Get Involved

Jose Luis Frias, 69, Maria Frias, 68
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 8 of 40

Jose Luis Frias, 69, and his wife Maria, 68, came to the United States in 1986. Jose worked as a debt collector in Ciudad Juarez before he and Maria moved to New Mexico. Back in those days, Juarez was a different place, and Frias would walk the streets collecting cash from borrowers without worrying about being robbed. Back when they lived in Juarez, it was a much safer, however shortly after, Juarez entered a period of increased violence and crime. “Back then we would sleep outside when it was hot,” he said, in comparison to present day, when most people would not leave their doors unlocked when they are at home.

 

Maria worked in a Maquiladora in the early 80s: “I thank God that I came here, because my girls were so young,” she said.

“We came because all of her family lived here,” he said. The extended family of Maria lived together on a large lot in Dona Ana, just north of Las Cruces. Jose and Maria brought their four children who are all now, grown up.

 

“In that time there was the amnesty,” he said about choosing to immigrate to New Mexico. For them, immigration wasn’t like it is today for other migrants trying to enter the United States. In fact, traffic between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso was much simpler. Mexican citizens only required a crossing card to enter El Paso. Jose said things started to change after President Bill Clinton left office in 2001.

 

Jose worked for an electrical contracting business, until he eventually started his own. Now retired, he still has his contractors do jobs around the area. Mr. Frias is a naturalized US Citizen.

 

Jose Luis Frias, 69, y su esposa Maria, 68, llegaron a los Estado Unidos en 1986. José trabajaba como cobrador en Ciudad Juárez antes de mudarse a Nuevo México. En esos tiempos, Juárez era un lugar diferente, y Frías andaba por las calles desempeñando su trabajo como cobrador a los prestatarios sin preocupación de ser robado. En esos tiempos cuando vivían en Juárez, era mucho más seguro, sin embargo poco después, Juarez entró en un periodo de aumento en crimen y violencia.  “En aquellos tiempos nos dormiamos afuera cuando hacía calor,” dijo el, a comparación al dia presente, que la mayoría de personas no dejan sus puertas sin cerrar con llevas, cuando están en casa.

 

Maria trabajaba en una Maquiladora al principio de los 80’s. “Le doy gracias a Dios que llegamos aquí, porque mis hijas eran muy pequeñas,” dijo ella.

“Nos venimos porque toda su familia vive aquí.” dijo el.  Los familiares de María vivian juntos en un terreno grande en Doña Ana, al norte de Las Cruces. José y María llegaron con sus cuatro hijos, que ahora ya son adultos.

 

“En ese tiempo estaba la amnistía,” dijo él cuando decidió migrar a Nuevo México. Para ellos, inmigración no era como es ahora, para otros migrantes intentando cruzar a Estado Unidos.  De hecho, el tráfico entre Ciudad Juárez y El Paso era mucho más fácil. Los ciudadanos Mexicanos solo necesitaban una visa para entrar al El Paso. Jose dijo que las cosas empezaron a cambiar cuando Bill Clinton deja la presidencia en 2001.  

 

José trabajaba para una compañía de servicios de electricidad hasta que eventualmente formó su propia compañía. Ahora ya retirado, todavía tiene trabajadores que proveen servicios en las áreas cercanas. El Sr. Frías es un Ciudadano de los Estado Unidos, naturalizado

 

The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States. 

By Paul Ratje

Go Here To Donate To Our Cause! https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=909fac

Keila Bejarano ,34, Lizzy Garcia, 11,
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 7 of 40

Keila Bejarano, 34 and her daughter Lizzy, 11, from Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras.

“I’m a single mother, over there you cant get work after you are 30 years-old,” she said, reaffirming the age discrimination many Hondurans describe. Seven years before, she broke off communication with the father of her daughter.

In addition to her economic difficulties she also wanted a way out from the difficult atmosphere she was raising her daughter in. In Honduras, crime is an all too common part of life, and she feared that it would inevitably happen to her and her daughter. “If they see you starting to do business they will leave you a note telling you to pay a tax,” she said, “And if you don’t pay it…”

She and her daughter left on January 8th, making their way through Guatemala and Mexico on buses and walking, paying for their journey with about 6,000 lempira ($250), which didn’t last long. On the 30th, they arrived in Ciudad Juarez where they stayed for a week, waiting to be able cross an international bridge and declare asylum.

“I want a good future for us,” she said, “And a good education for my daughter.”
Lizzy has had difficulties learning in school, and she hopes that she will be able to get the assistance she needs to overcome those such problems.

