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You wouldn’t think a minor traffic violation such as forgetting to wear a seat belt would land you in deportation. In most instances, it would be just that: a minor traffic violation. But for Fernando Alarcon, it means deportation from his home.
Fernando Alarcon is a 19-year-old student raised in the United States since the age of 5 and first to graduate in his family. He is not only talented on the soccer field, but an active member of Sandusky Ave. Christian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Currently, he works full time to help support his family and completely supports himself. He is a productive member of the community, a good Christian, and friend to many. Despite his many good qualities and living almost all of his life in the United States, Fernando is set for deportation on October 20, 2010, merely for forgetting to wear his seat belt and having the misfortune of being pulled over by the police, who discovered his undocumented status when he could not produce a proper identification.
When told by Jimmy Foreman, a Youth Minister, that he was going to do whatever he could to help Fernando stay in the U.S.A., his response was astounding. Fernando said “I feel bad. I feel bad that anyone would want to help me, because why would they want to help me? I don’t deserve it.” Fernando is a humble young person who deserves our help. Please sign the petition to keep Fernando at home.
The Department of Homeland Security recently revised its deportation policy so that immigrants who have a genuine claim to legal residency and a general waiver of inadmissibility were taken out of removal proceedings. That sounds like a common-sense solution saving taxpayers both time and money in litigating cases pointlessly. But this still leaves students like Fernando facing the precarious situation of deportation from the only country they remember and recall as home.
Time and again, our politicians have reiterated that there is no way of passing the DREAM Act, legislation that would help students like Fernando apply and gain legal status, without attaching it to larger immigration bills. There’s little doubt that the political football of immigrant dreams will be punted for quite a while to come. In the meantime, there is no need to deport young students like Fernando from his home.
If you are in Oklahoma, do attend the “Keep Fernando at Home” awareness benefit on September 18. More details here.
Photo Credit: Nina Allen