Thursday, May 15, 2014
From the Asian Law Caucus:
The numbers associated with immigration enforcement are stunning: 1,100 people a day are deported, 34,000 are detained each day, and 130,000 U.S. citizen children lose a parent to deportation each year. The statistics numb us to the pain that individual families go through each day.
Take the Viriviri family, an undocumented family of four from Fiji.
The two Virviri children grew up in the United States and graduated from high school in California. Over the past few years, three of the four members of the family have spent time in immigration detention centers and two have been deported. Their son, who would have been eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), was deported after being pulled over during a traffic stop and turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
ICE agents went on to raid their home twice. First, agents arrested Mrs. Bale Viriviri, a grandmother, detained her in a county jail for months and deported her. A few months later, agents returned posing as police officers to arrest her husband. He was flown to a detention center in New Mexico but was able to stop his deportation through community pressure and was reunited with his family.
Two million other immigrants under the Obama administration have not been so lucky.
This past April marked the two millionth person deported from the United States under the Obama Administration. This is a record number that exceeds any period in the history of our country. While we proclaim to be a nation of immigrants, our policies and priorities tell a different story.
What is little known is that nearly 250,000 of those who have been deported are Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), like the Viriviri family.
Because of our unfair and outdated immigration system, 250,000 AAPIs have been separated from their families, torn from their homes, and forcibly exiled.
It is time to stop the deportation machine that has caused so much turmoil for AAPI, Latino, and all immigrant families. Like so many across the country, AAPIs call for administrative action to stop the unjust deportations and keep families united.
Please tell the President to stop the deportations and fix our broken immigration system.
Sign the petition here.
Chris Punongbayan and Hyeon-Ju Rho