DREAM Now Letters: Stop The Deportation of Marlen Moreno

August 4th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Marlen Moreno and I am undocumented. I am also a possible beneficiary of the DREAM Act.  On Sunday, August 8, I will be deported. I was born in Nacozari, Mexico in 1984. My parents brought me to the United States when I was only 13 years old. We were searching for a better life and we found it in Tucson, Arizona. Despite being born in Mexico, I don’t consider myself Mexican. I have been living in this country for over thirteen years. The United States is my country and Arizona is my home.

My parents have always told me to value education. I remember them telling me that they came to the United States, “the country of opportunity,” so I could live a better life than they did. I never took their sacrifice for granted. In 2002, I became the first and only member of my family to graduate from high school. I was proud of my achievements but scared that I could not go any further. Because of my status, I was not able to continue with my education. My goal is to become a pre-school teacher, because I believe education is the key to success. I want to help children achieve their full potential from a young age, so they can continue to excel in every aspect of their lives.

Despite my goals of higher education, I was forced to put them aside and work as an assistant cleaning houses and a maid in a hotel. This was not what I wanted to do with my life, but I was thankful for any job I was able to get. For four years, I worked hard to support myself and help my family financially knowing that someday I would be able to live out the American Dream.

In 2007, my first son was born, Freddy Alan. Thanks to him, I came to know what it means to be a mother. I never knew I could be this happy or love someone as much as I love him. I went back to work soon after his birth because I wanted to provide him with everything he deserved.

On March 28, 2008, my son and I were awakened by a loud bang on our door. Before I could fully figure out what was happening, ten heavily armed deputies came into my house and arrested me because I am undocumented. I was taken to jail and held without bail.

I was detained for over four months, when I was finally released and allowed to reunite with my son once again. When I came home, after four and a half months, I realized how much I had missed. My son had turned one and he had learned how to walk while I was in jail. It pains me to know that I never saw his first crawl, the first time he sat up, learned to play, his first bites of real food, or when he took his first steps. But what pains me the most is the fact that he didn’t recognize me, his own mother, after I got out of jail. It still brings tears to my eyes knowing my own son didn’t know who I was. It took us months to come back together, like we had been before we were separated.

I try not to think about the way I was treated during this time. I had been treated like a criminal, as if I had robbed a bank when all I was doing was working to provide for my son and my family. It was not the same America I had grown up knowing.

In 2009, I met my husband and we married. He came into my life at a time when I needed him the most. He provided the support and love that I needed, and I will never forget that. In November of 2009, I had my second son, Leobardo Jr. My husband is a Lawful Permanent Resident and both of my sons are citizens. I am the only person in my family who is undocumented, but I still cannot legalize my status.

For the past year I have been fighting my deportation but now I am at the end of that fight and I am being told I must leave the United States by August 8th. I cannot think about being separated from my husband and my sons. I don’t want to think about going back to Mexico, a place I don’t consider my home.

I consider myself an American. This is where my husband and my children are and I don’t want to be separated from them. I want to continue living my life in this country and I want to contribute back. I am not a criminal. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter. I am a human being.

Please act to stop my deportation and to pass the DREAM Act now so that I can have a chance at a life in the only country I know as my home, later.  I only have 3 days before I’m deported.  This is what I need most urgently from you.  Please:

  1. Sign the petition for asking for me to stay
  2. Send a fax to DHS to ask them to allow me to stay
  3. Call Janet Napolitano, Director of DHS at 202-282-8495 and leave a message in support of me.  This is an answering machine that fills up by the end of the day, so please fill it up with support for me.
  4. Call John Morton, Director of ICE, at 202-732-3000 leave a message urging him to take action and defer my deportation.  This is a live comment line that will be picked up by a real human being so please be very polite

For both calls you can say something along the lines of:

“I am calling to leave a message of support for Marlen Moreno (A#88-771-833) who is being deported on August 8th, I ask that Director Morton please step in to defer her deportation, she is an asset to this country.  Thank you.”

The “DREAM Now” letter series is inspired by a similar campaign started by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Every Monday and Wednesday DREAM-eligible youth will publish letters to the President, and each Friday there will be a DREAM wrap-up.  If you’re interested in getting involved or posting these stories on your site, please email Kyle de Beausset at kyle at citizenorange dot com.

Approximately 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from U.S. high schools every year, who could benefit from passage of the DREAM Act.  Many undocumented youth are brought to the United States before they can even remember much else, and some don’t even realize their undocumented status until they have to get a driver’s license, want to join the military, or apply to college.  DREAM Act youth are American in every sense of the word — except on paper.  It’s been nearly a decade since the DREAM Act was first introduced.  If Congress does not act now, another generation of promising young graduates will be relegated to the shadows and blocked from giving back fully to our great nation.

This is what you can do right now to pass the DREAM Act:

  1. Sign the DREAM Act Petition
  2. Join the DREAM Act Facebook Cause
  3. Send a fax in support of the DREAM Act
  4. Call your Senator and ask them to pass the DREAM Act now.
  5. Email kyle at citizenorange dot com to get more involved

Below is a list of previous entries in the DREAM Now Series:

Mohammad Abdollahi (19 July 2010)
Yahaira Carrillo (21 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – Tell Harry Reid You Want the DREAM Act Now (23 July 2010)
Wendy (26 July 2010)
Matias Ramos (28 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – The CHC Has To Stand With Migrant Youth Not Against Us (30 July 2010)
Tania Unzueta (2 August 2010)

Tags: Barack Obama · community organizing and activism · Department of Homeland Security · Detention · Education · Immigration

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stu // Aug 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Very moving. Thanks for consolidating all these actions in one space!

  • 2 leesee // Aug 6, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Gave you a shout out on the blog

  • 3 JGH // Sep 1, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Very touching story…
    My great grand father came to this county as well.
    The only difference is that he was sponsored and went through the system legally and correctly.
    It was not by your choice I will assume at age thirteen to come to the USA but your parents?

    You are now twenty-six years of age and have had plenty of time to apply for legal status just as my forefathers. I cannot comment on the estimated 65,000 others each year you site but can only comment on your story.
    1. What you do not mention is the social services you have consumed at the expense of Natural born citizens as well as “Documented” call it what it is LEGAL citizens. I do not have an issue with legal immigration, I have an issue to Illegal immigration and the costs covered and benefits taken.
    Did you give birth to your children on private insurance or state provided? To have a child without complications runs about $20,000.00.

    Take a class on economics and do the math yourself and truly be honest with yourself before God. I am sick of pro illegal organizations spewing and misquoting the likes of Cesar Chavez who was against illegal immigration citing it ruined the chances of controlling the labor market to be able to demand what is stated in your plea to stay in this country. If you do acquire legal status your own brother-in’ will be stealing from you with your tax dollars paying for a free ride. No one values something given to them free. Value comes with earning it. Look at your countries immigration policy and laws and how they handle immigrants even from Guatemala.

    The United States is the only welfare country in the World. It will soon become worthless on the path we are headed without immigration control for all who are here by birth or went through the correct channels.

    No more free rides, your husband and children cannot afford it, and neither can I.

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