U. S. Citizens Decry Relatives’ Deportation

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You could have heard a pin drop at the town hall meeting at Saint Pius V. Catholic Church on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008, when U.S. citizens spoke about family members who were deported. Many people cried as they heard the testimony of families ripped apart and deported back to their original homeland by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement department (ICE). In the front of the room, where the town hall meeting was held, there stood a shrine dedicated to the families whose loved ones were taken from their homes.

There on display were posters of families with a family member blotted out, representing those who were sent back and remain absent from the family. The meeting was hosted by US Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL). Among these families that were torn apart was Maria Garcia-Lynch. Lynch is a US citizen married to Dominico Papaianni, who was one of the many people that came on a visitor’s visa to America and didn’t leave. Lynch and her son Richard both dressed in black and with tears in their eyes, stood in front of the meeting telling their story.

Richard said, “I’m expected to be the man of the house since my dad is gone. I want my life back. The young people need to stand up for their parents and say enough is enough.”

Cheers rang out among fellow citizens who had their parents, siblings and children sent back to their country of origin. Since the deportation of her husband, Lynch has struggled to keep their dental clinic and home.

Congressman Gutierrez then addressed the crowd: “We are people who are family first.

“During the presidential campaign, promises were made and goals were set. Immigration reform is one of our goals for the next administration. Million of Americans are affected by our immigration laws. Stop destroying the families in our communities.” Gutierrez then introduced Ana L. Pulido. Pulido is a US citizen whose husband, Eliseo Pulido, is currently facing deportation. Mr. Pulido was denied citizenship for prior removal. Just like many, he made his way back to his family only to await deportation yet again. Mrs. Pulido and her three sons stood in front of the gathering dressed in black and red.

“I’m upset at the thought of my family being separated,” said Mrs. Pulido. “He is a great father and hardworking carpenter in the Carpenters Local 839. If he is taken from our family, I may not be able to support my three sons while paying for my house and other bills. “Please don’t tear our family apart,” said Mrs. Pulido as she and her sons went to take their seats.

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