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A Mission To Bring A Deported Mother Back To The U.S.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

He remembers the moment so clearly, the last time he saw his mother on American soil.
Jose Antonio Machado was merely 15, too young and powerless to stop what was happening. His mother, Melba, was dressed in an orange jumpsuit, wrists in handcuffs, being led away by an immigration officer.
When she looked back, he mouthed: “I love you.” She nodded and turned away.
He speaks of her now in idealized terms. She is the petite woman he imagines hugging him when he comes home from school. The one whose cooking he misses and who, at 18, he still needs for comfort and advice.
“If we were together things would be much easier,” he says. “Your mom is unconditional love.”
Instead, Jose finds himself in the same situation as thousands of other young people in this country: He is the child of a parent who came to the U.S. illegally and then was deported — while he was left behind.
“Jose is an abandoned child,” a child law advocate wrote in the court papers that led to his placement in a foster home back in 2011. At least 5,100 children whose parents are either in detention, or already deported, live in foster care today, according to one estimate.
But if Jose felt abandoned, it wasn’t by his mother but rather the laws of his adoptive country for sending her away.
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