By: Amanda Sands & Donna De La Cruz
At the Center for Community Change, we encourage people to tell their stories about how the broken immigration system has affected their lives, and we publish their unedited stories on www.KeepingFamiliesTogether.net (KFT).
Too many of these stories are cries for help. They are desperate accounts that highlight the victims of our flawed immigration laws and discriminatory justice system: tragedies and horror stories that no person or family should have to live through—especially in the United States of America.
“I just want this to be over,” one storyteller writes.
“Please help me get my husband home to me,” another pleads.
One looks to God: “I keep praying and trusting in God that he will open their heart of the congress!” while another looks to the law: “We need this immigration reform bill to be passed into law so that we can become a family once again.”
For these victims of our failing system, it’s already too late. These people have been plucked from their families and deported to another country. They have had their spouses or their parents banned from the United States for a decade. They have incurred debt and suffered heartbreak, and they submit their stories to KFT in the hopes that someone will listen and care and be able to help.
Staff at CCC, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and countless other groups are busy trying to do what we can to help these families, but only Congress can change policies to help these families who have already been torn apart. And only Congress can act to remove the fear of separation for other families who have been fortunate enough to remain together in America.
We don’t want Congress to just hear the stories of families who already have been separated. We want them to hear the stories of undocumented immigrants who are happily together in America, going to school, working with us, living ordinary lives. They are our neighbors, friends and coworkers. While they are living seemingly normal lives here, they all have the same level of fear hanging over them that perhaps one day, their families will also be torn apart.
One story on the KFT site brought this issue to light:
“Every single day that we get together is a blessing. So many families aren’t nearly as lucky. I need you to understand that this is happening all around you… These aren’t just people far away that you have no connection to. These are people you know… It is happening right here all around you.”
We need to hear from everyone so that Congress is inundated with stories on why they must act urgently to fix our broken immigration system. Too many families have already been torn apart. Let’s work to keep families who are fortunate enough to be together intact.