We all know the permanent solution to fix our broken immigration system is legislation that strikes at the heart of this issue. Unfortunately, politics trumped doing what's right in this Congress. Democrats will blame Republicans for doing nothing. Republicans will blame the President for doing nothing. And the President continues to deport our loved one by the thousands each day.
In the end, the separation of families, the instability to our communities, and the need for our nation to be fair and balanced on immigration, continues without leadership.
Now the President has the chance to do something affirmatively on immigration. He can issue Administrative Relief, that although temporary, will relieve the suffering of our community and send Congress a signal that we cannot kick the can down the road much longer. We expect the President to act boldly and generously. We need him to cover as many immigrants as possible in his announcement.
The following stories highlight why Administrative Relief, which could mean deferring deportations and offering a work permit, is such a meaningful act to immigrant families, our communities, and the nation. Read on.
·Angie Celis – dental school applicant, 26 years old
Angie Celis is the oldest of three siblings in this Guatemalan-American household of five. Angie was 2 years old when her mother brought her to the US to meet with her father. A graduate of the UCLA master’s program in oral biology, Angie is now applying to dental school.
Two years ago, Angie received immigration relief through the DACA Program with support from CHIRLA. Getting to and from school has now gotten much easier reducing her 1 ½ hour ride in public transportation to a little over 30 minutes in a car she just bought.
Angie’s parents are proficient in English which helps them at work as a housekeeper and yacht maintenance respectively. Both parents are undocumented. Angie’s brother, 23, is US-born, graduated from UC Santa Cruz, and teaches kindergarten. The youngest sibling, 7, is also US-born.
“My parents’ gnawing fear that I would be deported ended temporarily the day I got my DACA permit two years ago. Before DACA, I would stay late at school working on an experiment and take public transportation back home, which meant 1 ½ hours in unsafe conditions for a woman riding alone. Now, my options are open. I work at UCLA, just bought my first car, and I am not scared to apply to dental school.
Although my options have multiplied since getting DACA, the chances for my parents to step out of the shadows remain limited. My dad’s business in yacht maintenance has helped our family stay well fed and looking to the future with hope. My mom’s tireless work as a household worker has been an inspiration for all since childhood.
With Administrative Relief, my father’s business could grow bigger and he would hire more workers to help him. He would finally drive and his commute would be shorter than the 2 ½ hours it takes from him get to Marina Del Rey from Canoga Park using public transportation.
As to my mom, Administrative Relief would help her seek a less stressful job, return to school, and make her dream of getting a high school diploma come true.”
Read other stories in this series:
- Sergio, street vendor and performer, 42 yrs.
- Hassan, aspiring firefighter, community college student, DACA recipient, 24 yrs.
- Deni, small business woman, DACA recipient, 24 yrs.
- Vlad, aspiring civil rights attorney, UCLA student, DACA recipient, 21 yrs.
- Ana, aspiring first grade teacher, UC Merced senior, DACA recipient, 21 yrs.
- Daniel, US-citizen, young voter, 20 yrs.
- Maria, household worker, 66 yrs.
- Armando, aspiring film director, community college student, 31 yrs.
- Alexis, biomedical engineering student, UC San Diego student, DACA recipient, 21 yrs.
- Elizabeth, US-citizen, voter, immigrant advocate, 25 yrs.
- Rosa, Honduran asylum-seeker, 34 yrs.
- Rodrigo, high school student, DACA recipient, 17 yrs.