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Social Action Project Paper 1

Fredy Rodriguez

August 20, 2017

HD361

Written Assignment 7 (Social Action Project Paper)

Professor Elizabeth Robinson


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During the 2016 more than 200,000 people were deported, most of these people were

consider criminals. The classification of criminals for ICE means everyone who is a felon, who

has commit crime of less severity such as misdemeanors, and now this has change even though

instated before everyone who has crossed illegally into the country will had been deported, not

every administration enforced this rough laws, that would of have separated many more families.

This administration now wants to reinforce these tougher laws and has promised that they will

find every immigrant door to door who have committed crimes to include crossing the border

illegally. Even though the administration has promised just to deport criminals the definition has

change. It is very common to heard in the news how many families are been affected by this

tougher definition of the law. Now families are been separated and living in fear. The families

that come to this country and have stayed for so long some have ten, twenty, and even thirty

years in the country but never got the chance to legalized their status due to our broken

immigration system. These broken immigration system has separated so many families who now

are suffering trauma because of separation. Not only these families suffer trauma when getting

separating due to deportation, but also because when they leave their countries of origin they

basically leave everything and everyone behind. These families many times leave, children,

husband, wife, mom, father and or very close friends and other family members they love

behind. These separation from their love ones generates so much trauma within these migrant

communities, and the worst part is that these traumas are never addressed so they all go

unnoticed, and untreated. The social action project I’m working on is call family unity. Basically

what this project is about is helping these migrant communities come together to talk about their

stories and trauma, and find help and the reinstallation of hope through this program. This
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project will be divided in multiple phases that will address the different needs of these migrant

families to include finding legal advice and help.

There is nothing that hits closer to home but this issue of family separation due to

immigration policies. Last year we have an incident with one of my wife aunt, who came to the

country illegally twenty years ago, but never got the chance to legalize her status. Our aunt has

adult children that live in Guatemala, this is the reason why she came to the country to support

her family back home. She came to the country with her husband and while been here for so long

she end up pregnant with her younger child who is now 9 years old who was born here in the

U.S. During a raid at the factory where her husband work, her husband got caught by ICE and

end up been deported last year. Somehow ICE got a hold of her information through this raid

decided to go look for her at her home address. Knowing what had happen to her husband, and

that ICE have gone once to knock on her door, she decided to flee out of Nebraska and find

refuge in California with us. She had some relatives in Nebraska who she trusted her kid with

because she didn’t wanted to mess his school year and having her kid to live through what was

happening, so she decided to live him with someone she trusted. Kissing him good bye and not

telling much about what was going on, she ask her kid to behave and that she will be back soon,

that his dad and her were going in a long trip, and could not take him with them because he was

still in school. She flee to California and we received her until the situation cleared up over in

Nebraska. She stayed with us for about one year and she decided to go back to Nebraska because

she couldn’t stand been without her kid for much longer. Now she lives around the same area

where she live before, she had to change her name, address, and way of living. Her kid is still

living with her relatives and they have full custody of him, she gets to stay somedays of the week

with him but now she is a fugitive and lives with fear of one day been deported and not seen her
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kid ever again. Life change in one day for a whole family, what it seem twenty years of stability

was gone in one day because of our immigration policies that has done nothing about families

who have young kids born U.S. citizens.

Another story that comes close to home is the story of a co-worker. This person came from

Colombia about twelve years ago, she came on a work visa, but because of some issues with her

visa, and her status she is not allowed to go back to Colombia without facing deportation. She

has been so many years in the country so now she has a young daughter and a reason to stay in

the country, for that reason and the fear of never coming back if she leaves to see her relatives in

Colombia she has decided to stay and not take the risk of going back. Four years ago she lost her

father in Colombia and was not able to go back and see him alive, the only thing she could do

was to cry and suffer in silent. This year she lost her mom, and couldn’t do nothing more but cry

and tell her story on how much she was suffering. She basically has lost hope to every see her

relatives in Colombia ever again. She still have brothers and sisters in Colombia that are waiting

to see her.

