immigration reform

65 petitions

Started 19 hours ago

Petition to U.S. Senate

Cancel Deportation Order Against Pedro Richard Cruz-Ruiz father of two

On December 9th, 2017 my husband's lawyer's office called to deliver the bad news that the lawyer can longer cancel his deportation order that he has been cancelling every year in order to obtain an Employment Authorization Card. My husband and I have been together since September 27th, 2008 we met at No Name Pub in Big Pine Key, Florida. I already had a daughter of age 16 months at that time from a previous very abusive relationship. We fell in love immediately and have been inseparable ever since. We got married in January of 2010 never thinking he would become a legal resident. Pedro also known as Richard was brought here by his father in the year of 2000 illegally to pursue a better life for himself and attend school. He was a minor but yet that fact does not matter all people see is he entered illegally.  When his father was struggling to make enough money for his family Richard decided to quit school and started to work two jobs. He had worked at No Name Pub for over 13 years and also with Winn Dixie for a few years off and on. After we married about 4 years later we decided to just try talking to lawyers and see what we could do. Richard had obtained a license years ago but the paper he signed was agreeing that he would leave after the year was over, Richard was not aware it stated this and signed it because he did not want to drive illegally to and from work. So now we were faced with cancelling that deportation order in order to obtain his employment card which also granted him a social security number as well as a temporary driver's license. Richard and I have been doing this every single year as well as myself requesting he be able to stay forever but that process could take years the lawyer said. After my husband got his social security and license cards he right away knew he wanted to adopt the daughter he had been taking care of for so many years (8 years to be exact) whose father never paid more than $600 in her whole life. So right away we did what needed to be done in order for her to share our last name and it worked! Kylee is now Richard's daughter in all ways. In 2016 we said since Richard is legal now lets try for a baby of our own after waiting 9 years to make sure he would be able to stay in the US. To our surprise it took and Rosabella was born on July 21st, 2017. Our children are our pride and joy and we will do anything to keep our family together. In September of this year we lost all of our belongings to Hurricane Irma and were forced to leave the Florida Keys and reside with my brother until we found our home which we are about to move into December 15th, 2017 but now we do not know what our future holds. I Brianna Cruz cannot work due to no childcare and nursing my newborn baby. My first daughter Kylee can not handle anymore hurt in her life after losing everything this year and uprooting her life. Life without her father in the USA would cause extreme emotional distress. Mentally my daughter is unstable because of the storm and her father in fear of deportation. And myself I deal with PTSD. I also combat chronic depression after my sister was brutally murdered when I was 14 years old also pregnant at that time. My mental state can not handle life without my husband. My husband has also paid his taxes worked two jobs to support us and owns two cars so we can get around to all of my doctor appointments. He would give his friends and family the shirt off his back if they needed it because he is that nice of a person  he does not deserve this and needs to stay to take care of his family. He has no criminal record and would be a model citizen if ever granted the title. He is the sole economic provider for his family. Richard deserves the chance to present his case before Immigration Court with a council he speaks English and has no criminal history. He volunteers every week at my brother's church to help out in children's ministry. He has many friends and co workers writing letters to state his devotion to work, family and, friends. We need our story to be heard and for Richard to obtain a pardon and hearing to present his case ASAP to become legal indefinitely. Please sign this if not for us for our babies! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and God bless, Brianna Cruz-Ruiz

Brianna Cruz
420 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Department of Homeland Security

