this coming Sunday. According to their petition:
Victoria was brought to the US when she was only 3 years old. Carina, Victoria’s mother wanted to give her little girl a better future, something she couldn’t do in Argentina. She worked hard to provide Victoria with everything she needed, including a good education.
Now, 14-year-old Victoria dreams of being able to stay in this country and go to college. She wants to become a lawyer or a veterinarian, something she decided when she was only in seventh grade. Her mother always told her that her only responsibility was to go to school and get good grades, and that she would do everything to make sure Victoria made it to college. But all that changed last December when ICE showed up at her mother’s job after she filed a restraining order against someone ICE was looking for.
Victoria and her mother were put in deportation proceedings and are now being told that they must leave the country on Sunday, April 29. Victoria has spent her last eleven birthdays in the US, but if deported she will be spending her fifteenth birthday, which is in a month, in a country she has no memory of.
Victoria has worked hard to always get the best grades, and has received several awards for her dedication and academic excellence. The US has invested in her education since pre-kinder and now as a ninth grader she is determined to go to law school. Several colleges have already expressed interest in having Victoria as a student. Even the Coast Guard has recognized Victoria’s value and contribution to this country. But ICE wants to deport her and shatter all her dreams.
In a letter that the group sent out on her behalf, Victoria writes
“I don’t really understand why we have to leave. My dad was sent back to Argentina almost a year ago and I miss him everyday. My aunt, Jordana, was in a jail for nine months and I didn’t get to see her at all. She finally came home a couple of weeks ago and our whole family was so happy. But now we have to leave and everyone is sad again…I want to stay here. I want to finish the 9th grade. I want to say bye to my friends and my teachers. I hope the President lets me stay.”
In June last year, ICE director John Morton outlined criteria for prosecutorial discretion in a memo, which called on ICE officials to consider a range of factors in determining whether an individual should be deported or not, such as prioritizing the deportations of hardened criminals – of which this 14 year old is not. So much for prosecutorial discretion.
Although ICE issued that directive almost a year ago, immigrants who meet the criteria, like Victoria, are subject to deportation. And, unfortunately, the Obama administration has broken records with the number of deportations under its watch.
If allowed to stay, Victoria would be eligible for the DREAM Act, legislation that would allow undocumented youth to earn legal status through either two years of college or military service. Sign the petition and help Dream Activist keep Victoria in the country she loves.