Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) supports the youth and families that are presenting themselves at the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego this week and the #Reform150 campaign. They are DREAMers, parents and children. And they are all looking for safety and a way to reunite their families.
One of these youth, Yordy Cancino, was the GSA President at his high school in Los Angeles. He has lived in California since he was a child and gone to school here since elementary school. Even though he graduated as the salutatorian, his high school did not give him information about college opportunities so he did not have the resources to pursue higher education. Feeling out of options, he returned to Mexico. There, he has faced violence and cruelty for being gay. Yordy is now in immigration detention in San Diego.
GSA Network urges President Obama to be an LGBTQ champion for all and bring Yordy and his undocuqueer siblings home now.
- Alex Aldana came to Pomona with his mother and younger sister on a visa when he was 16. Alex experienced abuse at the hands of his father for being gay. Alex graduated from high school despite changing schools five times. In 2011 his grandmother became very ill and in 2013 Alex risked travelling to Mexico to see her. However, there is rampant violence targeting gay and lesbian people there.
- Hector Velarde is a 17-year-old DREAMer from Sacramento. In 2009, he was forced to flee to Mexico with his mother after she received a traffic ticket. ICE pursued her to their house and the family was terrified. However, life has been horrifying for Hector in Mexico because of the violence he faces due to his sexual orientation. His mother, Maria, is attempting to return to the United States with him and his siblings.
These young people took the courageous step of placing themselves into immigration custody and asking for humanitarian parole and asylum. They are victims of our broken immigration policy, and they deserve to come home to the United States.
GSAs have a responsibility to ensure students at their school have the information they need on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, their rights, and the resources that are available.
These are young people who enrich our country, and our country has a responsibility to provide a safe haven for them and for the many other families that are attempting to return home this week.
GSA Network calls on President Obama to exercise discretion in order to allow Yordy, Alex, Hector, Maria, and all those who seek protection within our borders to come home.