These were the anguished cries and pleas of both American and immigrant mothers whom united this past week in Washington D.C. to urge President Obama in executing his authority to halt the deportations and keep immigrant families together. The maternal and heartfelt requests to the President came days before the May 11th celebration of Mother’s Day in the United States. The intent was to underscore the grave impact the deportations and breaking apart of immigrant families has on Latino families.
Immigrant mothers traveled from all over the country, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco. Members of the National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC) and other supporters of the Power of the Pen campaign were in attendance. NALACC President Angela Sambrano recalled that “in the last six years more than two million people have been deported.” She also emphasized the “irreparable harm that is done to children by deportation.” In addition, she said “that in Mexico there are some 5000,000 U.S. born children who have left this country because their parents have been expelled, while others have remained in the United States with some other relative.”
The courageous mothers even urged and pled to First Lady Michelle Obama, emotionally asking her to intercede and consider their plight, “Let her heart be moved and let her know the that suffering, for mothers, is separation from their children.”
The unthinkable and unfathomable notion that mothers can be separated from their children is real. Immigrants come to the United States in search of a better life for their families, in search of an honest and fair government, and simply stated, in search of the elusive American Dream. However, the reality is that under U.S. law, immigrants whom are deported, despite family ties, lose their legal rights in returning to the United States, and in reuniting with their families in America. Opponents claim that the law is unjust, such as in St. Augstine’s quote, “An unjust law is no law at all.” Yet, despite the unjustness and harsh prosecution penalties, families will desperately attempt to cross back over. It is a silent plight of despair and unimaginable heartache for families, such as in Alicia’s Story, “Deported Without Her Children.”
The national dilemma and fail of immigration reform is quickly reaching its crucible. NALACC stated that, “With each passing day that lawmakers in Washington fail to take action on immigration reform, hundreds of immigrant families are torn apart by deportations and detentions. Immigrants and their families can no longer afford to wait.”
To some, the mother’s nonviolent, yet provocative, expression of truth to power is slightly reminiscent of Las Madres of the Plazo de Mayo in Argentina in the 20th century and their peaceful demonstrations and hopes of reuniting with their families. “As mothers, they presented a powerful moral symbol which reflected their maternal values and unyielding sacrifice.” In their demonstrations, they wore white scarfs, which symbolized the white dove of peace and purity, uniting all mothers.” The representation of the white maternal scarf was graceful and impactful worldwide in portraying their unity and perseverance in their fight for their families.
In summary, the removal and separation of children from their mothers, from their parents, from their families, is not just a moral issue, but a human rights issue and should be halted immediately by the power of our president’s pen.
Dianna Cabello is a Staff Writer for Latino Giant and an English Language Arts Educator in the DFW area in Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas in Arlington with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, with emphasis an on Mexican-American Studies and a Minor in English. She is involved and highly supportive of the Latino community in North Texas and support the progressive endeavors of the emerging community Latino leaders.