Dream Activist

#BringThemHome: Marcela, Forced to Leave Chicago to Care for Dying Grandmother

Marcela is queer, she's a Dreamer and she's ready to come back home to Chicago, IL. For almost 10-years now Marcela has been living in Michoacan, Mexico. The violence is bad, she fears for her life, it's time to BringMarcelaHome!

TAKE ACTION - Make calls & sign her petition:

DC ICE @ 202-732-3000

Sample script: “Hi, I am calling to ask ICE to grant humanitarian parole to Marcela Espinoza, who grew up in Chicago but returned to Mexico to take care of her dying grandmother. I think Dreamers like Marcela should be allowed to come home. She has not been allowed to return to her home in Chicago for 10 years. Please grant her humanitarian parole immediately!"

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The Petition

To John Sandweg, Acting Director of ICE:

Marcela, now 27, migrated to Chicago, with her family, when she was just six years old. Her family’s initial trip into the U.S. wasn’t without incident, her father hurt his leg and the family was delayed for several months. Unable to stay in Mexico, with her father on crutches, the family once again crossed the border and made it all the way to Chicago.

In Chicago, Marcela’s family lived a humble life with her father as the sole provider, often reminding his kids of life in Mexico when they could hardly afford a gallon of milk or a piece of bread. For the next 13 years Marcela grew up calling Chicago her home. “I excelled in all of my classes receiving high marks.” Marcela was selected to attend Curie High School, where she joined different clubs like Mu Alpha Theta, the Key Club and the French Honors Society.

In March of 2005, Marcela hit a brick wall. “After graduating from school I realized I really couldn’t do much else, back then there weren’t really any scholarships helping students like me.” While struggling with what to do next, her grandmother back in Michoacán fell ill without anyone to take care of her. “It was then that the decision was made for me, since I wasn’t in school and the only one not working our family decided that I would return to Mexico to care for my grandmother.”

Marcela left, not knowing when she’d be allowed to come back home. “It has been almost a decade and I still haven’t seen my family.” Living in Michoacán has not been easy; while Marcela was able to finally take classes, she never really adjusted. “Because I am queer, I feel excluded in the reality that I live in. I am a second-class citizen and I know I cannot live my life fully here.”

Michoacán is well known for its violence; being unique in that many of the communities here are organized to fight back against cartels, violence is often escalated. “I fear for my life because of the current waves of violence in my home state. In the past we’ve experienced bombings at one of the main plazas here and it's normal for blockades to happen in the main entrances of the city in retaliation against the government by the local cartel. It is also common for shootouts to happen throughout the city when things get heated between the local cartel and las Fuerzas Federales.”

Chicago is Marcela’s home, her college dissertation was on El Movimiento Chicano en Pilsen: Chicago, IL. I urge you to grant humanitarian parole for Marcela Espinoza, and that you allow for her to come home. Ten years is far too long for anyone to be separated from their home.

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