DREAMers, immigrant youth, and community leaders from Austin and their families are calling on Congressman Lloyd Doggett to stop the deportation of Mara Veronica Ayala, a Texas mother of a four-year-old U.S. citizen. She is set to be deported this Thursday.
Veronica has been living in Texas since 2002, and is the sole provider of her family. Her son, Damian, would be left alone without her if she were to be deported this week. Damian suffers from a speech delay problem.
University Leadership Initiative, an affiliate of United We Dream, the largest network of immigrant youth in the country, organized a rally outside of Doggett's Austin office and gathered more than one thousand petition signatures on behalf of Veronica that were delivered to the Congressman this morning.
Read more on the story, and what Congressman Doggett and you can do to help after the jump.
Veronica and her son, Damian.
Each Congressional Office has the right and opportunity to intervene with a Federal Agency and any of one of their constituents. Rep. Doggett can help stop the deportation of Veronica through this administrative intervention. He can send a letter of support on behalf of Veronica to the Department of Homeland Security and ICE, requesting not have her deported Thursday.
Those in the community can help by calling Doggett's Austin office at 512-916-5921. You can ask him to please help in stopping the deportation of this mother.
United We Dream and the University Leadership Initiative help advocate in support of the legal relief that the person in proceedings need. They are asking Congress to act now and stop the unnecessary separation of families like the Ayala's, as well create a path to citizenship for 11 million Americans without papers, including Veronica.
Because without a path to citizenship, there is no real immigration reform. Continuing to augment security in the border is doing nothing but cause the deaths of hundreds of men, women, and children attempting to cross to the US. Border security has not, and will not, fix our immigration system without any actual true reform.
Republicans have largely been blamed for preventing any progress regarding immigration due to their opposition to comprehensive reform. But until the 2012 election, Democrats had largely been quiet about the issues. It can be argued President Obama received over 70% of the Latino vote during his presidential re-election only because Republicans have simply been more vocal in harvesting negative tensions with Latinos and other minorities. In fact, more immigrants have been deported under President Obama than in previous administrations, causing large resent from the immigrant community.
There are countless of economic benefits from building healthier border relations and achieving immigration reform — benefiting Texas and the entire country. Ignoring the issues and allowing Republicans to doom themselves on the matter is not a real strategy for Democrats to take.
Stories like Veronica's need to be told, because she's not the only mother facing deportation this week. Her story is like many of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in this country, all facing the same uncertainty today if immigration reform were to fail. For many in the Latino community, people that could be one of their own family members, and for Anglo Americans, people that could have been one of their own recent migrant ancestors.
Immigration is very much a social issue as it is fiscal. As Democrats, we have the responsibility to not allow this issue to center only around border militarization, but instead fight for the legalization of millions that simply want the same opportunities you and I have to build a better life. It prevents further border crossing deaths from occurring, prevents families like the Ayala's from being torn apart, and it helps strengthen our economy. It just makes sense.