Saying Goodbye on Mother's Day

On Wednesday, CHIRLA hosted members of the press to hear the stories of two moms who are about to be deported.  Both women have US-born children and both do not have a criminal background.  One of the moms, Carmen, must leave by June 17 and the other mom, Maria, must take care of a wheelchair-bound young man who suffers from daily seizures.  More Photos inside.


Press Advisory:  May 7, 2012

Saying Goodbye on Mother’s Day

ICE deportation quotas keep tearing families apart in spite of humane options available, especially when US-born children or sick loved ones are involved and community ties are strong.

Two women plead ICE to help them stay with their US-born children this Mother’s Day.  They represent no threat to society and they are hard-working members of the community

Los Angeles – Thousands upon thousands of US-born citizens will spend this Mother’s Day facing an uncertain future and a broken family.  According to a March Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report, 46,486 parents of US-born citizens were deported from the United States during the first half of 2011.  In contrast, the New York Times reports that in the decade between 1998 and 2007, nearly 100,000 such parents were deported.  An estimated 4 million US-born children have a least one parent who is an unauthorized immigrant. 

In a 2006 report to Congress ICE clarified that “our priority mission — and our greatest challenge — is to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States” adding that “the mission of ICE is to protect America and uphold public safety by targeting the people, money and materials that support terrorist and criminal activities.”  In August of 2011, ICE Director John Morton and the White House announced deportation prioritization guidelines (Prosecutorial Discretion or PD) to apply when ICE rules on a case.  Thus far, ICE has complied miserably with the guidelines and out of a possible 53,000 reviews being conducted in Los Angeles alone, fewer than 220 people have received PD. 

This week, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) convened a meeting of the Family Unity Advisory Group in Chicago which parallels efforts across the nation.  In Los Angeles, the Family Unity Commission has been looking into specific deportation cases, meritorious of PD, but denied by ICE based on inconsistent, often erratic rationale.

WHAT:             Two women threatened with immediate deportation introduce us to their children, US-born citizens, one of whom is in a wheelchair suffering epilepsy.   One woman has already bought her plane tickets.  The other woman must wear an ankle bracelet while she awaits her final order of deportation within 10 days.  ICE has refused both of their requests for clemency.

WHEN:            Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:          CHIRLA, 2533 West Third St., Ste. 101, Los Angeles, CA 90057, parking in rear.

WHO:              Two women who are facing immediate deportation and their US-born children, immigration attorney Jessica Dominguez, and CHIRLA representatives.

WHY:               ICE has been charged by the White House to apply Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) on deportation cases it deems “low priority”.  On Mother’s Day, two families plead to stay together and ask ICE to stop the tearing apart of a loving family.

UPDATE:  Late on Wednesday, ICE informed media outlets that one of the moms, Maria, could remain in the country.  As to Carmen, ICE remains convinced they are acting according to the law and will see to it that she leaves the US by June 1.