Many undocumented youth around the nation will miss their mothers come Mother Day on Sunday, after having been separated from them by excessive deportations. That's why youth leaders gathered in D.C. to meet with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and members of Congress to demand reunification with deported mothers, and other family member be folded into the "Gang of Eight's" bipartisan immigration reform bill Wednesday.
"Even though I'm a [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] recipient, I noticed that your parents could still be deported, so I want to make sure none of my parents are deported," activist and DREAMer Francis Tume, who gathered on Capitol hill alongside other undocumented youth who shared their stories of separation and their hopes to reunite with their families once again."I don't want anyone to live through what my friends have lived through. I don't want to see anyone get separated from their mom for so long. I don't know what I would do if my parents were taken away from me."
As the U.S. Senate prepares to begin consider amendments to the reform bill, United We Dream and their allies continue to organize for a direct path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing within the United States.
The bill, as it is written now, would halt deportation of undocumented immigrants who arrived to the United States before Dec. 31, 2011, and have not been convicted of a serious crime. Those deported for other non-serious crimes who are spouses, children or parents of citizens of permanent residents will be eligible for re-entry.
Senators filed more than 300 amendments to the immigration reform bill, readying the field for an intense and heated debate on some of the more controversial proposals. Sen. Patrick Leahy filed recent amendments that would expand equality to same-sex couples who are lawfully married under existing immigration law; the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) refuses to federally recognize legally married same-sex partners. The changes would, if passed, also allow bi-national LGBT families to sponsor their foreign-born partner for a green card.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to meet Thursday to consider the amendments.