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No, You Can’t Go Home Again: Immigration Order

December 14, 2014
Plain English Version

cant go homePresident Obama’s issued his executive order on immigration. It brought joy throughout the immigrant community. It allows several million people with U.S.-born children to live and work here legally for the first time.

However, another important matter did not turn out so well. Many immigrants have left their parents behind. Many left older children behind. Immigrants believed they would be allowed to travel home. Home, for most, is Mexico and Central America. After all, a goal of reformers was the reunification of families.

Now, the reality is setting in. The order does not give immigrants freedom to travel home to visit their families. If they do, they risk being caught. This will make it harder for them to get legal status in the U.S. Legal status is only conferred after a lengthy process.

The news is dampening the mood of many immigrants.

There are some exceptions for short-term emergency reasons. A lawyer said, “People may no longer have to miss a parent’s funeral or hospitalization. Many have been separated for years from their parents or children. They simply want to reconnect with them.” You have to get one-time permission to make such trips.

This is not the same problem for Dreamers. They are immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as undocumented children. They are allowed to stay here to work and study. Their families are already here.

An immigrant said, “My greatest dream is to go home and see my family, but even if I get the chance, I would come right back.” He further stated, “I want my daughter to be a prepared person, to go to an American university. In this life, you have to choose between the past and the future.”

Source: The Washington Post December 10, 2014

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