Yanet's Story and the Continued #FightforFamilies

Posted by Yanet Limon-Amado, Student at Virginia Commonwealth University on 06/28/2016

Last week, the Supreme Court broke my heart.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 10.57.32 AM Supreme Court

I was born in Puebla, Mexico and I am the daughter of two undocumented immigrants. On June 23rd the Supreme Court issued a split ruling in the United States v. Texas case to determine the legal standing of President Obama’s expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs. These programs would have broadened the reach of the Obama administration’s original DACA program issued in 2012. DACA+ and DAPA would have provided deportation relief and work permits to five million law-abiding, hard-working immigrants. These programs would have helped protect parents, DREAMers, communities, and families – families just like mine. However, with a split ruling, these programs will remain blocked, and millions of families across our country will remain in limbo.

When I was five years-old my family’s American story began. My father left Mexico in an effort to provide more opportunities for our family. I still remember the day that my father left for the United States for the first time. I was playing outside with my cousins and all of sudden I saw him walking towards me; as I closed my eyes, he was already walking away. I never imagined that five years later I would be on the same path to the United States. It’s been 11 years since my parents made the decision to continue to pursue their dreams in America. Not a day goes by that I don’t see them work hard; they break their backs so our family can survive. DAPA would have allowed my parents to fully contribute to the country that our family calls home. It would have allowed my mother to officially register her business, and my father to work in a job that values him. It would have eliminated me and my sisters’ constant fear of waking up without our parents and never seeing them again.

In 2010, my father lost his paving job because he did not have a valid social security number. I remember him coming home and telling my mother that he wouldn’t be able to return to work. He loved his paving job. Every time we drove by a street or highway he yelled, “We work there!” and “I did that!” Despite the challenges of being undocumented, my father has never left his family without food or shelter.  

My mother is the rock of our home. She has taught me and my sisters to be humble and grateful for all the opportunities that this country has given us. She always says that regardless of our immigration status, this country will be our home. I’m lucky to have a family like mine, a family filled with love and support. Yet there are some days when my body is overtaken by fear. I fear that one day I won’t come home to see my mother’s smile or hear her yell at me for not eating right. I fear that my father will lose his driver’s license because of his immigration status.

My parents never imagined the weight of being undocumented or the fear that would come with their lack of status. They left their whole lives behind and followed their hearts in coming to the United States. They made the sacrifice to immigrate to better our family. Even though my parents, like so many parents in our country, work hard to provide for their family, the fear of deportation lurks in the background of each day.

I worry that every time we sit down to eat together, it could be our last meal as a family.

DAPA would have set my family free of the fear we live with every day. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, however, my family remains stuck, my parents remain in limbo, and my sisters and I remain fearful for our future as a family.

Everyday, I stand side by side with my parents and remind them that there’s no greater sacrifice than leaving their homeland to make a better life for their children. I will continue to fight so that my parents will be able to live each day without fear. The Supreme Court’s ruling has only inspired me to continue fighting not only for my family, but also for the 11 million undocumented individuals in our country who never stop working for the American Dream. I will continue to fight for DAPA and for comprehensive immigration reforms that include every single hard-working and dedicated immigrant in the United States.

My parents have worked hard to protect and provide for me my entire life. Now, it’s my turn to try and protect them, to work hard and to fight for families.

UPDATE - FWD.US DISAPPOINTED WITH SUPREME COURT’S RULING; WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR FAMILIES AND PUSH CONGRESS TO FINALLY PASS IMMIGRATION REFORM

Posted by FWD.us on 06/23/2016

Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, DC — Today’s 4-4 ruling from the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Texas is a devastating loss for millions of American families. To those stuck in our broken immigration system who would have benefited, and to the millions more continue to contribute to the United States economy and communities across the country, this is a very sad day. FWD.us will continue to fight for families and is committed to pushing Congress to finally pass immigration reform.

Please see below for quotes and photos on today’s ruling:

Statement from FWD.us President Todd Schulte:

“Today is a very tough, disappointing day,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “This morning, a few million United States citizens with undocumented parents, hundreds of thousands of DREAMers, and millions of their family and friends received devastating news. The hope that they would benefit from DAPA and expanded DACA and be able to live their lives in ways so many of us take for granted, such as driving to work without the fear that a broken taillight will end in our family being torn apart, remains out of reach.

