Below is an electronic copy of letter I submitted to the White House upon hearing of the announcement on Deferred Action Policy. Little did I know that this simple action would lead to a series of events that later inspired me to start this blog (I will talk about them in future entries).
June 17, 2012
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
RE: Order to End Deportation of Young Undocumented Immigrants
Dear Mr. President:
I was moved to know that after 26 years of inertia, there is now in place a policy that will allow young undocumented immigrants to integrate themselves into the fabric of American society. At the same time, it was hard for me to accept that this reform came almost three years too late for my brother and I, whom would have otherwise qualified. Instead, we were deported at age 27 and 29, respectively.
Starting at the age of nine, I was part of a class of people that lived in the shadows afraid to be exposed due to our legal status. Despite of these challenges, I excelled academically and graduated in the top three percent of my high school class. I went on to earn my B.S. degree. I was an active participant in my community offering countless volunteer hours to further social causes.
Four years ago I thought your candidacy offered the hope we needed to change the direction of the country including its current immigration laws. Although I could not vote for you, I volunteered on your campaign believing that reform could be possible. The reality is that under your administration, deportation of non-criminal undocumented immigrants has increased and has contributed to more family separations than during the eight years of the George W. Bush presidency. The failure to take action earlier has irreversibly impacted the lives of hundreds of immigrants that are thrown out of the U.S. on a daily basis. I and my family are among that number.
I was forced out of a country I called home without the opportunity to collect my financial documents or a change of clothes that would have allowed me to sustain myself that first week in Tijuana. Yet I continue to live with limited professional prospects in my native country due to current U.S. policies.
I write to you now, to request three changes that would make a difference for people like me:
1. Increasing accountability of the Customs Enforcement Agency and their deportation procedures
2. Removing 10-year ban for deportees so they can successfully appeal their cases
3. Reforming the visa process so deportees who are working in their country of origin and are required to travel to the U.S. for business purposes are not ineligible for a visitor’s visa
What I really hope for is true immigration reform that provides the 12 million undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. In the meantime, implementing the above changes will make the current legal process more humane.