change in immigration law,second chance following aggravated felony instead of deportation

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Many times, people come to the United States as children and start off on the wrong foot. They get in with the wrong crowd of people and oftentimes commit non-violent offenses that at "Aggravated" offenses and strips them of their rights to remain a Legal Resident of the United States. In many cases, they are young when they commit these offenses and while incarcerated they have time to reflect on their time here in the country and they want to do different. Thing is, their chances are non existent and when they are released, they are deported back to their home country. They may have children here in this country. But, the law sees past that and families are split apart. Children not only go without their mothers/fathers while they are incarcerated but they continue to live without them upon release after their mother/father is deported. This happens many times and it is devastating to the families involved. Although I agree and many will agree that when you commit a crime, you should be punished. But, if you are a legal resident and you have been here for greater than 15 years and you committed an "aggravated" crime that is NOT murder/attempted murder, rape/molestation, human trafficking or kidnapping then there should be second chances allowed as long as the person participates in rehabilitation programs while incarcerated and is compliant with probation or parole upon release. What needs to happen for this to be successful is there should be agreements signed at the time of sentencing and their second chance starts in prison. If they get involved in rehabilitation programs, GED programs, work inside prison and have a fairly clean history while incarcerated, they should proceed to the second step of the chance option upon release. They should be given the chance to stay. That may also decrease the violence inside prisons. Many people who know they are being deported lose hope and become more reckless while incarcerated. 

The reason this is so important to me is because over the past 15 years I have seen people lose their husbands/wives, kids lose their fathers/mothers due to deportation. Now it has directly affected my children. Their father came to this country when he was 12 and when he was 23 he committed a robbery and was charged with an aggravated felony and was given poor legal representation and sentenced to 15 years and is facing deportation. Although I agree that he should most definitely go to prison for what he did, I do not think he should be deported. My children have gone a long time without him and for me to have to explain to them that they will have to travel as adults to Colombia to see him because I cannot afford to bring them every year is hurtful. What about their high school graduation, college graduation and birth of their children. It is confusing and it is devastating for them to deal with as children. I have seen all sorts of emotions from my own children and it is scary. It is sad for their father and sad for me. Especially since he is now in his 30's, understands what he did was not what he had to do and he knows and understands what he did was wrong and has the desire to be a better father and better person in society.

If these changes are not made it will negatively impact families all across America. Including my own. Children born from Immigrants will be at risk for emotional issues. Not to mention this change could positively impact our justice system by giving people second chances and further holds them accountable. They are more likely to be successful while incarcerated as they will have to follow guidelines for the second chance program and being held accountable while incarcerated will prepare them for reentry and the program will be successful. Not allowing this will just continue to devastate families. More children will be raised in single parent households, mothers or fathers will be in financial distress as well as emotional distress.

Please help make this change. Many Americans are released from prison and make changes and are success stories. Let's make a change to immigration and allow them the same opportunity. It is not too late for my children's father. He has 2 years left until he is released into ICE custody and MANY other families in this country are facing the same thing and hoping and wishing for a miracle to keep their families together.Let's keep families together!



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