Families Separated by Deportation and Migration

 To the Editor:

Re “The Heartache of an Immigrant Family” (Op-Ed, Oct. 15):

 Sonia Nazario strikes a chord in highlighting the real stories of families at all phases of migration: the desperate decision to leave family members behind to seek a better life; the difficulty in obtaining legal status; the fear of deportation and the consequences of a family torn apart.

 Enrique, whose tale she recounts, is just one of thousands who spend months and often longer in jail because of their immigration status, struggling to remain in the United States to be with their families and avoid the hardships they will probably suffer in their home countries.

 The United States must develop fair and humane immigration policies that incorporate provisions that address the “push” factors, as Ms. Nazario suggests. At the same time, we must eliminate the brutal detention and deportation system that only adds to the suffering of communities both here and beyond.

 Enrique was lucky to obtain legal status and remain with his family; we need to ensure that the millions of others in similar circumstances have the same opportunity.



 Newark, Oct. 15, 2013

The writer is program director of the Immigrant Rights Program, American Friends Service Committee.

[This letter to the editor appeared in the October 21, 2013 print edition of the NY Times.]