Belsy Garcia Manrique already has her hands full as a medical student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. But since Donald Trump’s election, she’s been worried. Garcia Manrique is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, and the uncertain future of her work permit—and the Republican Congress’s inaction on the DREAM Act—can’t even guarantee she’ll be able to work as a doctor when she graduates. Now adding to the chaos in her life is that her dad, Felix Garcia, is facing deportation:
Felix came to the U.S. in 1995 to seek asylum. He went in front of a judge without a lawyer or interpreter, and — without a way to make his case — was ordered deported. In 2009, ICE showed up at the carpet factory where Felix worked and took down information on all the employees. Over the next two years, Felix cooperated with the ICE investigation against the employer, and was not deemed a priority for deportation under the Obama Administration. Felix was allowed to stay with his family as long as he continued to check in with ICE on an annual basis.
Until his check-in under the Trump administration, when he was detained by ICE with no explanation. These sort of arrests have been happening at an alarming rate since his inauguration, and while a stay of deportation was filed, ICE denied it. “Felix remains in Stewart Detention Center today,” said immigrant rights group America’s Voice.
Nope, it’s not alleged money launderers and domestic abusers who are getting locked up, but instead hardworking people who are faceless to this administration. But they are somebody. They are Garcia Manrique’s dad. “My father considers the United States his home,” she said, “and he is a living example of the American Dream. His family and future is here and it would be immoral to separate another family for political gain.”
Garcia’s advocates have already gathered nearly 1,000 signatures calling on Atlanta ICE Office Director Sean Gallagher to halt his deportation. You can add your name here.