Standing in line in Staples (not a corporate plug yet…but we are open to them…call us) buying a few last minute things for my daughter’s first day of third grade I could not help but notice a bunch of Mexicanny looking families in the store. (so, bunch of latinos in the store, not sure if Mexican or from Central America or somewhere else…I use Mexicanny because it sounds kind of funny. Just so we’re straight, I love Mexicans. They are strong people. They are good people. One of them is a Bush. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixi9_cciy8w#t=33 skip to the 1:30 mark) Standing in front of my was a Mexicanny looking father and his daughter, probably going into Kindergarten or first grade, waiting to pay for some school supplies.
She looked so excited to be starting school and thumbed through her folders to make sure she had the ones she wanted. He looked so happy and his daughter was just thrilled to be at the store with him and to be going to school the next day. I started to wonder about his immigration status, because this is a disease us immigration attorneys have which we can’t control. I wonder if he is documented or living in fear of being pulled over for some trumped up charge and deported. I look at the other families and wonder the same thing. I wonder if their children would be excited to be going back to school in Mexico or if they would be going to school at all. I saw a family with a daughter who seemed to be in her early teens. This is the time that most of my clients had dropped out of school either due to lack of funds to pay for school uniforms, books and the other associated costs or just because they knew that there was no future with or without school. They would begin working to provide for their family or take their journey to the United States.
I wondered how that little girl in front of me would feel if her daddy had been deported over the summer. Would she still be excited about school? Who would have taken her to the store? Would her mother have had the money to buy her the nice pencil case her daddy was buying her. Us immigration attorneys often get caught up in watching the news for word on possible immigration reform or some type of action by Obama. We naturally think of the business that we could derive from such actions, but I believe the vast majority of us want immigration reform so that little girl would never have to know the pain of her daddy being deported. So, those other kids could enjoy going to school and know that if they study and do well in school they will have an opportunity to succeed.
The school bell has rung and the kids have gone back with hopes, dreams and aspirations to do remarkable things. I only hope that this country can help fulfill those hopes, makes those dreams come alive and reap the benefit of these children’s achievements.