As time passes, I speak less about my deportation. Not because it matters less, not because I no longer wish to have justice being served. But as there continues to be no option for me to repair the damage, the only thing that there is left to do is to continue on with my current life path. Now that I am working on issues on the Mexico-Guatemala border with communities experiencing migration in conditions that I’ve never experienced even in my most difficult moments, I began to set aside my own past to focus on the work in front of me.
At the same time, I can’t help but remember that this month marks seven years since my deportation and interestingly, it coincided with a request to speak on how immigration fraud has affected my family and I. Most who know my story have mostly heard of my time as an undocumented migrant in the US, the deportation process and my life post-deportation. Rarely am I asked about the circumstances that led to it, and those implicated in a immigration fraud case who continue to be in business. While my family and I have paid the consequences, there are systems, policies and individuals who are benefiting from the precarious conditions that an undocumented status creates.
Through a video, I told my story to the LA County Board of supervisors who have recently approved the drafting of an ordinance that would take steps to prevent immigration scams. Certainly an overdue measure (definitely late for me) but hopefully of use to the many families that could be affected by those who seek to pray on them due to their legal limbo.
Con artists should not be able to prey on immigrant families like mine. Those who commit fraud and practice law without a license should not be able to remain in business for decades while people like myself pay the consequences.
I would like share the video that I recorded. I was told that the names I disclosed of the notario/attorney implicated in my case were taken out when the video was shared at the hearing due to concerns of defamation. However, the facts are facts, and they also need to come out at some point. Part of seeking justice is to name those responsable for placing my family and I in deportation proceedings. At the same time, let’s not forget there is an anti-immigration discourse and policies that are also responsable for enabling industries and individuals who profit and harm migrant communities.