Extend immigration protection for 59,000 Haitians

59,000 Haitians were granted temporary protected status (TPS) after the 2010 earthquake that ravaged Haiti, leaving over 200,000 people dead, over 1.5 million people displaced and nearly 4,000 schools damaged or destroyed (CNN, 2016). This protection allowed displaced Haitians to legally reside in the U.S. for the past seven years. During this time many Haitians created new lives, including starting families and pursuing careers.  "...extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist." Acting Secretary Elaine Duke of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that the TPS for Haitians was terminated. Any immigrants under this provision have 18 months to return to Haiti or seek "alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible" (Madhani, 2017). Acting Secretary Duke "...made the decision that extraordinary temporary conditions on which the special protections were issued 'no longer exist'" (Madhani, 2017). While Haiti has made some improvements, there is still much work to be done.  "Haitians continue to suffer years after the earthquake," U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Mourad Wahba said in an interview with TheWorldPost in January of this year (Cook, 2017). He noted that in January of this year there were still 55,000 people living in "camps and makeshift camps." There are numerous concerns about Haiti's ability to handle more people as the Dominican Republic expelled more than 40,000 people to Haiti between 2015 and 2016, and another 68,000 returned out of fear of persecution and violence (Amnesty International, 2016). Jesselyn Cook, a journalist for the Huffington Post, writes that "This will place strenuous demands on Haiti's crippled agriculture sector and leave many returnees in limbo, without homes or jobs awaiting them” (2017). Haiti seems to move forward one step only to be shoved back three by droughts, strikes by public-health workers due to lack of pay, famine, cholera, the Zika virus and natural disasters (Miroff, 2016). Just last year the number of Haitians who faced “severe” food insecurity doubled to nearly 1.5 million due to drought and the subsequent food shortage (Simmons, 2016). When coupled with the number of those who struggle to access reliable sources of food on a regular basis, that amount more than doubled to 3.6 million people, over a third of the country’s entire population. Numerous articles cite Haiti as “the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere,” with over 2.5 million Haitians living on less than the equivalent of $1.25 a day (Moloney, 2016). For those who would want to fight to stay, the process to become a U.S. citizen can be both costly and long. Immigration lawyers can charge as much as $5,000, with some cases costing as much as $15,000 (Ribitzky, YEAR). This estimate is for one individual and may not take into account additional application fees or any potential family members. The process can take years, time Haitians who were protected under TPS no longer have.  A bi-partisan issue Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers from Florida, the state currently housing the largest Haitian population, responded with derision to the announcement from DHS (Madhani, 2017). Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., replied via Twitter: “There is no reason to send 60,000 Haitians back to a country that cannot provide for them. This decision today by DHS is unconscionable. And I am strongly urging the administration to reconsider” (Madhani, 2017). Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican from Fort Lauderale, released the following statement: “These individuals are established, respected members of our communities who have made significant contributions and I urge the administration to reconsider its decision regarding Haitian and Nicaraguan nationals” (Madhani, 2017).  “Haiti is chaos.” I traveled to Haiti in June of this year through the Global Orphan Project. Within minutes of arriving my eyes were opened to suffering on a scale I couldn’t even fathom. Hills of trash fall into waterways where children play and swim. We were instructed never to drink water from the tap and to rely instead on bottles. We were also warned that electricity could come and go without warning. Armed guards stood at the entrances to gas stations. Traffic was a perpetual mash of cars, trucks, vans and buses, with motorcyclists weaving in and out, sometimes balancing livestock or even babies between their legs. I held a four year-old girl who was closer to the size of a two year-old because of malnutrition. The majority of the buildings I saw had bars on the windows and doors or broken glass cemented into the tops of walls. I asked a member of my group who had been to Haiti multiple times if this was left over from the earthquake. “No,” she replied. “The reality is that Haiti looked a lot like this before the earthquake.” We spoke with managers of GOEX, a clothing production center in Port-au-Prince that provides living wage jobs. While they employ as many as they can, one man estimated that every time they advertise a job opening through word-of-mouth, hundreds to over a thousand people will show up outside their gates within 24 to 72 hours. Another man I spoke with, a U.S. citizen who was working in Haiti for a non-profit organization but whose parents were both Haitian, summed it up in one sentence: “Haiti is chaos.” “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” -Aesop This petition is not intended to discount the efforts and progress the Haitian government, the U.S. government and non-profit organizations have made. But the sad reality is that Haiti is not currently in a place to offer jobs, education or support for thousands of people who have begun new lives in the United States and become a part of their local communities. It also forces many families to decide whether to make arrangements for their U.S.-born children to be forced apart from their loved ones or travel to and make a new life in an impoverished country. As we kick off the holiday season this week with Thanksgiving and celebrate being together with our loved ones, let's extend kindness and compassion to a group of people who have been through so much hardship and yet continue to rise and carry on despite the many obstacles thrown in their path. Please sign this petition to call on the Department of Homeland Security to extend TPS for Haitians for seven years. Resources Amnesty International. (2016, June 15). Haiti/Dominican Republic: Reckless deportations leaving thousands in limbo. Retrieved from CBS News. (2017, Nov. 21). U.S. plans to end temporary residency permit program for Haiti. CNN. (2016, Dec. 28). Haiti Earthquake Fast Facts. Retrieved from Cook, J. (2017, Jan. 13). 7 years after Haiti's earthquake, millions still need aid. Retrieved from Madhani, A. (2017, Nov. 20). Trump administration to send Haiti earthquake victims home in 2019. Retrieved from Miroff, N. (2016, June 16). Haiti needs food, jobs doctors-and now a president. Retrieved from Moloney, A. (2016, Jan. 20). Haiti needs new approach to make aid effective, bring jobs, skills: ex-PM. Retrieved from Mulheir, G. (2015, June 25). Thousands of children are living in orphanages in Haiti-but not because they are orphans. Retrieved from Ribitzky, R. (YEAR, July 3). Path to U.S. citizenship costly, tedious. Retrieved from Simmons, A. (2016, Feb. 11). Drought compounds food crisis in Haiti. Retrieved from  *Photo credit: ABC News (2016). Retrieved from

