“According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as of May 23, 2011, the U.S. government has deported 1,026,517 immigrants since the beginning of fiscal year 2009. That figure includes noncriminal immigrants and DREAMers who are victims of our outdated immigration system.” From Presente.org
This striking fact doesn’t make any sense. During Obama’s presidential campaign, Obama emphasized the need to reform our country’s immigration system. If his way of following through is deporting over 1 million immigrants, who have not even committed any wrongdoings or are simply just attending school, we need to seriously reevaluate the true intentions and potential of our president.
Recently, an immigration case has caught headlines in Atlanta, Georgia. Hope Karekezi fled Rwanda in 2007 with her mother and three children, seeking refuge due to death threats she received from radical South Africans, who have had a long-time grudge against Hope’s husband and father-in-law, who were affiliated with the Rwandan army in the 1990’s when the country was facing genocide. America was the hope for Hope.
She only wanted the best for her family and in her heart, the best solution was to bring her family to the US. Just imagine how life for Hope was back in Rwanda and put yourself in her situation. How you can live in fear every single day, from sunrise to sunrise, for not only your own life, but for every single member of your family. What has angered activists was what happened on July 26, 2011, when Hope’s eldest son, Andy Mathe, was deported from the US. The shocking news did not sit well with Atlantan immigration organizations, including the Dream Activist as well as the church the Karekezi family attended, which has been supporting the family ever since news spread that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had detained Andy on counts of theft, which were eventually dropped. He was kept in detention, but soon after, was deported. It is said now that there will be possible deportation of Hope and the rest of her family. This will be determined on August 2nd, when ICE will review Hope’s asylum claim.
Obama claims to sympathize with the millions of immigrants in the US who are all terrified that any day now, they could be sent back to the country they never called home. These immigrants simply want a life they can be proud of, to live peacefully. There have been protests all around the country focusing on the passing of the DREAM Act, which was first introduced in 2001. The bi-partisan Act would allow formal citizenship for undocumented immigrant students who have graduated from high school and have been in good standing and children who were born in the US of undocumented immigrant parents. However, Obama still has not acted upon improving the immigration system. Many of these undocumented immigrants represent the epitome of the American citizen. They are hard-working, help out their community, and fight for the rights of people who are in the same boat as themselves. It’s a hard life for these immigrants and Obama needs to understand that deporting them with no real basis of reasoning is wrong. Our job is to share true stories that real people are facing and hopefully, with a large and ever-growing support system, our voices will become more powerful and finally make a change (ironically Obama’s slogan) that has been long overdue.