President Biden: Use Your Power to Keep Immigrant Families Together

By: Juan Terrazas

Immigrants in Georgia, especially those who have lived, worked and created lives here for decades, deserve access to pathways to legal status that will allow them to continue contributing to our great state.

At Path United, my colleagues and I work every day with at risk youth to provide positive relationships and find new ways to enhance education programs beyond the school walls.

We operate community centers inside mobile home parks where children experience the love of Christ through positive relationships and intentional weekly programming. At our community centers, we offer programs that help kids become flourishing adults.

Many of the children we serve live in families with an immigrant parent or caregiver, and much of the time, these immigrants are undocumented. Because their parents are consumed by the struggle of trying to maintain their ability to continue living and working in the U.S., these children often lack access to consistent, stable adult relationships and basic academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school and in life. As a result, they’re stuck in the status quo of surviving rather than thriving.

There is no question these parents want nothing more than to give their children an opportunity to succeed. To that end, they seek permanent and legal status in the United States for their families and want an immigration pathway that provides them with that opportunity.

But the simple truth is that our current immigration laws force undocumented families to choose between remaining in the legal shadows or abandoning their families while they wait out immigration bars in hopes of adjusting their status. The former option limits their ability to provide for their family and the latter further exacerbates already limited positive adult relationships that are critical to child development.

Unfortunately, these issues hit close to home for me, as I lived a life of uncertainty in my legal status and in my future in the United States beginning at a young age. I was born in Mexico, and my parents brought me to the United States when I was five years old. Just under a decade after our arrival – after years of establishing ourselves in the U.S. and falling into a normal routine as “Americans” – my father was deported back to Mexico. My mother ended up following him back, leaving me and my sister here in the hopes that we would be able to create successful lives in the U.S.

This family separation that was forced upon us resulted in me ending up homeless on the streets of Dallas, Texas, but my relentless faith and my hope for the future led me on a path where I was able to turn things around. I graduated from high school, got my Bachelor’s degree, and now I work with Path United and get the opportunity to share my story while helping others to find their own success, no matter the hardships that they are currently facing. I even wrote a successful book to further bring awareness to this important issue.

In my case, my parents chose to stay in the shadows rather than risk everything and face deportation or immigration bars – but at the end of the day, he was still forced to leave the country. The Biden Administration can eliminate this difficult choice for millions of immigrants trying to achieve legal status in the right way by offering affirmative relief measures that would allow long-term undocumented immigrants more options to obtain legal status. This includes parole in place for spouses of U.S. citizens, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for countries that meet the statutory requirements, and various other measures to help immigrant caregivers and DACA recipients receive legal status and work authorization.

Legal status for these families comes with countless job opportunities beyond those in the underground economy. These opportunities are more likely to provide better pay and hours so parents can spend more time with their children and offer the positive adult relationships they require, without intervention from groups like mine.

At Path United, we have an intimate knowledge of how immigration policy affects society’s most vulnerable. That is why it is an easy decision to support these affirmative relief actions that President Biden can take today. Our overall goal of keeping families together is at the forefront of this effort, and I encourage President Biden to work with us so that we can achieve that goal for all American families.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Bulloch BOE Votes to Approve FY ’25 Tentative Budget, Final Vote Set for June 27

Next Story

Georgia approves $16.9M in loans, grants for transportation projects

NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
NEVER MISS A STORY!
Sign Up For Our  Newsletter
Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link

The Latest News Straight to Your Inbox

Get the latest headlines and stories - and even exclusive content!- sent right to your inbox.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
close-link
Click Me