In locations throughout the nation, illegal immigrants are praying for the opportunity to stay in the country just long enough for immigration reform to take hold. These immigrants, many of whom are in Texas, are seeking the valuable adjustment of status that would allow them to stay in the United States. In some cases, relief from removal comes from an unexpected source. One woman actually received a discretionary pass to stay in the country indefinitely, thanks to the director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Few are so lucky, however. A growing number of immigration advocates are pressing lawmakers to provide better paths to citizenship for immigrants already in the U.S., but the outcome of this legislation remains in jeopardy.
The political focus on the Affordable Care Act may have distracted the national attention from immigration, but advocacy coalitions are still working to promote these residents' rights. Immigrants such as the aforementioned woman are breaking the silence traditionally associated with being an illegal resident, drawing public support by "coming out" as undocumented. Some are even broadcasting their meetings with immigration officials.
For many, immigration reform is the only hope for staying in America. Even a lengthy path to citizenship would be considered an improvement for these residents. A large number are the parents of DREAM Act beneficiaries - those children who were brought to the United States during their youth - who do not qualify for extended rights under existing legislation. These individuals fear returning to their home countries for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the harrowing violence that overwhelms nations like Mexico nearby, and other areas. Advocacy groups are currently able to help immigrants such as the woman in this article, but their power is limited by legislative rules. True change will only come when lawmakers implement useable legislation to assist immigrants in Texas and other states.
Source: www.usatoday.com, "Mexican immigrant fought deportation and won" Heidi Hall, Oct. 31, 2013