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Pope has role in immigration talk with daughter; father released

Charleston residents may realize that there have not been many bright spots in the area of immigration over the last year. The issue remains very controversial and divisive in our country. However, a recent family immigration story will touch many despite what side of the fence they fall on when it comes to immigration.

A 10-year-old girl wished for nothing but for her father to return home as he faces deportation. Family members saw the girl on public television making her please and provided funding for the child to travel to Rome to visit with the Pope and plead for her father's release. The little girl was one of 16 other children who made the trip to represent American children who have immigrant parents. Their hope was to convey their fear that their families would be torn apart by deportation to the Pope so that the Vatican could urge the President to make progress on immigration reform.

After the trip, the father was released from a Louisiana detention facility on $5,000 bond. The little girl had not seen her father in two years.

Sadly, stories such as this one are not uncommon. Deportation has created many problems for families across the United States. Parents are split up and the remaining spouse is forced to provide for the entire family. There are options available to those facing deportation. If an immigrant who is facing deportation has family members who are legal U.S. citizens, they have the option to sponsor them to receive family visas or green cards.

Unfortunately, not all family relationships are treated with the same priority. Therefore, people need to know their legal rights and options. By understanding all their options, people can work for the appropriate immigration solution.

Source: ABC News, "Girl Talks to Pope on Immigration, Then Dad Freed," March 29, 2014

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