She departs to Dallas where a friend of hers has sponsored her release. There she would need to show up at her given court date to see if she can continue to stay.

 

Keila Bejarano, 34, y su hija Lizzy, 11, de Tegucigalpa, la capital de honduras.

“Soy madre soltera, y allá no puedes conseguir trabajo después de los 30 años,” dijo ella, reafirmando la discriminación de edad que muchos hondureños describen.  Ella no ha podido tener comunicación con el padre de su hija, desde hace siete años.

En adición a las dificultades económicas, ella también quería una salida a la difícil atmosphera en la que su hija estaba creciendo.  En Honduras, el crimen es muy común como parte de tu vida, y temía que inevitablemente llegaría a la vida de su hija y la de ella. “Si se dan cuenta que empiezas un negocio, te dejan una nota diciendo que tienes que pagar impuestos,” dijo ella, “Y si no pagas,…..”

Ella y su hija se fueron el 8 de enero, haciendo su camino a través de Guatemala y Mexico en autobus y caminando, pagando su jornada con más o menos 6,000 lempiras ($250), que no les alcanzó para mucho.  Llegaron a Ciudad Juárez el 30, donde se quedaron por una semana, esperando cruzar el puente internacional para pedir asilo.

“Yo quiero un buen futuro para nosotros,” dijo ella, “Y una buena educación para mi hija,” Lizzy a tenido dificultades en aprendizaje en la escuela, y espera poder tener la ayuda que necesita para sobrellevar estos problemas.

Ella sale para Dallas donde una amiga de ella ha patrocinado su liberación. Despues tendria que presentarse a su cita de inmigracion para ver si puede continuar su estancia.

 

The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States. 

By Paul Ratje

Go Here To Donate To Our Cause! https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=909fac

Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 6 of 40

Abel Roldan Martinez 43 made the long journey from his hometown of La Libertad in the Peten Department of Guatemala with his daughter Olga Oneida Roldan Lucas, 16, through Mexico.

He worked as a field worker, planting corn, beans and coffee his entire life.

With four kids and his wife to take care of, the money he would earn never sufficed for him, his four kids and his wife. “I came here because of necessity, and to better our lives,” he said.

His destination in the United States is Georgia where he hopes to work if he can get through the court. He showed his ankle bracelet that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has him wearing to keep track of his movements. The batteries must be charged three times per day in order to stay on.

 

Abel Roldan Martínez, 43, hizo el viaje largo desde su pueblo de La Libertad Departamento Peten en Guatemala con su hija Olga Oneida Roldan Lucas, 16, por México.

Trabajo como trabajador de campo toda su vida sembrando elote, frijol, y café.

Con cuatro hijos y su esposa que mantener, el dinero que ganaba nunca era suficiente para él sus cuatro hijos y su esposa. “Yo llegué aquí por necesidad, y una vida mejor,” dijo él.

Su destino en Estados Unidos es Georgia donde espera trabajar si puede llegar a través de la corte. Mostró su brazalete de tobillo que Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas lo tiene usando realizar un seguimiento de sus movimientos.

 

The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States. 

By Paul Ratje

 

Go Here To Donate To Our Cause! https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=909fac

Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 5 of 40

Eduardo Barela 25 from Catacama in the Olancho Department of Honduras came to the United States traveling through Mexico with his six-year-old daughter Dana Jose over the course of 27 days. In his case, he traveled without the help of a human trafficker, which they call guides. Upon turning themselves into the Border Patrol, they spent five days in detention.

Like others from his home country, he left his home because of the incredible insecurity which many Hondurenos fear will certainly affect them. “You are always worried because at any time it could happen,” he said.

Eduardo had gone to college for two years in Honduras, but because of the rising costs of living, and inability to put food on the table, he had to stop and start working full time. “You can eat or you can study,” he said, “I’d rather eat.”

Working day by day, he said he only made about five dollars per day. “With five dollars you can’t support your family,” he explained. “Not even for one person, I’ll admit.” With two children to provide for, the cost of medicine, clothes and food would surpass his typical earnings. Most Hondurans earning such wages can barely afford food.

“No one would leave the place where they were born if things are good,” he said with a tear in his eye. “If you can’t make it, then the only solution is to leave, it’s the only solution you have. “No one would want to leave their family, or leave their friends.”

