The current debate regarding immigration policy is also a family issue. Many in Maryland will remember the story of one son and mother which came under the national spotlight when the mother attempted to avoid deportation by taking sanctuary in a church. The teenager was born in the United States and, therefore, a citizen, however his mother was an undocumented immigrant who ended up being deported after she left the protection of the church in order to lobby to be allowed to stay in the country.
Following her deportation, the mother co-founded the advocacy group Familia Latina Unida. A spokesperson for the advocacy group recently urged the President to utilize executive orders to halt all deportations in order to keep families united. The President had used his executive powers in a similar manner when he issued the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals memorandum, which prevented the deportation of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as young children.
However, not all of the President’s actions have been for the benefit of undocumented immigrants. Many would point out that the current White House administration has deported more undocumented immigrants than any other administration. The current President has deported approximately 400,000 individuals each year since 2009. Therefore, it is unclear how the President will respond to the request made by the advocacy group.
This makes it that much more important for undocumented immigrants currently living in Maryland or in any other state to take precautions against future potential problems stemming from deportation. Applying for legal residency or citizenship would help to avoid the hardships stemming from being deported. However, if one is currently fighting deportation, it is even more critical to have a strong grasp on current immigration laws and how they apply to specific cases.
Source: Voice of America, “Children of Deported Push Congress to Reunite Immigrant Families,” Kate Woodsome and Mitzi Macias, June 5, 2013