Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Mr. President, It is time to grant a moratorium on deportations of youth raised in the U.S. until immigration reform is passed

Mr. President, It is time to grant a moratorium on deportations of youth raised in the U.S. until immigration reform is passed

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 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 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.

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  • cookie
    August 14, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Why is it assumed that a CIR will pass in the first place? Why does one assume that if there is one that it will automatically mean legalization for these kids brought here illegally? What about their parents who did know what they were doing when they came here illegally with their kids? Why is it assumed that these parents will be allowed to stay? Does that mean that if the parents are deported because they were not ignorant of our immigration laws that these kids would wave goodbye to their parents and therefore separate themselves from their parents rather then being with them in their homeland?
    I think the pro-advocates want the whole enchilada so to speak. They keep talking about these poor kids but really in the backs of their minds they think the whole family should be able to stay. It isn’t earth shattering to move to another country as long as you have family with you. Americans are often seperated as families as kids grow up and move to other states and even other countries to work and live.
    IMO, these kids are being used as leverage to allow the whole family to stay.

  • laura
    August 14, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    You are right, Marisa. And it is not only deportations of youth they should end.
    Tearing apart families by deporting family members whose only infraction is an immigration violation is wrong. Secretary Napolitano is continuing the unjust policies implemented by the Bush administration. Thousands of children are without a parent because of their policies.
    I see no change. No change I can believe in. You commented about Republicans losing support among Latina/os. Democrats will lose it too. If the Obama administration continues on its present path, of talking about immigration reform (sometime later) while continuing Bush detentions, Bush deportations, Bush raids (now as “virtual” raids of employers’ payrolls) – Latina/os will no longer support them.
    Obama won because millions of people worked extremely hard for him. Where does he think those people will come from next time? Does he think he can buy them with the campaign donations he gets from Goldman Sachs?
    Secretary Napolitano should stop deporting all undocumented people who have not committed a violent crime. There are millions of families suffering in this country, in fear of being torn apart. This incredible, unnecessary pain needs to end.

  • Dave Bennion
    August 15, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Thanks for posting, Marisa! You are completely right–we need a moratorium like the one recently granted on the widow penalty. I know these campaigns are disruptive to ICE’s operations … wouldn’t it make more sense to put a hold on these deportations?

  • Henriqe
    August 17, 2009 at 5:26 am

    12 million people cross our borders, set up a life that they know that they are not entitled to and then try to make us feel sorry for them by crying that we’re separating them. I’m sorry, but I can hardly feel sorry for people who set themselves up for a fall. I’ll reserve my pity for those who are trouble through no fault of their own; the millions of unemployed Americans who are entitled to be here and who now have to compete with illegal aliens for work.

  • cookie
    August 17, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Laura, why is it you pro-advocates just don’t get it? Neither Bush nor Obama can change our immigration laws without enactment of congress. Our laws in their present form demand detaintment and deportation for those in our ocuntry illegally and it doesn’t matter whether or not that was their only crime. Quit playing down the seriousness of entering our country illegally. On paper right now it may not be a felony (unless one is deported and returns) but in theory it is a crime/offense against our immigration laws with the outcome being deportation.
    Why should we stop enforcing our immigration laws because there “might” be a CIR who knows when or if in the future it will past and what it will mean? If I get a speeding ticket with a monetary fine should I not have to pay that fine because there is a rumor that the speed limit might up upped in the future? That is ridiculous! We have to honor the laws that are in place today and the ensuing penalties that are in place for said crime at the time.

  • Grandma
    August 17, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Are her parents being deported? She obviously has a brother. Is he being deported? If not, why are they deporting her and only her?

  • Timothy
    August 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    “Tearing apart families by deporting family members whose only infraction is an immigration violation is wrong.”
    Why is it wrong? The penalty for “only” violating immigration laws is “only” deportation; nothing new, so why the surprise and false indignation? They knew perfectly well that this could happen and they rolled the dice and they came up snake eyes, its a simple as that. I hate it when these people cry when they get their hand caught in the cookie jar. I can guarantee that other parents will be more deterred from doing the same thing with their children. For the U.S. to do other than deportation is just inviting more of this foolish behavior and more sob stories. Sorry, but out interests as a nation come first with me. Foreigners will always come second.

  • krissy
    August 24, 2009 at 7:51 am

    This is so sad. If you are raised in this country then papers or not you are an American. We need to make sure that these kids have a chance. And no more family deportation prisons.

  • Willie
    August 27, 2009 at 9:50 am

    “This is so sad. If you are raised in this country then papers or not you are an American. We need to make sure that these kids have a chance. And no more family deportation prisons.”
    Many children of diplomats are raised in this country, yet they are not Amemricans. These kids should be treated as the aliens they are, as are the children of diplomats. When diplomats go home they take their children with them, as should the children of illegal aliens.

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