Eduardo would meet his cousin in Indiana, where he hopes to stay during his immigration process

 

Eduardo Barela, 25, de Catacama Departamento de Olancho en Honduras, llegaron a los Estado Unidos viajando por México con su hija Dana José, de seis años, en un transcurso de 27 días.  En su caso, el viajo sin ayuda de un traficante de humanos, que ellos llaman guías. Al entrar por ellos mismos a la patrulla fronteriza, estuvieron en detención por cinco días.

 

Como otros de su país, él dejó su hogar por la increíble inseguridad que muchos hondureños temen, por supuesto que les va afectar. “Siempre estás preocupado porque en cualquier momento puede pasar,” dijo él.

 

Eduardo fue al colegio en honduras por dos años, pero a causa del aumento de costo para vivir, y la inhabilidad de poner comida en la mesa, tuvo que dejar y trabajar tiempo completo. “Puedes comer o puedes estudiar,” dijo él, “Prefiero comer.”

 

Trabajando día a día, él dice que solamente ganaba cinco dólares al día. “Con cinco dólares no puedes mantener a tu familia,” el explico. “Ni para una persona, lo admito.” Con dos hijos que mantener, el costo de medicina, ropa y comida, sobrepasa su ingreso típico. La mayoría de los hondureños con esos ingresos muy apenas pueden comprar comida.

 

“Nadie dejaría el lugar donde nacieron, si las cosas están bien,” él dijo con una lágrima en su ojo. “Si no la haces, la única solución es irse, es la única solución que tienes. Nadie quisiera dejar a su familia, o sus amigos.”

 

Eduardo se estará reuniendo con su primo en Indiana, donde espera quedarse durante su proceso migratorio

 

The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States. 

By Paul Ratje

 

 

Go Here To Donate To Our Cause! https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=909fac

Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 4 of 40

Ignacia Gonzalez, 45, and her son Edgar Choc, 17, from Antigua in the Sacatepéquez Department of Guatemala.

Over the course of 12 days, they made their way through Mexico with the help of a guide who they paid for passage to the US-Mexican border. When they were detained by the Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande in Ciudad Juarez, they spent four days in migration detention.


The two crossed the Rio Grande with a group of people near the Zaragoza bridge between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. “If you don’t have a bank account and property to show, they won’t give you a visa.” She described of their decision to cross illegally. The desire for a safe life didn’t prepare them for the difficult four days they would spend separated in migration detention. Upon entering, her and her son were separated into different rooms, while having to sleep on the cold floors. “I didn’t think the journey to get here would be so hard.” she said.

Edgar wants to make the most of his time in the United States by learning some English, and eventually working.


After leaving the Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla, New Mexico, she and Edgar would make their way to California to be with her nieces and nephews.

 

Ignacia González, 45, y su hijo Edgar Choc, 17, de Antigua el Departamento de Sacatepéquez en Guatemala.

 

En el transcurso de 12 días, hicieron su viaje por México con ayuda de un guía que pagaron para cruzar la frontera de US-México.  Cuando fueron detenidos por la patrulla fronteriza después de cruzar el Rio Grande en Ciudad Juárez, estuvieron 4 días en la detención de inmigración.

 

Los dos cruzaron el Rio Grande con un grupo de personas cerca del puente Zaragoza entre El Paso y Cuidad Juárez. “Si no tienes una cuenta bancaria y una propiedad que demostrar, no te dan una visa.”  Ella describió la razón por la cual cruzaron el ilegalmente. El deseo para una vida segura, no los preparo para una difícil separación de cuatro días, en la detención de inmigración. Al entrar, a ella y a su hijo los separaron en diferentes cuartos, mientras dormían en los pisos fríos. “No pensé que este viaje para llegar aquí sería tan difícil.” dijo ella.

 

Edgar quiere aprovechar lo más que pueda el tiempo que esté en los Estado Unidos para aprender inglés y eventualmente trabajar.

 

Después de dejar la Basílica de San Albino en Mesilla, Nuevo México, ella y Edgar irán en camino a California para estar con sus sobrinas y sobrinos.

 

The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States. 

By Paul Ratje

 

 

Go Here To Donate To Our Cause! https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=909fac

Juan Carlos Lucas Castillo, 32 and Carlos Estuarto, 12
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 3 of 40.

Juan Carlos Lucas Castillo, 32, came from the Huehuetenango Department of Guatemala with his 12 year-old son Carlos

“I’d never thought of coming here,” he described about leaving his country. Because of the medical costs of his 89 year-old father and 77 year-old mother, he and his son decided to make the trip through Mexico. The youngest of 15 siblings, he takes on the majority of the work taking care of them.

