Children on hunger strike to prevent mom’s deportation

January 28th, 2009 - 7:28 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaMiami, Jan 28 (IANS) Two US-born children of a Nicaraguan woman have began a hunger strike here to prevent the deportation of their mother who had been held for illegally entering the country, reports EFE.Cecia and Ronald Soza said they have begun their hunger strike Monday at the headquarters of Fraternidad Americana, a pro-immigrant organisation based here.

Marisela Soza, 32, was arrested by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials Dec 19 in Pompano Beach here, while she was returning home after sending off Cecia to school.

“We’re doing this to help our mother to get out of the immigration centre and also asking President Barack Obama to release her because she’s not a criminal,” says 12-year-old Cecia.

The mother had appealed her case before the immigration judge, but was told that she would be deported Thursday, Fraternidad Americana said.

Ronald Soza, 9, in a letter to Obama said that he and his sister are “devastated” by their mother’s situation, and that they needed her to take care of them.

He said his mother was gone after he returned home from school one day (Dec 19). “She would wait for us at home, but now she is gone. We feel like we are orphans now. I pray that my family would be together again. Please, stop them (stop officials from deporting her) and help us to get back our Mama.”

The father of the children has been hiding to avoid a similar arrest and likely deportation. Presently the children are no their own.

“We’re calling on the government to help their mother. Something could still be done. President Obama has the authority to intervene and we’re hoping that it happens quickly,” said Nora Sandigo, executive director of Fraternidad Americana.

Prior to 1996, parents had the right to go to court and have their immigration status resolved if they could prove that they had lived in the country for more than seven years, and their children would suffer if they were deported, Alfonso Oviedo-Reyes, president of the group said.

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