“It’s time to fix our broken immigration system so families like Claudia’s aren’t torn apart,” tweeted Barack Obama.
Claudia’s story, brought up by the American leader, can be read on the president’s official website.
The photo shows a seemingly happy family — the parents and two smiling children. However, their story is far from idyllic.
“I migrated to the U.S. with my parents in 1986. We were lucky to have had the opportunity to enter the U.S. legally. However, my now husband did not have the means to be able to migrate in the same manner. He migrated to the U.S. in 1993 and remained illegal until 2008 due to advice by lawyers that there was no way he could fix his status,” writes Claudia N. from Houston.
It is a story with no happy ending.
“When we finally decided to apply for his U.S. residency, his visa was denied and he has been in Mexico for five years now … and in the meantime we continue to be separated,” she describes her situation.
Obama Dreams of Change
Shortly following the president’s entry on Twitter, a statement appeared on his website:
“President Obama recognizes that our immigration system is broken, and he’s taking steps to make immigration policy more fair, efficient, and just. He is committed to working with Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act.”
We have known for a long time that Obama dreams of changing immigration laws. Already during his first term, he tried to pass the so-called Dream Act, which allows [a path] to citizenship for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, studied there or served in the army. The Dream Act did not pass in Congress mainly because of Republicans.
This January, eight senators — four Democrats and four Republicans — are presenting their own bill. Their proposal is bolder than the Dream Act: They want all illegal immigrants, around 11 million people, to be given the chance for citizenship on the condition that they reveal themselves and pay any outstanding taxes.
A Present for Latin Americans
This time, the bill has a chance of approval because the last election showed just how important the votes of Latin Americans are. Latin Americans make up 17 percent of the population of the U.S. and constitute the majority of illegal immigrants. Seventy percent voted for Obama, while only 27 percent supported the Republican, Mitt Romney, who believes that giving amnesty to illegal immigrants would mean rewarding them for breaking the law.
At the same time, the new bill prepared by the senators also assumes that the border with Mexico — where most illegal immigrants come from — will be sealed. It would be guarded by drones, among other means.