In case you missed it, there was a genuine “feel good” story recently when a Charlotte immigration judge granted permanent residency to a North Carolina woman named Minerva Cisneros Garcia who had, thanks to the madness of U.S. immigration policy, been living in a church in Greensboro for two years. As an editorial that ran this week in both the Greensboro News & Record and Winston-Salem Journal highlighted, if ever there was a person who deserved to gain immigration status, Garcia was it:
Garcia illegally entered the United States in 2000 to escape violence in her native Mexico and to find better opportunities to educate her older son, Eduardo, who is blind.
She was employed, had no criminal record and dutifully checked in annually with immigration officials, as required. In light of Eduardo’s needs, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2013 gave her a stay of removal from the country.
But four years later, for reasons that are still unclear, she was told on May 25, 2017, to leave the country by June 30 of that year.
So, she was forced to live in a church (and not step outside of it) for two years to avoid deportation and, thankfully, for reasons no one knows for sure, ICE officials backed down and she is now here legally.
But, of course, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there like Garcia — good, decent, hardworking people who fled terror and just want a chance to live a normal existence. Indeed, many have resorted to the last ditch effort of going into sanctuary (a kind of friendly prison) in churches around the country in order to avoid possible death sentences back in their countries of origin.
It should not have to be this way. And while, the editorial is correct that “many of these sad stories could be avoided if Democrats and Republicans in Congress would find the moral courage to address comprehensive immigration reform that addresses both border security and the humane treatment of desperate people,” we all know that there is one man who could change this situation tomorrow if he gave two hoots about other human beings.
Tragically, however, for now, Donald Trump and his minions at ICE continue to mete out death sentences to people like Minerva Cisneros Garcia every day. All who enable this cruel man and his un-American policies ought to be ashamed.