John Cádiz Klemack/Tom Bravo
Children of parents deported because of their immigration status came together on Monday to appeal to President Obama for their return two days ahead of his visit to Mexico. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Van Nuys for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014.
U.S.-born children of undocumented parents are asking President Barack Obama to stop deporting their mothers and fathers.
Dozens of children, some with their parents and some without, gathered in Van Nuys Monday to urge for the end of deportation while immigration reform is debated. Many wrote letters to the president in the hopes that their messages would reach his desk and move him to act.
“Deportations of the parents of U.S. born children continue unabated,” said Gloria Saucedo, executive director of Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional. “To see U.S. born children lose their undocumented parents to arrest and deportation is tragic.”
Under the Obama administration, more than 2 million undocumented immigrants have been deported, including 400,000 last year.
“I would never wish anyone to be in my situation because it is very painful and emotional,” said teenager Mario Vargas. “Right now my dad has been deported and I have not seen him in two years. I am living through my teens right now and that is when I need him.”
"Today is Presidents Day, we're supposed to be remembering all the good presidents and what they have done to help us, except he still hasn't even helped us in deporting all those parents," said Mario's 10-year-old sister, Jersey Vargas.
In his State of the Union address the president urged both political parties to work together to “fix our broken immigration system.” Many of the people at Monday’s event hope that if Congress does not enact reform, Obama will make an executive decision to stop the parents of U.S. citizens from being deported.
These attendees, along with a few thousand others, are expected to protest in downtown Los Angeles for immigration reform this weekend.