Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Give Boehner Some Motherly Advice: Keep Families Together

In a protest, Renata Teodoro, right, and her mother, Gorete Borges Teodoro, who was deported in 2007, reunite at a Mexican border fence in Nogales, Ariz. (Samantha Sais for the New York Times)

By Rosa

There are many people who can’t always spend Mother’s Day with their moms, for different reasons.  In my case, visiting my mother means risking my family’s financial stability and possibly never returning to the country, the friends, or the job that I love.

I am one of the 12 million people who live in the United States without documentation. I left Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in 2002, seeking a better life. I’ve worked hard since coming here. I’ve held the same job for years, I’m active in my church, I volunteer in my community, and I’ve earned a high school diploma. Still, I live in constant fear of being deported.

Because of my status, leaving the country to visit my mother could mean never returning to the United States. So this Mother’s Day, for the eleventh year in a row, I won’t see my mom. I’ll only call her and tell her I wish we could spend the day together.

As you prepare to honor your mother in a few days, please stand with me and add your name to Bread for the World’s Mother’s Day card to Speaker John Boehner, which asks him to bring an immigration reform bill to a vote in the House of Representatives. Bread for the World staffers will deliver the card to Boehner’s office and urge him to work with his colleagues to fix this country’s broken immigration system and stop tearing families apart.

My story is not unique. I know mothers who’ve come to the United States to earn a living and must leave their children with relatives, and others who have watched their own children leave for the U.S., never getting to see them grow up. At home there are very few jobs and little opportunity. The money I’ve been able to send home helps feed, clothe, and house my parents, my brother and sister, and my nieces and nephews. Without it, I don’t know what would happen to them. When I hear people say unkind things about undocumented immigrants, I wonder if they would let their families suffer or starve if put in the same position.

My faith in God, my faith in Congress to do the right thing, and my faith in people to speak out lead me to believe we can pass comprehensive immigration reform now. People who live in fear of being separated from their brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers—or of never seeing them again—cannot wait.

Rosa is one of 12 million U.S. residents living in this country without documentation.

Click here for a Spanish-language version of Rosa's story and the petition to Speaker Boehner.


« Quote of the Day: Art Simon Alza tu voz: Firma la tarjeta del día de las madres dirigida a John Boehner »


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