Administrative Relief to Me Means….


On the day following President Obama’s announcement that he would make the immigration system more rational and humane, we sent a simple question to our network: “What does administrative relief mean to you?” The emotional responses remind us that the president’s actions will impact families and communities across the country in a very real way. Here is a snapshot of some of those responses:

On family:

Gisset from Passaic, N.J.: “It means that my family will not be separated.”

Jefferson from Aurora, Colo.: “It means everything to me!!”

Maria Luisa from Salem, Ore.: “It means everything to me and my family. My husband may be able to stay with me and our children.”

Angelee from Ohio: “It means some of my prayers for the families torn apart have been answered!”


On Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):

Fernando from Milpitas, Calif.: “I was devastated when I didn’t qualify for DACA when it first was granted. I arrived here when I was barely 13 and been living here since. I considered the U.S. my country and now the possibility of being able to get a work permit, and most important a driver’s license, will change my life completely. My whole family are U.S. citizens and I felt so left out not being able to travel outside the U.S. with them. I hope that changes soon as well.”

On their communities:

Maria Gomez, Executive Director of NCLR Affiliate Mary’s Center, which provides health care and social services to immigrants in Washington: “Young employees who now don’t have to worry that their parents will be deported. Individuals who are being seen in our mental health unit with traumatic stress disorder because they are constantly fearful of being caught and separated from their children. Children who now don’t have to carry a plan with them describing what to do if their parents are deported. Victims of domestic violence or children that are abducted by a parent no longer have to suffer in silence because they fear being deported.”


On education:

Maritza from Silver Spring, Md.: “It means my students will continue to have a household with their parents.”

Marta from Burley, Idaho: “It means that my students will not be separated from their family. They don’t have to make the heartbreaking decision of staying behind in the U.S. without their parents and loved ones.”

Michiko in Utah: “It will positively impact my students and their families who are in this predicament.”

On faith:

Misi from Long Beach, Calif.: “Now some of my parishioners can get out and live a little instead of being fearful.”

Patti from Sebree, Ky.: “Peace of mind for my friends and parishioners. A good first step for a needed comprehensive reform.”

Photo: Harris Walker, Creative Commons
Photo: Harris Walker, Creative Commons

On the work ahead:

Jaime from Reno, Nev.: “I cried…I jumped for joy…I started handing out checklists to the people I know so that they can start getting stuff together.”

Ofelia from Chicago: “It means many families will be able to live in peace and without fear. We need to do everything we can to ensure that predators don’t take advantage of this vulnerable population. We commend President Obama for having the courage to do what is right.”

On the commitment to keep fighting for reform:

George from Des Plaines, Ill.: “As a therapist who works extensively with the immigrant community, I envision tremendous emotional relief for so many families, albeit temporary. I only hope that some permanent reform passes soon.”

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