Stories like my co-worker and my wife relatives has inspire me to seek this social project. All

these traumas need to be addressed within these communities and nothing has been done about it

until now. Most of everyone I know has a family, and if something happens to their family

nucleus and their homeostatic stage of their family can be traumatizing, devastating and a life

changing. The social action project will consist of many four phases which will serve as a

foundation to not just help my community but other communities who wants this type of

program.
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Phase one will be call gaining a voice. In this phase I will engage in my community to

include my local church in the conversation of immigration and family separation. Stories like

my co-worker and my wife family are not uncommon amount our community, so engaging and

connecting this community with this topic will not be too hard. So far I have engaged in this

conversation about separation not just within my family but within people in my community and

I have gain the support to create this groups so we can gather as a community to talk about it.

The idea behind this groups is to create a safe environment and open the space for others to share

their story around this inequity by creating family groups where anonymity will be respected,

and families who have suffer from this life changing experience can come and shared their

stories and talk about it.

Second phase is creating support. So far I have been able to engage my local church where I

have received the support of the leaders from the church to create this groups. My local church

has open the doors and gave me a safe space and a time where we can meet up during the week. I

also have gain the support from local immigration services who have offer their help to bring

legal advice to these people. My next step is to bring support from local therapist, and

psychologist so they can help this community with traumas. Having professional help will help

me bringing more people in, and aid with the credibility of the project. So far I have found

support with a local immigration law group who are willing to come and give legal advice to this

community also look to find the support of local immigration lawyers that will be there to assist

these families, and represent them in court if need it. Some of the families that migrate to this

country and leave everything behind need any help they can get. Many of these families suffer

from hunger, lack of decent living conditions, lack of education, lack of job opportunities. My

next step is to see how we can create a support network within our community where we can
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collect food and help this families with food, connect them with the local shelters, create a

network where business owners in the community can provide jobs, this is the ultimate goal for

this program is not just to talk about the issue of separation but also finding resources for these

families. I feel that when families understand the need to shared their stories they also will

understand that is not just about sharing their stories but about finding the support within our

community, and knowing that they will be assisted with legal questions, jobs, food, and shelter

will give these families relief and they will open up to come to these groups and share their

stories even more. Uniting this community will also help me to get my community speaking

about this issue. After all this issue does not only affects the illegal immigrants but also their

families that are legal in this country. I will engage our whole community to unite and write to

our representatives to change and reform the immigration laws.

Phase three is creating the groups. Once I have the support from my community, and have

everything in place it will only be about allowing people to join the groups and have them

engage in the conversation. Someone once told me hey the only thing you need is have an idea

develop the idea and open a place and the people will come. So far I have develop my idea, I

already have plans on how the group will be run, I already have the place and time, I have the

support from local immigration activist so now is just about having people gathering and sharing

their stories.

Phase four is creating change in the community. Someone once told me that whenever

something catches fire everything around it will also catch fire. This is what I hope is that within

this groups change will happen that trauma will be addressed and hopefully healing will happen.

I want this community have a sense of unity to have a feeling that they are not alone that many
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share the same stories as they do. I want this community to be help by others who are more

privilege. I want them to be help and find solution within our immigration system. Many

probably qualify for visas or legal status without even knowing it, but because of fear they have

never ask. Family separation is something that is horrible and traumatizing, and many have

suffered enough already. My hope is not to just keep this groups within my own community but

bring it to others too. Phase four is about that creating change in the community and transmit this

change to other communities.

Myles always fought for injustices that not only affected him, but his community. He was

able to make connections and saw the need of change not only for his own benefit but the benefit

for all. I believe that this issue of families that have been in the country for so long and call this

country their home, and have children families and a community that they live in deserve better

than been treated like criminals, they deserve an opportunity to live and have freedom in this

country they call home and their children call home. Addressing their family separation traumas

is just the tip of the iceberg. Finding out that they are not alone it will be a great start towards

change. Giving them legal advice, food, shelter, and a community will reinstall hope in them.

This social action project has change me and I hope to change my community for the better.
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Reference

Myles, H. (1998). The Long Haul an autobiography. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.