As a teacher, I have seen firsthand the devastation families suffer due to deportation. About 4.5 million U.S.-citizen children have a parent who is undocumented. Every day, these children fear that their parent or parents may not be there when they come home from school. The emotional toll of having a parent deported impacts these children both emotionally and academically. Parents usually make the decision for their children to continue attending school in the United States, as they know education is paramount for success in life. I often pose the question to my students, “How many of you have heard your parents tell you to go to school and study hard so you do not have to work as hard as I do?” In 17 years as an educator I have never had a student fail to raise her or his hand. Deported parents often make the supreme sacrifice of leaving their children in the United States in the hope that they will have a better quality of life.
Immigration reform would ensure that families can live without the anxiety of having a loved one taken from them. That is why we need legislation that would permanently provide a solution. However, since Congress has failed to pass legislation, President Obama should do everything that he can to make sure that millions of hardworking immigrants with strong ties to the United States come forward, register with the government, work legally, and pay their fair share of taxes.
This would include my husband. We have been married for nine years and have not been able to regularize his immigration status. My husband is an amazing man with much to offer this country. He regularly volunteers with a local nonprofit organization as well as with the Humane Society. He is a productive member of society; however, I live in fear that he could be detained.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. My husband was my primary care giver through chemotherapy, surgery, and months of radiation treatment. He attended each and every one of my appointments. My husband tended to me when I was too weak to get myself a glass of water. His care was instrumental in my ability to overcome the disease for which I still receive monthly treatment. I cannot imagine my life without him. President Obama must act so that I could live without the fear of losing my best friend and partner in life.