I was in a Justice For Our Neighbors meeting last week (an amazing faith-based organization that is providing counsel and assistance on legal issues to immigrants) when I learned about a young lady named Mercedes Gonzalez.
Mercedes was brought to the U.S. when she was 2 and has been a successful newcomer to Nashville. She has thrived in school, excelling academically, and playing soccer and violin with great joy. She was scheduled to graduate from Overton High School a few weekends ago when she got a little excited driving one day, exceeding the speed limit by 8 miles an hour. Where most of us would simply get a speeding ticket, the officer that pulled her over made a decision to arrest Mercedes, handcuff her, and take her downtown for booking on a misdemeanor speeding charge. This, of course, ensured that she was entered into the immigration screening process at the jail known as 287G, and was thus flagged for deportation as an undocumented alien.
Mercedes has never known life in Mexico. Her entire life has been in the American context. She is an American as any of our kids — have gone to and thrived in American schools. Under the proposed DREAM Act that congress keeps sitting on, Mercedes would be at the top of the list for obtaining a path to citizenship. However , for political expediency, this act continues to be deferred and an entire generation of wonderful kids face a very unknown future of deportation to a land that they have never known.
Through Justice for our Neighbors, Mercedes has been linked to the United We Dream organization which is working to pass this act, and more importantly to appeal deportation proceedings for kids like Mercedes who will become productive (and tax paying) members of our society. I encourage you to visit this site to sign a petition in support of Mercedes, helping our leaders know that we don’t want to abandon the kids of our community, but to help them grow up into successful folks who make our world a better place.
Mercedes wants to be a doctor, helping other people live fruitful and productive lives. Won’t you help her in have a similar outcome?
CLICK HERE to support Mercedes…