Undocumented immigrant tells Obama: Stop tearing families apart with deportations
The wife and son of a deported undocumented immigrant exhorted President Barack Obama to cut down on his administration’s deportation policy in a video released by an alliance between the Latino advocacy group Cuéntame and other organizations.
“For me, the main thing is having the family together,” Josefina Mora said in Spanish in the video, released Tuesday night. “It’s the basis for the whole family. If he’s not with us, our family’s torn apart, it’s destroyed. My sons need him. They have medical issues. And I know that, like us, there are thousands and thousands of families going through the same situation of pain and anguish.”
Mora, who appeared in the video with the couple’s 10-year-old son, Carlos Olmedo, told The Raw Story that her husband, Urbano Olmedo Lopez, has been detained at an Immigrations and Custom Enforcement facility in McHenry County in Illinois since Nov. 23, 2012. He is due back in court on Feb. 21.
“He was pulled over, and they found he didn’t have a license,” said Mora, who is also undocumented.
Cuéntame Director Axel Caballero said that the Moras represent immigrants who are not accounted for in what he called an immigration policy that divides applicants based on job qualifications.
“[You have] high-skilled/low-skilled, studies/no studies, and that’s creating a completely different approach to immigration reform,” said Caballero, whose group also collaborated on a version of the “So God Made A Farmer” Super Bowl ad featuring Latino immigrants. “This family shows exactly who it affects in taking that route.”
The video also featured Carlos appealing to Obama to curtail his deportation policy, something that an advocacy group helping the family said they hoped resonated for viewers.
“If people can look at a 10 year old asking why his father doesn’t get to come home every night, and still not feel moved to do something urgently about it, people who see that need to understand that there is the necessity, the need, to do something immediately,” said B. Loewe, a spokesperson for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
The president’s latest proposal for immigration reforms includes a section that his administration said is focused on keeping families together:
The proposal seeks to eliminate existing backlogs in the family-sponsored immigration system by recapturing unused visas and temporarily increasing annual visa numbers. The proposal also raises existing annual country caps from 7 percent to 15 percent for the family-sponsored immigration system. It also treats same-sex families as families by giving U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the ability to seek a visa on the basis of a permanent relationship with a same-sex partner. The proposal also revises current unlawful presence bars and provides broader discretion to waive bars in cases of hardship.
But Obama’s refusal to curtail a policy that has led to a record 410,000 deportations during his first term has been cause for concern from immigrant rights groups.
“The border has been the most secure that it has ever been,” Caballero said. “There’s more money and more troops there, and we need more?”
Watch the Mora family ask the president to change his deportation policy, as posted online by Cuéntame Tuesday night, below.