Finding Community In Purgatory

January 25, 2011


This evening, I truly realized that I am not alone. It is both comforting and horrifying.  I created a Facebook group called Waiting for a Miracle-Separated by Immigration Detention and Deportation.  I knew we were all out here in the world of internet but when we had 25 members in only 2 hours, it hit me.  There are so many of us suffering because of a  broken immigration system.  We are a community.

A few weeks ago, my son asked me, “Does Daddy exist?”  As if he was asking about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.  I answered “Yes, Sweetie, he does exist.” And he replied, “But I can’t touch him.”   How did this system get to a place where fathers may or may not exist for their own children?  It is a tangled web of complications. 

Why do immigrants come to the United States?  For the same reasons they have been coming for more than 100 years.  For a better life for their family.  For opportunity. To escape oppression. To run from war.  For survival.  There are so many reasons.  I don’t understand why the nativist groups think that just because they happened to be born within the borders of the United States, they are superior.  If they were born into oppression and poverty, would they not look for opportunity for their families? Wouldn’t they do anything to make sure their children had food on the table and to protect them from harm?  I am not necessarily advocating for open borders but I believe that there are important changes that need to happen. 

The immigration system should be consistent in its laws, organized within and throughout the departments, respectful of human rights, use alternatives to detention that are more affordable for the U.S. taxpayers, ensure that judges are following a protocol, obtain a lower cancellation rate of court dates, hire alternate judges in case the one assigned is unable to present his or herself, organize a just way for Americans and their spouses to repatriate and ensure families are not separated except in extreme cases.

I am not the only United States citizen that is being dragged through this disastrous system.  There are many of us.  We need a support, a place to voice our opinion, and we need to organize.  We will start small but our group will grow and our voices will become louder.  We will stand up and take action for what we believe in……a just, humane, and organized immigration system that does not separate families.  For now we are taking every action possible to keep our families together and waiting for a miracle.

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Pedro was detained at Stewart Detention Center for 19 months.

NACARA is the type of relief Pedro was granted. Click here to find out what it is.