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April 08, 2015

Rep. Pete Aguilar Meets with Redlands Family Caught in the Middle of Immigration Crisis

Yesterday, Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31) met with Ernesto and Dina Gudiño of Redlands and their family to discuss immigration reform. Both Ernesto and Dina, parents to three American-born children, are eligible for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) under President Obama’s executive orders issued last year. They have lived in the United States for eighteen years, raising their family in Redlands, however due to their undocumented status, they are at risk of being deported and torn away from their children who are citizens.

“The time is long overdue for us to repair our broken immigration system. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill nearly two years ago, which the House leadership has refused to bring to the floor. This is about showing compassion and keeping families together, and also bringing hard working men and women like Ernesto and Dina into the fold of the Inland Empire’s economy. While I realize a difficult road lies ahead, I’m confident that Democrats and Republicans will be able to work together to finally see this through,” said Rep. Aguilar.

Rep. Aguilar has been a vocal supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. Last week, he joined 180 of his colleagues and signed an amicus brief in support of the President’s immigration executive orders, which would expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and create a new program for parents of American-born children—DAPA—under which both Ernesto and Dina would qualify. In February, a federal district judge in Texas halted the enrollment period for DACA and DAPA applicants, which was originally set to begin on February 18th. The Obama administration is currently appealing the ruling.

Rep. Aguilar spoke on the House floor several times during the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) showdown when Republicans tried to force a shutdown of the DHS in an attempt to roll back the President’s executive orders. Rep. Aguilar also co-authored a letter to Speaker Boehner, calling for an end to the showdown and for an immediate vote to fully fund the DHS without harmful anti-immigration policies intended to block DACA and DAPA. The amicus brief, which supports the administration’s appeal, can be read here, and the letter to Speaker Boehner can be read here. Rep. Aguilar’s floor remarks can be viewed here.

Tuesday’s meeting with the Gudiños was facilitated by the Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).