LatinaLista — First, there was Benita. Then came Walter. After that, Taha. Now, it’s Herta.
These are the names of young people who faced deportation from the Department of Homeland Security because their parents brought them to live in the United States when they were very young, overstayed their initial visits and ended up living illegally in this country.
But to these young people, citizenship is what you feel in your heart — not what is designated by a piece of paper. And so each of these young people excelled in school and their communities and are the kinds of success stories that make them role models for those students who don’t see the value of an education.
Benita, Walter and Taha all received deferments to their deportation proceedings. Now, Herta is hoping for the same thing.
While it’s understandable that President Obama wants to focus his energies towards getting healthcare passed, it’s important for him, Department of Homeland Security Sec. Napolitano and others in Washington to understand that the stream of young people facing the most traumatizing event of their young lives is going to continue until immigration reform is passed.
These young people, who did everything right, that was within their control, only to face the threat of being ripped from this society to return to countries that are as foreign to them as the idea that the United States would turn its back on them, deserve a reprieve from this insanity until their fate can be properly decided in whatever Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill is created.
These young people, and thousands more, have been praying, fasting, picketing and blogging to get Congress, and the American public, to understand that they are not criminals but young people raised on the ideals of the US Constitution.
What would it take Mr. President and Sec. Napolitano to establish a moratorium on anymore deportations of youth raised in this country until comprehensive immigration reform is passed?
By all accounts, Herta is scared to death of being deported to Albania.
She doesn’t speak the language. Her language is English and her home is the United States.
My name is Herta Llusho, I am 19 years old, and I writing this because I am about to be deported. I was born in Albania and was brought to the United States when I was 11 years old. With the help and support of my family, I have struggled through more than seven years of legal proceedings to find a way to stay in this country legally. Despite our best efforts, on August 19, I will be removed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from the only place I know as my home. I will be sent back to a country that has become a foreign place to me. I don’t even speak Albanian well anymore. My only hope of staying here is for as many people as possible to ask DHS to delay my deportation until the DREAM Act is passed.
My parents brought me to the United States because they believed in the promises this country had to offer. To them it was the land of opportunities, values, and ideals. They were faithful believers of the American Dream, meaning that through hard work, education, and good character their children could accomplish anything they wanted. In fact, they believed in it so strongly that they sacrificed their own lives, as well as their relationship to make it happen. My dad stayed in Albania with the hope of relocating to the US, while my mom left everything behind in pursuit of a better life for her children. To this day, even after many years of struggle and sacrifice, they still believe that it is all worth it, and so do I. I have been truly blessed in the many opportunities I have received. The United States has made me the person I am today. I would like nothing more than to contribute to the country that has given me so much.
When my parents first brought me to the United State, I attended Pierce Middle School, just outside of Detroit, MI. I couldn’t speak English, at first, but within a year I was able to learn it due to the extremely supportive and patient teachers and friends I made. Some of the friends I made in middle school are still some of my closest friends today. After I finished middle school, I attended Grosse Pointe South High School. Throughout my high school years, I was a 4.05 GPA student and was committed to a lot of extracurricular activities such as the Looking Glass which was a magazine publication of short stories and poems, the Spanish club, and National Honor Society. I ran cross country, track and played a little bit of soccer. Also through my church and other organizations, I volunteered at homeless shelters, summer day camps, and tutoring programs. Last year, I was accepted into the school of electrical engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), where I was still able to maintain my GPA. I chose to become an electrical engineer because I really enjoy math and science and I have a lot of family members that are engineers.
I might not be able to continue my studies at UDM though because I have been ordered to leave the USA. I have been to many immigration lawyers, all of whom tell me that I have run out of options. My brother scoured the Internet to look for something, anything, to help me stay in the U.S. My brother came across a story on dreamactivist.org announcing that Taha’s deportation was just averted. DHS just gave Taha and his mother a stay of deportation until Taha graduates from college.
I would like nothing better than for DHS to do the same for my family. That is why my brother contacted dreamactivist.org for help, and that is why you are reading my story, today.
I know I am not the only one that is struggling with this broken immigration system. Going from lawyer to lawyer has taught me how inhuman this bureaucracy has become. If you don’t fit within a certain box it’s as if you don’t matter. I know there are thousands of others like me, or in worse situations than I am in.
Still, like my parents, I continue to believe in the promises of this country; even if those promises don’t come easy. We have to continually struggle to renew those promises so that they apply to everyone. That promise should apply to a boy, like Taha, who against all odds is brought over from Bangladesh and is able to graduate and get accepted into college, as much as they should apply to a girl like me.
That is why I am asking you to contact the Department of Homeland Security to ask them to delay my deportation until I finish college, or until the DREAM Act is passed. Help renew the promise of the American Dream for me, so that together we can work renew the promise of the American Dream for everyone.
If you want to help Herta:
Join the facebook group for immediate updates.
Sign petition which will be hand-delivered to those who can make a difference.
Call Senator Carl Levin at both his DC office – (202) 224-6221 – and his Detroit office – (313) 226-6020. Urge him to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta’s deportation.
Call Senator Stabenow at both her DC office – (202) 224-4822 – and her Lansing office – (517) 203-1760. Urge her to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta’s deportation.
Call Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick at both her DC office – (202) 225-2261 – and her Detroit office – (313) 965-9004. Urge her to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta’s deportation.