Earning about 50 quetzal per day, the rising cost of food and daily life had gotten too difficult for him to support his wife and three kids. His son, Carlos, originally suggested for them to come to the United States. Juan Carlos then decided to make the journey, but told his son that he must study hard when he goes to school here.

The following day he would travel 2 days on a bus to Alabama, where his friend awaited him.

Juan Carlos Lucas Castillo, 32, llego del Departamento de Huehuetenango de Guatemala con su hijo Carlos de 12 años de edad.

“Yo, nunca pensé en venir aquí,” el describió sobre dejar su país. Por razón de costos médicos de su padre de 89 años y su madre de 77 años, por eso decidieron hacer el viaje por México.  Al ser el menor de 15 hermanos, el lleva la mayoría de trabajo en el cuidado de ellos.

Ganando más o menos 15 quetzales por día, el aumento en costo de comida y el diario vivir, se le ha hecho muy difícil para él, en mantener a su esposa y a sus tres hijos. Originalmente, su hijo, Carlos fue el que sugiero que se vinieran a los Estado Unidos. Juan Carlos después decidió hacer la jornada, pero le dijo a su hijo que tenía que estudiar mucho cuando fuera a la escuela.

El día siguiente viajarían por 2 días en autobús a Alabama, donde lo esperan sus amigos.

 

The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States. 

By Paul Ratje

 

 

Go Here To Donate To Our Cause! https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=909fac

Rody Oliva, 29 and Maria, 12
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 2 of 40.

Rody Oliva, 29, and his daughter Maria, 12, from San Esteban, Olancho department, of Honduras arrived at the church hall of the Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla, NM for a night after being released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In his home country he worked milking cows earning 1,000 Honduran Lempira ($40) per week. “It only payed for our food,” he described of his wages that he had to spread between himself, his wife and three kids.

He made the decision with his daughter to leave their home and come to the United States because he was ordered to pay a tax of 1,000 Lempiras by a gang for his daughter. He feared if he didn’t continue paying, his daughter’s life would be in danger.

Rody said it was difficult leaving behind his family in Honduras, “I would never abandon them,” he said, “I am coming here for fear of my daughter’s life”


After Roly and Maria’s difficult month long journey through Mexico, which ended with four days in immigration custody, he plans to go to his cousins in Louisiana.

 

Rody Olivas, 29, y su hija María, 12, son de San Esteban, Departamento de Olancho, en Honduras, llegaron a la Basílica de la Iglesia de San Albino en Mesilla, NM por una noche después de haber sido puesto en libertad por el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas.

En su país de origen, trabaja ordeñando vacas con un sueldo de 1,000 Lempiras ($40) por semana. “Solo alcanzaba para nuestro alimento” describía sobre su ingreso que tenía que compartir entre él, su esposa, y sus tres hijos.

Tomó la decisión de dejar su hogar and venir a los Estados Unidos con su hija porque lo obligaron a pagar un impuesto para su hija de 1,000 Lempiras de parte de una pandilla.  El temía que, si no seguía pagando, la vida de su hija corría peligro.

Rody dijo que fue difícil dejar atrás a su familia en Honduras, “Yo nunca los abandonaría,” dijo él, “Yo vengo aquí por temor a la vida de mi hija.”

Después de una difícil y larga jornada de un mes por México para Rody y María, que resultó en cuatro días en custodia de inmigración, su plan es de ir a Louisana con su primo.

The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States.

By Paul Ratje

 

 

Go Here To Donate To Our Cause! https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=909fac

#1 Adan Vasquez, 27 Davis Vasquez, 8
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 1 of 40.

Adan Vasquez, 27, came to the US-Mexico border over a 20-day journey with his son Davis Vasquez, 8, from San Marcos department in Guatemala in search of a better life. “The government doesn’t help us, and we the people make sacrifices,” he said of the quality of life in his country. Raising four children with the measly income of 50 quetzal (~$6.75) per day, had become too difficult for him, especially when the work doesn’t come every day. Adan said most of his income would come doing day labor cleaning cornfields and doing odd jobs in agriculture. Sometimes he wouldn’t have work for a whole week.

Recently he had a job paying 800 quetzal ($100) per month, when he was threatened by an extortionist that his son would be taken away if he didn’t pay a sum of money.  He would leave behind his wife and three other children in the small house which is shared with extended family.

Adan and Davis spent six days in migration detention. After staying a night in the church hall of the Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla, New Mexico, he would make his way to Alabama where his brother lives.

After receiving food and shelter in the Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla, Adan and Davis would take a bus to Alabama to be with his brother.