Rebecca C.
87 supporters
Started 3 weeks ago

Petition to Law Offices of Michael H. Said

Help me keep my father from getting deported

This past year has been very hard for my family and I. We have gone through many obstacles that have challenged us and have left us vulnerable. About a week ago, my father was informed that he is at high risk for deportation. With new immigration policies and changes under the Trump administration, he may not be able to renew his work visa. In efforts to prove to the Immigration Court that my father is worthy of staying in this country I have created this petition and I am asking for your help.  Here is a little bit of information about my father,  Juan Ochoa arrived to the United States from a very poor life in Mexico at the age of seventeen in hopes of creating a better life for his family and for his future. For eighteen years Juan has been a productive member of society. He has worked and contributed to the community in many ways like every other U.S. citizen. Every year he has paid his taxes and he has no sort of criminal record. After a long day of work, Juan always looks forward to spending time with his family and catching up with them at the dinner table. As a U.S. citizen myself, I can assure you that my father is very proud to be a part of this country. At times I feel as if he is more patriotic than I will ever be. This is his country just as much as ours and for years all he has ever wanted is to officially become the U.S. citizen that he has always been. Without my father my family will suffer. Juan has two children with diagnosed and documented disabilities that require medical help and medication. If he were to get deported, his children will not be able to receive not only the proper medical help but also the proper education. Deporting him to Mexico would only leave more people suffering and in poverty. There is no future for our family in Mexico.  I am asking you to please take a second of your day and to sign this petition if you agree in hopes of keeping my family together and to prove to the court that my father is worthy. We are not just numbers, we are people too. 

Michelle Ramos
17,621 supporters
This petition won 4 weeks ago

Petition to Amber Rudd MP, Theresa May MP

Ask the UK Home Office to end the inhumane treatment of the Kelton family by the UKVI

