Without Action, Minor Infractions Continue to Cripple Immigrant Families

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Dozens of U.S.-born children from across the country traveled to the White House with their undocumented parents to march and demonstrate against recent deportations July 28, 2010.
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An investigation by our partner The New York Times reveals that disruptions to the lives of immigrants families continue at an unprecedented rate.

Of the 2 million deportations that have been carried out under President Barack Obama, two-thirds of the cases involved individuals who committed only minor infractions or had no criminal record at all—a stoplight run or a decades-old misdemeanor charge have the power to fracture a family.

Elizabeth Perez is a former U.S. Marine and mother of two. Her husband Marcos was deported in 2010 after he was pulled over for running a red light. It was the same day Elizabeth found out she was pregnant with their second child.

While families like Elizabeth's wait helplessly for the often-impossible return of their loved ones, lawmakers in Washington are struggling to come to any sort of consensus on immigration reform.

But one champion for reform is Luis Gutierrez, a Democratic Representative from Illinois.

Tomorrow, Representative Gutierrez and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will present a memo to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, in a call to suspend deportations of undocumented immigrants who would qualify for legalization under the immigration reform bill the Senate approved last June.

It's a plan of action that, according to Congressman Gutierrez, is the only option unless House Republicans act on total reform.