DREAMer Jennifer Lopez needs our help right now. She is a Florida resident and Dream Act-eligible youth who Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is trying to deport as we speak -- even though she has never committed a crime and was brought to the U.S. as a young child.
Jennifer was threatened with deportation after her mother and she were pulled over in a routine traffic stop in Palm Beach county, where she lives with her younger siblings -- who are U.S. citizens with health problems that require Jennifer's ongoing care and attention. Immigration officials let Jennifer's mother go because she was recently able to attain resident status that Jennifer could not be included in because she had "aged out" of the visa process (a painful experience that throws many immigrant youth into legal limbo when they turn 21).
Now, Jennifer's family and legal counsel are calling out for help after she was taken into DHS/ICE custody and threatened with the possibility of deportation away from her mother, siblings, and future in this country.
Like DREAMer Manuel Guerra, Jennifer should not be a priority for deportation under the new ICE/DHS guidelines. Instead, she should be granted a type of status that allows her to contribute to the country she calls home. Jennifer has lived in the U.S. for a decade and completed high school through a GED program in order to help her mother and siblings.
In fact, Jennifer's deportation would be doubly devastating -- not only would it cut her dreams and future plans short, it would rip her away from a family that depends on her care. Jennifer's younger sister, Ashley, a 5-year-old U.S. citizen, has been diagnosed with a blood clot, requiring her to be in observation for 3 months in the hospital, and to wear a special "boot" to get around. Her brother, also a citizen, appears to be losing his vision. Jennifer's mother has been diagnosed with a tumor in her knee, which required knee reconstruction. On top of all of this, Jennifer and her mother have NO criminal record and have been paying taxes for more than 8 years.
Jennifer's legal counsel says, "I just got off the phone with Jennifer, who was in tears. It is heart-breaking to hear her fear and desperation. I spoke to the ICE officer arresting her, and he said he has "no discretion" and it is "mandatory" that she be taken into custody, even though she is a DREAM Act candidate, caring for 2 younger siblings with serious medical prob's, no criminal record, and a bright future in this country."
If you agree that Jennifer should stay in the U.S. with her family, please sign the petition and spread the word by sharing it on Facebook.