Tens of thousands of people have taken action in support of the Lara family, through calls to Rep. Gibbs (R-Holmes County) and the offices of Sens. Portman (R-Ohio) and Brown (D-Ohio), a local canvass to collect signatures for a petition, letters to the government and a national online campaign.
The petition, which garnered more than 35,000 signatures, was later e-mailed to Gibbs from Eric Lara, Jesus’ oldest son. Jesus’ four children are his loudest advocates — Eric (age 14), Edwin (age 11), Anuar (age 9), and Elsiy (age 6), explaining to reporters and the nation the consequences for their family if Jesus is deported next week.
Having filed a reconsideration of Jesus’ stay denial, attorney David Leopold lays out his closing argument. The solution is simple: the government can renew Jesus’ stay, as they have done every year for the past five years, and allow him to continue working, contributing, and raising his family.
The bottom line is this: Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) dogged focus on Jesus Lara Lopez is a waste of resources that takes the focus off of those who really threaten our communities, dangerous criminals and national security threats.
ICE can put this matter to rest by granting Jesus’ stay of deportation, as they have for the past five years. It’s an easy solution that keeps a hardworking taxpayer and homeowner with his family.
I’ve known Jesus for years. He’s an honest man, a doting father and a proud member of his Willard, Ohio community. He’s been here for nearly 20 years, paid his taxes every year, and been the primary caregiver to his four U.S. citizen children. Tearing Jesus Lara from his loving family is not only bad immigration policy, it’s brazenly cruel.
As Jesus’ children have made clear, their futures are inextricably linked to their father’s guiding hand. The Lara family’s U.S. representative, Rep. Bob Gibbs, Senator Rob Portman, and ICE should do everything in their power to keep this loving family together.
An America’s Voice Education Fund blog on the topic included quotes from Jesus’ letters of support.
Here are some excerpts:
• Mandy Polachek, assistant principal at Willard Elementary School: “These wonderful children obviously come from a very supportive home where Mom and Dad play an active role in raising and caring for the children. I personally believe it would be detrimental to these young children to lose their father to deportation. The Lara family is valuable to not only the Willard City Schools but also the City of Willard.”
• Rosy Ruiz, Sunday school teacher: “He is a good man and a great father. Jesus undoubtedly portrays all characteristics of a true American. He is a hardworking family man that understands the responsibility that comes with forming part of our nation. I have seen him to be an example to my fellow Americans in the way he provides for his family and contributes to the community.”
• Jennifer Fidler, neighbor: “Day in and day out, I watch as Jesus goes to work, followed by working on his vehicle, working in the yard, holding up a clean and beautiful home, taking his children places, attending church with his family (not once, but twice) every Sunday…It is apparent how much he loves his family, how hard he works, and how friendly and caring he is. I have admired him and all that he does. I have personally taken it into mind when pushing myself to be the best parent I can be as a single mother. Their family inspires me!
“I strongly feel that America could use more citizens as such. It saddens me to think of all that coming to an end. A great family, consisting of many smiles, is about to be ripped apart without a fighting chance. The thought alone, when putting myself in their shoes, is greatly devastating…Jesus has proven to be capable of living as a true American should; better than most I’ve ran across or hear about. If not a man of his standard, what do we classify as worthy? I think the average American, such as myself, can benefit from positive role models like Jesus and his family.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Lynn Tramonte is the Deputy Director of America’s Voice and America’s Voice Education Fund. She also directs Ohio’s Voice, a state-based immigration project.