With the welcoming of the new year, many people have began the year in panic and preparing for the worst. At least that it is the case for the Magdaleno family as they’ve began to take matters into their hands when recent news arised that a member of the family could face deportation soon, leaving a family behind.
But this story is not uncommon. As of last December, a reported 121 people have been detained by ICE in the recent immigration raids occuring all across the country in places such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Houston. Many of the people who have been recently detained are migrants from Central American countries, who have seeked for asylum from crime and heavy proverty here in the U.S.
The Obama administration has validated these raids as a security method to protect the country from further terrorist attacks, but what is being underminded are the hundreds of families that are being seperated and the fear that is being implimented into the minds of citizens who this issue hits close to home.
For instance, although this country has created policies to protect women who have been victims of violence in a foreign countries such as the Violence Aganist Women Act (VAWA), women like Evelin Ramirez, who fleed El Salvador after facing three violent assults, or Rosa Morales who fleed Guatemala after witnessing a murder and had death threats made to her and her family by local gangs, are still being detained by ICE. Even yet, those who have the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrrivals (DACA), a two year renewable workpermit, which exempts people from deportation, are still living in fear.
“Even though I have DACA, my family and I still take precations. Such as when someone rings the door bell, we make sure that the kids don’t open the doors and let an adult answer instead,” says Marimar Gutierrez, a Dreamer from the Gage Park community.
Many of the families who have members being detained have migrated to this country seeking for asylum for better opportunities, but have not been able to properly represent their cases at immigration courts. In reference to this situation, Rep. Luis V. Gutierres believes this country has a “refugee crisis, not an immigration problem.”
With such statement, it can be seen how dehumanzing this issue has become to the many undocumented people living in this country today. Many of which are law abiding citizen who are only seeking for opportunities that this country promises to offer. Yet, while so many of these undocumented citizens pay into our countries taxes and work for our lands, their value to this country is continously being marginalized. Has the price to pay to become a citizen in this country transformed into another way to minoritiez a group of people to the verge of deprivation?
“I do feel belittled. All I know is that this country is my home. I’ve lived her practically all my life. I speak the language, eat at the resturants everyone goes to eat, I work at a hospital where everyone goes for health services and yet I still feel like I’m not good enough to belong in this country,” says Iris Magaleno, a Dreamer student from the Gage Park community, whose family has become of a victim of the recent raids.
Iris says that ever since the news that her step father’s nephew could face deportation, there has been drastic changes to her life. Her mother and step father have now become legal guardians of her stepfather’s nephew children. She says it breaks her heart each time sees the kids worry about their dad’s safety. But concluded, “I’m also not afraid, because I know that I’ve done nothing wrong and I do deserve to belong in this country.”