“We want to thank every single volunteer, and everyone who shared his or her story, for helping to show how these programs would have benefited millions of people and made our nation stronger. To everyone fighting for real reform, I want to be absolutely clear: today’s decision is not the end of the road in our fight for families, and FWD.us will continue to fight every single day to fix our broken immigration system. More than ever, Congress must step up and do its job to fix our badly broken system. We will work tirelessly to ensure that they do. The costs of inaction are astronomical – there is no reason to delay.”

Full Audio from National Press Call with DAPA/DACA+ Impacted Individuals & Legal Experts

Shortened Audio of only Zaira Garcia’s Opening Statement from the National Press Call.

Quote from Zaira Garcia – FWD.us Texas Associate, U.S. Citizen w/ DAPA-Eligible Parents

“Today is extremely hard and I still am trying to find the words to process the pain that I feel. I, along with my 3 sisters, are U.S. citizens, and both my mom and dad are undocumented. We live every day with an overwhelming fear of losing our parents to deportation and it’s something that just never goes away. We hoped and we prayed the release of DAPA would yield not only my family but the millions of families that are trapped in our broken immigration system and this is about moms and dads that have been humiliated and exploited and continue to keep their heads down out of love for their U.S. children. Worse than not receiving pay for work you did is not being able to be there when their children come home from school or work. I’m devastated and sick to my stomach with the news that I’ll have to give my parents in a little while… I will continue to fight for my mom and my dad because they deserve better. They are the two most hardworking, kind and loving individuals that I have ever known. And for now, I will continue to live in a world where every time my phone rings and I see that it’s my dad calling, I’m paralyzed with fear thinking that it’s the call that he’s been stopped on his way to work. But the fight does not end here and we will continue to fight for the millions of families trapped in our broken immigration system and I will continue to fight for my parents.”

Photos from the Supreme Court – approximately 60 photos available for use.

PLEASE CREDIT AMANDA SAVIÑON FOR USE.

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FWD.US DISAPPOINTED WITH SUPREME COURT’S DECISION; WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR FAMILIES AND PRESS CONGRESS TO FINALLY PASS IMMIGRATION REFORM

Posted by Todd Schulte on 06/23/2016

WASHINGTON, DC – Today’s 4-4 ruling from the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Texas is a devastating loss for millions of American families. To those stuck in our broken immigration system who would have benefited, and to the millions more who recognize their contributions to our communities and our economy, this is a very sad day. FWD.us will continue to fight for families and is committed to pushing Congress to finally pass immigration reform.

“Today is a very tough, disappointing day,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “This morning, a few million United States citizens with undocumented parents, hundreds of thousands of DREAMers, and millions of their family and friends received devastating news. The hope that they would benefit from DAPA and expanded DACA and be able to live their lives in ways so many of us take for granted, such as driving to work without the fear that a broken taillight will end in our family being torn apart, remains out of reach.

“We want to thank every single volunteer, and everyone who shared his or her story, for helping to show how these programs would have benefited millions of people and made our nation stronger. To everyone fighting for real reform, I want to be absolutely clear: today’s decision is not the end of the road in our fight for families, and FWD.us will continue to fight every single day to fix our broken immigration system. More than ever, Congress must step up and do its job to fix our badly broken system. We will work tirelessly to ensure that they do. The costs of inaction are astronomical – there is no reason to delay.”

Schulte: Republican Congressmen Should Be Commended for Introducing Sensible Immigration Bill

Posted by Todd Schulte on 06/23/2016

Washington, DC — Today, we want to commend Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) for introducing a bill that would offer some young undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children an opportunity to earn legal status. In a period where the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is calling for the forced mass deportation of every single undocumented immigrant in the United States, we are encouraged that these Congressmen are working in a different and constructive way.

“We are encouraged that Congressman Curbelo and Congressman Coffman are making a positive step in the right direction at a time when many in the GOP are putting forward totally unworkable, anti-immigrant proposals.” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “Ultimately, we are fighting for a complete fix to our broken immigration system – a solution the majority of Americans have consistently supported for years that includes a permanent legislative solution for both DREAMers and the greater undocumented community. The work toward that solution must begin right now, and our public allies remain committed to fighting for the passage of full immigration reform legislation in 2017.”