A project of the Center for Community Change

I Voted for the Candidate Who Supports Compassionate Immigration Reform

Lilia A. from Nevada explains why she voted for the candidate that supports compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform.

My community and life were rocked last year when one of my good friends was deported during a workplace raid in Nevada. A hardworking Mexican immigrant with no criminal record, she was dropped off in Tijuana with no money and little means to communicate with the husband and three young children she left behind in our community. As a mother, I cannot imagine how her children and spouse felt in the days after this traumatic event.

Can you imagine what it would be like to not wake up next to the person you are married to each day? To not know when you will see them again or how and when you will be reunited? Can you imagine what it would be like to be a young child and suddenly lose the single most influential person in your life? To not hear her comforting voice or feel her touch when you are sick? Unfortunately, my friend’s story is all too common these days. Millions of hardworking parents and older siblings are being deported across the country.

I immigrated to this country with a dream to give my children access to high-quality education and a bright future. Other mothers and fathers have left their countries with similar dreams. They are willing to sacrifice anything to see their children end up better off and more educated. We all come to the United States with a desire to do any type of work possible so that we can provide for our children here, and the families we so painfully leave behind. We do so, because we believe in our children and the American dream.

My friend who was deported worked for years in pursuit of a better life for her children. She never committed a crime. She participated in parent-teacher conferences, went to church each Sunday, helped her children with their homework, and paid her taxes. Now she is gone, and a huge void remains.

Our immigration system is broken, and I chose to vote on November 6th for the only candidate who presented ideas to fix the immigration policies that separate families: President Obama. I want the President to know that now is the time to work with Congress to pass compassionate immigration reform. We elected you for a second term because we know you care. We know it will not be easy, but we believe in hope and a better tomorrow. That is why we came to the United States. That is why we overwhelmingly supported you on Election Day. We know you will work to ensure families are able to stay together. Please, do not let us down.

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