Many of us have read stories in the news about how immigration reform is coming and that changes are already underway to help immigrants stay in this country. For example, immigration officials are reportedly focusing deportation efforts on criminals rather than on upstanding community participants, students and family members.
But there are too many people in and around Pennsylvania who live in fear of being deported from the U.S., even if they have no criminal background. This is because the system is far from perfect and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers still have the authority to detain any person who may be in violation of U.S. immigration laws. That means that there are still many people who may think they are doing the right thing, but end up facing deportation.
For example, 13 years ago, a young woman fled from the violence and abuse she faced in her home country of Albania to the safety of the United States. In this country, she met the man she would marry and had they had three children together. She never got into any legal trouble. Everything was going smoothly until she recently learned that she was being deported. She was given 24 hours to report to the local airport for deportation back to Albania. But instead of leaving, she waited for ICE officials to come and remove her and her children from their home.
But just before ICE officials were expected to show up, the woman learned that her case was being reviewed so her deportation was put on hold. While this is certainly a good thing, the woman still remains unsure of where she will be in the near future. Will she be allowed to stay in the U.S.? Will she be separated from her husband and sent back to Albania with children who have never been there?
It will take some time for this woman to get some answers. In the meantime, she, like many other people facing deportation, is working with an attorney to fight against her removal.
Source: USA Today, “Albanian mom’s deportation on hold for review,” Tresa Baldas, Dec. 3, 2013