Adán Vásquez, 27, llegó a la frontera de US – México en una jornada de 20 días con su hijo Davis Vásquez, 8, desde Departamento de San Marcos, Guatemala en busca de una vida mejor.
“El gobierno no nos ayuda, y nosotros la gente, tenemos que hacer sacrificios,” dijo él, sobre la calidad de vida en su país. Criar a cuatro hijos con una miseria de ingreso de 50 quetzales (~$6.75) al día, tuvo que haber sido muy difícil para él, especialmente cuando no hay trabajo todos los días. Adán nos comentó que su ingreso viene de días laborales como limpiando el maizal o haciendo trabajos ocasionales en agricultura. A veces no trabajaba una semana entera.

Recientemente tenia un trabajo ganando 800 quetzales ($100) por mes, cuando fue amenazado por un extorsionista, que le quitarian su hijo si no pagaba una cantidad de dinero. Dejaria atras a su esposa y a tres hijos en una casa chica compartida por unos parientes.
Adán y Davis estuvieron 6 días en detención migratoria. Después de una noche en la sala de la iglesia de la Basílica de San Albino en Mesilla, Nuevo México, haría camino a Alabama en donde vive su hermano.

Después de haber recibido comida y albergue in la Basílica de San Albino en Mesilla, Adán y Davis tomarían un autobús para Alabama para estar con su hermano.

The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States. 

By Paul Ratje

Go Here To Donate To Our Cause! https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=909fac

News

Support Needed for Homeless Scholars

Did you know that according to the National Center for Educational Statistics in 2014-15 there were more than 1.2 million public school students who were homeless in the United States? That number represents 2.5 percent of the total number of students enrolled in public schools in our nation. And, since 2015, the number of homeless students throughout our country has been increasing.

In Las Cruces, in any given year, there are approximately 90 to 100 students who are homeless. Of that total, 25 to 30 are high school seniors. This sad reality means that when the school day is over, these students must find a place to do homework and a place to sleep – either in their car or in a local park. Some are able to crash on a friend’s couch maybe for a night or two. Unfortunately, meals are often few and far between and fast food restaurants provide the only nutrition they receive outside of school hours and on weekends.

The reasons for homelessness in our community are many and complex. The students who are homeless often find themselves in circumstances beyond their control. Many have lost their parents through incarceration, deportation, substance abuse or death. These scholars are hardworking, resilient and are striving to make a better life for themselves. Each year, many homeless high school seniors (85 to 90 percent) actually graduate. Many go on to enter college, find full-time jobs, or join the military.

We at Catholic Charities hope that you will reflect on the joy and blessings in your own life while also being aware of homeless students in our community. Donations are needed. You can help by donating gift cards (Walmart, Target, Supercuts, Marshalls), or hygiene products such as toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, deodorant or female hygiene items.

Donations can be dropped off with Terriane Morrison Everhart at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services at 424 North Main Street, Suite 100, Las Cruces, NM 88001 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also, cash donations which will allow us to provide a student with a hotel room can be made through Catholic Charities’ website (www.catholiccharitiesdlc.org/donate). Select Support for Scholars from the drop down menu.

News

Dreamers: These are our children and this is their home

Last September, President Trump laid down the marker of March 5, 2018 for final resolution of the fate of hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — young persons more affectionately known as “Dreamers.”

One may disagree with the manner and soundness of rescinding this program, but everyone can agree that it is the responsibility of Congress to provide clear legal status for these individuals brought to the United States of America by their parents at a young age. Our elected officials must not fail to get this done.

As the clock continues to tick towards the deadline, polls show that a legislative fix that would allow the Dreamers to remain without fear in the only country most have really known and loved is supported by a majority of Americans. This support is founded upon the great economic and social contributions Dreamers have made to their communities and the outstanding achievements they have attained as students, professionals, entrepreneurs, and members of the military, not to mention many other occupations.

At Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico, we have proudly served hundreds of DACA recipients and seen these positive contributions first hand. The prospect of deportation for these law-abiding individuals should not be a consideration. These are our children and this is their home.

The special circumstances surrounding this unique population and the obvious benefits they bring deserve a discussion and resolution apart from the more contentious issues that have characterized the immigration debate for many years. It also presents an extraordinary opportunity for policymakers to show that they can indeed come together across the aisle and do the right thing.

Our hope and prayer is that our “better instincts” will prevail and our nation will once again provide a shining example to the rest of the world that the United States is still a great land of welcome and opportunity. Please write or call your representatives in Congress to urge them to protect our brothers and sisters, our children, the Dreamers.