Today, December 10th, we got some great news. Rigo Padilla’s deportation has been deferred.
This victory is due to the unified support for Rigo by Chicago municipal, state, and federal elected officials; the University of Illinois at Chicago community; youth, immigrant advocates, community and faith leaders. People across the Presidents hometown of Chicago and from around the country lifted their voices to end this senseless deportation and move towards just and humane immigration reform.
The campaign to stop Rigo’s deportation exemplifies two things. Our immigration system is broken and that we have the power to fix it.
It is important to remember that Rigo is just one of many trapped by our broken immigration system with no path to legalization. The case of Rigo Padilla illustrates what is wrong with current immigration laws. Deportations have increased by 18% under the Obama administration. Most deportations are for minor immigration violations without regard for the circumstances surrounding each case. Lack of discretion has led to senseless deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have been contributing members of this society: people who work, pay taxes, and own homes.
Most appalling are the deportations of young people who have lived a significant portion of the lives in the United States. Rigo is such an example. He was brought to Chicago by his parents at age 6, and has lived in Chicago for the past 15 years. During this time, Rigo has been deeply involved in the community, volunteering, studying, working and in general making Chicago a better place.
“The case of Rigo Padilla shows why we need to reform current immigration laws and implement a path through which immigrants like Rigo can earn their legal status,” said Joshua Hoyt, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). “The U.S. is on pace to deport more than 400,000 immigrants this year. Families are destroyed, the labor market is churned, homes are foreclosed, and communities are damaged. We cannot fix the broken immigration system in a case by case basis. We will continue to push for comprehensive solutions that will end family separation and will provide a path to citizenship for those that work hard and contribute to this country.”
Representative Luis Gutierrez will be introducing an immigration reform bill in the house later this month, with a bill most likely being introduced into the Senate shortly after that.
Everyone knows that our immigration system is broken. Now is the time to fix it. Join us in the national campaign to Reform Immigration for America.