things that matter

A Misdemeanor Has Set This Single Mother Of 4 Young Children Up For Deportation

KSL News / YouTube

The mother of four has orders to be out of the U.S. by Oct. 28.

Maria Santiago Garcia fled sexual and physical violence in Guatemala for a new, safer life in the United States. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Santiago Garcia was able to get a visa specific for victims of abuse once she was in the U.S. and maintained a life for herself and her children. Santiago Garcia applied for asylum but wasn’t notified of the court hearing, says her attorney, Gage Herbst.

“In her situation, she was running for her life,” Herbst told KSL News. “The court will mail a notice of hearing to an individual that’s not certified mail. If that doesn’t arrive at their house then they don’t know about their hearing. Therefore, they can’t show up and are ordered removed from the country.”

Santiago Garcia, whose been living in the U.S. since 2003, is pleading with the U.S. government to spare her from deportation to keep her family together. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Santiago Garcia sells homemade tamales to support her family. Santiago Garcia’s four children, ages 11, 9, 5, and 3, spoke at a press confere]nce for their mother.

“I want to have a mom by my side so she can see me when I [become] a doctor,” one of her daughters said through tears at a press conference. “And when she’s sick, so I can cure her and I could protect her.”

Santiago Garcia’s deportation order comes from a misdemeanor conviction back in 2015. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Santiago Garcia was convicted of “obtaining or assisting in obtaining an identifying document of another,” which is a class A misdemeanor. The report goes on to explain that immigration enforcement under the Trump administration is responsible for the deportation order. A change in policy enforcement has made such misdemeanor infractions priority cases for removal from the country.

“All I ask is that they let me stay here with my kids, at least until they’re able to go to college and realize their dreams,” Santiago Garcia told KSL News. “That’s really all I want.”

If you would like to help Santiago Garcia, Unidad Inmigrante has a donation page set up in her honor.

READ: A Republican Representative Known To Crack Down On Undocumented Immigrants Stepped In To Stop This Man’s Deportation

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After Being Told To 'Speak American' By A Teacher Students At This School Protested By Walking Out

things that matter

After Being Told To ‘Speak American’ By A Teacher Students At This School Protested By Walking Out

Credit: WPIX

“Well, first of all, ‘American’ is not a language…”

Students at Cliffside Park High School in New Jersey walked out of class on Monday to protest a teacher’s racist comments, which were captured in a Snapchat video the previous week. The video in question shows the moment when a substitute teacher asked that students speak “American” instead of Spanish. The teacher told students that “military men and women are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish — they’re fighting for your right to speak American.”

In the Snapchat video, the teacher can be seen telling the students to leave, shouting “good bye” as the students try to explain why they were offended. Monday’s walkout was a protest of the teacher’s actions.

NBC News interviewed Vianery Cabrera, a 16-year-old who was reprimanded for speaking Spanish. Cabrera, a junior at the school, had been talking with a friend in Spanish about the Yankees when the teacher made her remarks. Cabrera said, “I have the right to speak Spanish. I have the right to speak English. I have the right to speak whatever language I speak, and that’s my right. There’s no law that says that I should or I must speak English.”

The protest started out small, with just a handful of students. The school was evacuated at 11 a.m. when a fire alarm was pulled. At that point, about a thousand students cleared the school, with several students joining the protest. Some of the students were seen waving flags from various Spanish-speaking countries.

The original Snapchat video can be seen below.

Credit: NBC News

The teacher, who has a history of cracking down on bilingual students, has not been reprimanded. It appears the school is not commenting on the situation.

[H/T] NBC News

READ: She’s Been Threatened, Called A Stripper And Reported To ICE, But This Latina Won’t Apologize For Standing Up Against Racism

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