Stephanie's story is emblematic of the over 25,000 immigrants who apply for family unity waivers each year only to be torn apart by an immigration system that emphasizes blind enforcement policies over sensible and human rights' solutions.
While the president's plan included measures to streamline legal immigration and "keep families together," the truth is that the record number of families broken by our flawed immigrant enforcement policy still remains in the shadows of the immigration reform debate.
Although the crime of illegal reentry is punishable by up to twenty years in prison, many undocumented immigrants risk it because their ties to the U.S. are so strong. The most common reason deportees cite for going back is to reunite with their families.
If the battle over Arizona's SB-1070 has taught us anything, it is that "immigration policy" is actually a complex, and potentially contradictory, group of policies that are enacted and enforced at local, state, and national levels.
Who was this Joaquin, and why is he the subject of conversation, especially amongst immigrant rights advocates who ask ourselves if we could have done something to prevent his suicide? The answers do not come easily.