At long last, many parents of U.S. born children will be allowed to remain here to help raise their children. The recent executive order on immigration contains many positive developments and this is among the most important. No longer will families be separated and children forced to be raised by older siblings, uncles or aunts. The recent change will encourage family unification and strengthen the bonds between parent and child. As a Washington, D.C. immigration lawyer, our office can help many people benefit from these positive developments.
The separation of families is a tragic byproduct of a broken immigration system. Families have long been coming to the United States to seek a better life. For generations, parents have struggled with the decision whether to leave their homeland and say goodbye to their own parents, their siblings, extended family and friends. They worry about leaving behind the only things they know and of never seeing their favorite places. After much internal debate, people decide to say goodbye and never look back.
They make the life-changing decision to move forward and reach for the swinging rope that is life in the U.S. Many of these individuals are traveling with nothing but the clothes on their back, a nominal amount of money in their pockets and a small suitcase with a single change of clothes. Their most prized possession is often in the cradle of their arms. Sometimes a tiny hand is grasping theirs as they view the new world from the height of a grown up’s knees.
Through determination and a refusal to quit, many of the arrivals find jobs and schools and peace. The young parents are employed, productive and optimistic about their future and that of their children. Although there are many sleepless nights and idle moments as they ponder the lives they miss from back home and of the parents they may never see again, they are profoundly grateful for the opportunities discovered.
The separation from their own parents is tragic enough but many parents suffer a more profound separation when they are ordered to leave the United States. Many leave without their children, leaving them in the hands of a trusted relative or friend. They make this self-less decision because they would rather see their children live here without them than live with them in a hopeless place.
Under the new executive order, parents of children born in the U.S. are eligible to remain here and many of these difficult decisions will no longer be made. Of course, there is still a need for more reform to permit lawful residency of all parents, including those of children born outside the United States.