How immigration inaction could separate families By Tovin Lapan

Photo by Mona Shield PaynePhoto by Mona Shield Payne
Jorge Espinosa stands beside Maria, his wife of 30 years, who has received her deportation orders to return to Mexico, on Monday, April 15, 2014. The couple are living in their daughter’s home in North Las Vegas. The Espinosas have U.S. citizen children, have lived in the United States for more than two decades and continue to fight for their U.S. citizenship.
Jorge and Maria Espinosa say they have worked hard to always “do the right thing” but lately have wondered if they are being punished for their efforts.Married and living in Las Vegas for more than two decades, neither has legal residency due to poor or unscrupulous legal advice.They came on tourist visas and tried to adjust for residency status. Jorge, 50, got a temporary work permit and a Social Security number, paid his taxes and sent his U.S. and Mexican-born children to school. When two of them qualified for the Millennium Scholarship, Jorge refused to let them take it, since the family still was trying to adjust their status and always has refused government assistance.

“I came here with no intention of leaving,” he said. “I came to work and raise my family. This is my country, and I love it. I’m American. I don’t root for the Mexican soccer team. I root for the U.S.”

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