by Cinthia Marroquin

In recent years, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) has elevated their efforts to deport as many undocumented immigrants as possible.This agency of the federal government has been able to do so by switching their tactics. Moving away from the most common work place raids of previous years, people are now being funneled through the criminal justice system. This has empowered local law enforcement to focus their energy on identifying and detaining undocumented people. Thanks, Obama administration! 

Take Reyes case for example. On December 2011 Reyes borrowed his friend’s car to go to work. A police officer  checked his plate and saw that the owner of the vehicle had an expired license.  He proceeded to stop Reyes and asked him for his drivers license. The officer arrested Reyes after he was unable to provide a “proper” identification. Besides his two other no license tickets, Reyes has no criminal record. He is now in deportation proceedings. Despite being low priority under the Morton memo, Reyes has become a high priority for us. When we see a police officer driving alongside us, we should feel safe, not vulnerable.

Reyes Merlin Alfonsin (A# 200-678-149)

Reyes is originally from Mexico and came to the Unites States in 2005. Reyes like many immigrants who arrive here, came to seek opportunities that will position them where they hope their struggle will only be a memory and no longer their day to day reality. He has been living in North Carolina for almost 8 years and has built his life in this country. Returning back to Mexico is no option for him.
According to the memo issued by Jon Morton, Reyes case is considered a low priority and should be granted favorable prosecutorial discretion. If deported, Reyes will be separated from his wife and his two US citizen daughters. 
This is just one example of hundreds if not thousands of cases wherein minor traffic violations cause individuals to experience the nightmare of being separated from their family. Reyes life does not have to be uncertain, we as a community can help him and the many who are in similar situations. People should not be treated as less than human simply for trying to make a living and when they contribute to the vital life of a nation built on immigration.
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