We Stand United in the Face of Deportation
Nowadays, it’s difficult to address a singular plight within the Latinx community. Whether we are discussing the possible construction of Trump’s border wall, the future of DACA and what this means for students across the U.S., or immigration laws which seem to become stricter every day, we are constantly facing some new adversity. This can undermine the importance of each issue by making each new concern seem like another drop in an endless bucket rather than a wave crashing upon our community that risks drowning our voices. This is why, now more than ever, it is important to share the stories of our community and to stress their relevance in the broader scope of the U.S.
Viviana Andazola Marquez is one member of our broader Latinx community who has experienced a struggle recently brought to media attention. Her father, Melecio Andazola Marquez, a Mexican immigrant, is now facing deportation after a meeting with the department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services went awry. Instead of becoming one step closer to the ever-elusive green card, he was detained and is now awaiting deportation. He was supposedly sentenced to detention as a result of a previous illegal entry to the United States. Since then, Melecio has returned to the U.S., raised four American citizens, and has never had a criminal record. Viviana, his eldest child, is currently attending Yale University through scholarships she earned despite her family’s difficulties. She is currently advocating for her father’s release from detention and students at Yale have demonstrated their support by protesting his possible deportation. Melecio is a man whose only sins were desiring a better life for his family and risking his wellbeing in order to provide them with the opportunities of college and financial security they would not have otherwise had in Mexico. Now, he may be forced to leave the country he has called home for the past 20 years.
As a community, we express our deepest sympathies and support for Viviana and her family as they bravely confront this difficult period in their lives. Mi Gente has shared the petition and GoFundMe account Viviana’s peers at Yale created to show solidarity for her and for others in positions similar to hers. We must remember, as tragic as this case is and as easy as it is to focus solely on this particular instance, several other members of the Latinx community are either currently undergoing the same difficulties or run the risk of doing so. To those who are currently being affected by this or by any other immigration concerns, I leave you with a reaffirmation of your and your family’s right to exist within this nation. You are Americans. You are members of the Latinx community. They, despite efforts the media’s efforts to paint them as such, are not mutually exclusive. You belong in this country. Please take comfort in knowing you are not alone and we will resist together. We will not idly stand by as those who have the U.S. in their hearts, memories, and loyalties are deported because they don’t have the U.S. in their documents.
Petition to have Melecio realesed from detention: https://action.mijente.net/petitions/release-
melecio-andazola- morales-from- detention
GoFundMe to support Melecio’s family during his detention: