Photo: Immigrant families in Washington
Immigrant mothers on Wednesday visited Washington to deliver more than 1,000 postcards on which they are urging President Barack Obama to use his executive power to halt deportations.
Coinciding with the May 11 celebration of Mother’s Day, immigrant mothers traveled to Washington from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco to make their request.
United by a common history, emigration to the United States in search of a better life for their family or fleeing from threats in their countries in some cases, now the women are afraid that a family member will be deported, or even themselves, and that they will be separated from their children.
It is a fear that brings tears to the eyes of Monica Ruiz, who arrived in the United States 23 years ago as an undocumented migrant, “with high hopes because my daughters were going to have all that I didn’t have,” as she said at an event at the doors of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, near the Capitol.
But the daily reality is that “they can detain me and separate me from my daughters,” she said, urging first lady Michelle Obama, as a mother, to intercede for her and other mothers: “Let her heart be moved and let her know the suffering that, for mothers, is separation from their children.”
The mothers were accompanied by members of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, or NALACC, and other supporters of the Power of the Pen campaign.
The activists recalled that Obama said in his State of the Union address that he would use his executive power when Congress did not take action to move forward, and therefore they asked him to use “the power of his pen” to halt deportations given the failure of the House of Representatives to approve immigration reform.
NALACC president Angela Sambrano recalled that in the last six years more than two million people have been deported.
Sambrano emphasized the “irreparable” harm that is done to children by deportations and said that in Mexico there are some 500,000 U.S.-born children who have left this country because their parents have been expelled, while others have remained in the United States with some other relative.