Imagine if a child or family member was painfully and ill and sick - but you couldn’t be there to support them or take care of them. That is the case for millions of mixed immigration status families. Yesterday immigration advocates gathered at Us Immigration offices in El Paso Texas to petition for the reunification of one separated family.
Rosa Mani’s 12 year old daughter Emily was diagnosed with systemic juvenile onset arthritis 4 years ago. It is an intense and painful condition that causes her immune system to attack her joints and internal organs. Emily’s condition is compounded by severe depression, epilepsy, osteoporosis and scoliosis.
Mani moved her daughter to the U.S. to get biological treatment that is inaccessible in Mexico, where they live. Despite her US citizen daughters need, Mani can’t enter the country to take care of her .
Because of prior illegal entries, U.S. Customs and Immigration have barred Mani from entry.
In a video plea Mani said-
“A little girl, she doesn’t know why her mom isn’t with her, or why there needs to be such a complicated immigration process, or why a border divides us. She only knows that her mom isn’t there with her to take her to the hospital, to see her grow, to give her medication, or to simply be able to hug her in the midst of her pain”
US Citizenship and Immigration Services do have a 'Humanitarian Parole' policy that allows barred immigrants to enter the U.S. if they have dire humanitarian, family and medical reasons. But that too has been denied to Mani by U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement, Mani said without a given reason.
Roberto Reed is the lead pastor at Sonoma Springs Covenant Church in Las Cruces. Reed and a coalition of immigration advocates recently petitioned on behalf of Rosa Mani at US Immigration offices in El Paso.
“We are asking him (the director) to grant humanitarian parole to Rosa so she can come to the United States and be reunited with her sick daughter.” Reed said.
Reed said US Immigration hasn’t sufficiently or fairly evaluated Rosa case. He said the need for Rosa Mani to be with her daughter is obvious.
“Children aren’t just raised by logic or hospitals. Mothers are pretty important in society and family life – always have been and still are. So at this age a young girl not being with her mother is sad."
Mani said she is hoping dilogue and support from members of the community will push Immigration to reevaluate her case and allow her to enter the U.S. to take care of her suffering child- who she hasn’t seen for 2 years.
“This is a very painful situation in which a little girl is asking for me and saying, “mommy I need you!” Mani said.
According USCIS only 25% of humanitarian parole applications are approved each year.
Pastor Reed said Rosa Mani’s family is just one of millions separated by a immigration system in need of reform.