For many Americans, the notion that their parents may be detained and deported by immigration officials, such as ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) agents, on a moment’s notice is difficult to comprehend. It is for this reason that the appearance by Dianne Guerrero, who plays Maritza Ramos on the popular Netflix program, Orange is the New Black, on the MSNBC show All In with Chris Hayes was so remarkable.
On the program she detailed what it was like at age 14 when she came home from school and learned that her parents had been deported. In addition, she wrote an article that was published in the Los Angeles Times where she tells her story. Her family came from Colombia to the United States with her older brother during a period of instability in that country stemming from the protracted drug wars that consumed that Latin American country. Since she was later born in the United States, Guerrero gained American citizenship.
For several years before their apprehension by immigration officials, her parents sought to gain legal status but were unsuccessful. Her status as a citizen provided no reprieve from the possibility that her parents and brother could be deported. She grew up with the fear that her family could be taken from her and one day they were. She was left to fend on her own although she did receive help from friends of the family who were immediately apprised of her situation. She talks of feeling guilty about being an imposition on the families who took her in and the lingering disappointment that her parents never got to be there for her prom, her college application process and her graduations from high school and college.
Both Guerrero’s article and her interview on television provide a moving account of what it is like for a citizen raised in the United States to have to first deal with the stress that family members could be deported and then actually face the consequences of such life-changing occurrence. Her accounts give a human face to a problem facing many American citizens whose parents came to or stayed in the United States without legal authorization.
The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of immigration to the United States. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice. In the course of Mr. Shulman’s involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.