They hold a UK visa- so why is this British/American married couple still forced to remain on separate continents? Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) says: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”Charles' rights to his family life, as a law-abiding British citisen, are again being tampered with-- and this is AFTER his wife was granter leave to enter the UK.Charles and Leah Kelton applied for a UK settlement visa in November 2016, and were finally granted the visa in May 2017 after an arduous journey fraught with hold-ups by the UKVI. But when the visa vignette was affixed to Leah's passport with the wrong date stamped by the UKVI, they swiftly contacted the UKVI's telephone service to alert them to their mistake so that it might be rectified before the couple were obligated to be in the UK for the start of Charles' MSc course in mid-Sept. However, despite having been granted her visa, Leah is still unable to enter the UK due to UKVI's lack of response. It has now been 12 weeks since reaching out to UKVI to rectify their mistake, and the couple are STILL waiting for any word on moving forward. Meanwhile, Charles had to return to the UK without his wife in mid-Sept. On top of being prevented from living in marriage together, or for this devoted couple to even see one another, the situation further prevents Leah from adequately working her business, or indeed making any plans toward anything, as they have no indication of when UKVI will finish their case so she can be reunited with her husband. Due to making arrangements for their move when they started the visa journey last year, she is effectively left homeless as well as husband-less, relying on the good graces of family and friends as they wait indefinitely for UKVI to rectify her vignette so that they might finally be reunited and carry on with their lives. They have lived in this especially suspended state for nearly 3 months now, with a further 9 months of suspense awaiting the visa process prior to this.The couple are put in extreme distress as the hold up to their entire lives stretches on and they are parted without end, to the point of resulting health issues from the anxiety, effects on Charles' important coursework, and the resulting financial trauma of having to stand up under separate expenses on separate continents while gainful employment must be put on hold. And they still have been given no timeline for when the UKVI might fix their mistake and finish this nearly year-long visa journey. The UKVI's practices are causing severe mental torture, and emotional and financial trauma for this couple. All the more as they continue to make no assurances that they even know they have put this family in such a position by their negligence. The smallest bit of personal contact would go a LONG way for people embroiled in such uncertainty brought on by UKVI's tardy practices.And this is not the first time in this process that a UKVI mistake has cost the Kelton family dearly.  After spending the first 3 years of their marriage living in the US. Charles and Leah Kelton decided to move to the UK to be closer to Charles' chronically unwell and aging mother when he was accepted onto an MSc degree course in Oxford. The couple carefully saved up to meet the financial requirements for Leah's visa while Charles is studying, and submitted their application while obligated to be parted from each other by an ocean for what was supposed to take 12 weeks only. They have now been forced to spend about 5 of the last 12 months apart- and still counting.UK Visas & Immigration refused Leah's application in February 2017, despite the couple meeting all of the outlined requirements. At this time, Charles was deep into the first year of his master's course in the UK, and Leah had their life in the US packed up and was poised ready to join her husband for their new life. UKVI not only did not thoroughly investigate their application before making the refusal, but they sent the official decision letter to the Keltons in ACTUAL tatters. Ripped in two, crumpled and blackened so that the reasons for the negative decision couldn't even be read. The envelope it arrived in containing all of the other documents, however, was perfectly intact. So someone chose to put the decision letter into the return envelope in that condition. The Keltons were scandalized that this service they had paid so much to receive was rendered to them in this way, and still with no explanation or apology for the additional distress caused them.UKVI provides no way to communicate with its caseworkers to work out such mistakes, so the Keltons' only recourse was to appeal this original decision- a process which it is rumored can take upwards of nine months. They knew they met all of the requirements outlined by UKVI for this visa, and their fee could not be returned to them even when UKVI were clearly mistaken. So, they were forced to be separated longer, with no sense for what was going to happen, or when they might know, and no one to speak to about the appalling service they had received. Thankfully, upon re-evaluation, and some advocacy from Charles' local MP in Buckinghamshire, the Rt Hon John Bercow, the UKVI overturned their original decision and granted Leah her visa in May 2017. By this time, Charles finished his first year of his studies and returned to the states to be with his wife where they waited out the processing with members of her family and friends, and found short-term work for the summer, including Leah continuing to conduct her business with a definite timeline to book work in.The Keltons sent Leah's passport to the UK for the visa vignette to be affixed to it, and explained to the caseworker emailing them that they had to return to the UK between the end of Aug-middle of Sept, due to having found work in the US for the summer, but needing to be back for Charles' course to start up again mid-Sept. After a long 10 week wait for UKVI to place the visa vignette in Leah's passport, a passport UKVI misplaced for nearly a month, they finally stamped it on 17 July 2017. They then sat on her passport for 11 days, finally putting it in the post to her on 28 July 2017. The post then took 10 days to arrive to the Keltons, putting it in their hands 7 Aug 2017. At this point they discovered that the vignette expiration would be 16 Aug 2017- two weeks before the time they could leave their summer work commitments and only 7 days from the day they finally received it back. UKVI made no warning to them that they would only have a week, instead of the 30 days promised, to tie up every loose end in their US lives and make their international move. And they had many work commitments in those last two weeks of August. So, on the very day they received the passport back with the unusable vignette due to UKVI's tardiness and lack of communication, they contacted UKVI's answering service, incurring MORE personal fees because there is no way to talk with anyone to whom you have paid a large fee to render this visa service without paying for the privilege, and they applied for a vignette transfer, incurring another few hundred dollars despite the mistake being the UKVI's. However, when they heard back from the answer services, they were told to cancel the vignette transfer and that their case would be escalated to the home office. 12 weeks later (as of 30 Oct 2017), nothing has yet been done. UKVI makes no contact and communicates NO timelines for the couple to be able to make plans by. This husband and wife, who were granted their visa 5 months ago, still have no idea when they will see one another again, let alone be able to start their life together once more. There is no one held accountable for the mistakes made, no compensation for the damage done. This is inhumane treatment and the UKVI's inefficient work practices are causing untold distress to many more families than just the Keltons as they try to hold their lives together in the uncertainty. While we understand that UKVI must have a very heavy workload, we the people feel it it is unacceptable to conduct this service in such a way that causes families so much grief.We believe the Keltons are experiencing a breach of their human rights by being kept apart by the Home Office's negligence, and we petition the UK home office to rectify this mistake on Leah Kelton's vignette stamp as a matter of priority. We ask Home Secretary Amber Rudd to see to it that UKVI prioritizes fixing their mistake to finish their visa process by the end of October, so that this couple can finally be reunited and try to rebuild their lives.We also petition the home office to implement better practices for communication between the UKVI and their clients in future cases to spare anyone else from facing this mental torture, health-threatening anxiety, damage to marriages, trauma to families, and ridiculous financial burden to honest, hard-working, everyday people just trying to take care of their families...How ridiculous for a family to have come through such a trial, only to finally be granted the visa, but due to an unresponsive UKVI, unable to use it!Thank you so much for your attention this matter.

Leah Kelton
1,317 supporters