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Special Registration Testimonies

 

Below are two representative case stories of men and their families facing deportation as a result of having registered pursuant to the special "call-in" registration program.  They describe their feelings about their imminent deportations and their experiences registering. 

 

Mr. and Mrs. A have lived together with their three young children (ages 2, 4, and 7) in the United States since October of 1995.  All three children are American citizens.  Mr. A was a journalist and professor in Egypt. He now works as a driver.  He is currently in removal proceedings after having registered.

 

Husband: My children feel American, they are American.

 

Wife: I don't know how the children are going to feel about this (the eventual return to Egypt) because they are still young. They will be lost. They will be starting from zero.  The children do not know Arabic well.  Our neighbors in the United States are Pakistanis, Greeks, and Spanish people. There are one or two Arabic people, but not from Egypt. They mix with everyone. They are American kids, you know.  The oldest has been told what is happening. But, she thinks it is a trip, like a vacation. She does not understand.  If we go to Egypt, We will owe a lot of money.  We have not been in the country in eight years. In these last eight years, we were building ourselves here in America.  If we go back now, we are going to have to start from the first year again-with three kids, it is going to be very hard.

 

Husband: The kids are Americans, 100%. But, now America is kicking them out. Everything is changing in their lives. What should they feel about America?

 

Husband: I like this country too much, I don't know why. It doesn't matter that they have money.  Everywhere they have money.  France they have money, Germany they have money, Canada too. We could go anywhere. But, we stay here. They try to make us hate them. They try. I don't know why.  America is the fairest.  If you want to be a bum, you can be a bum. You want to be a nice guy, you can.  I want to teach my kids to be the President of America. I try to teach my kids, in their education, to be the best, not to be other than the best.  

 

Mr. B is married to a legal permanent resident. His young child is a citizen. He has a pending I-130 application.  He is currently in removal proceedings after having registered.

 

Husband: For us, the U.S. is a great country.  When I was in Morocco, when we went to the movie theater, we saw all these American movie stars.  And I used to think, maybe I'll live there some day, in a nice apartment, nice building.  We dreamed to go to the U.S. to be successful, to have a good life, a good job, everything.  That was our dream. Everybody thinks like that in Morocco.  They still think like that.  They really, really love the American people.  To tell you the truth, I want to leave.  After all that happened, I don't want to stay.  But when I think about my son; he is American-he starts speaking English.  If I take him back, it's going to be for him, like- oh no.  Every Monday, I take him to the library. We open the books, we try to read, we borrow tapes, we watch movies together.  He is a real American-we don't have that in Morocco, we don't have libraries. 

 

On their experience registering: Wife: They told us that we had to go up to the 10th floor for registration.  They told us to come back on Tuesday.  So we went on Tuesday at 7 o'clock to the third floor.  We had to stay there until the next day, Wednesday, until 11o'clock with the baby.  At 5 am, they took my husband to the 10th floor, he stayed there until 11am.  I was waiting for him with our baby.  We were there for 28 hours.  I didn't have any diapers for the baby.  I didn't have any milk.  A lady who worked there brought me some milk, because we were not allowed to leave the building.  They told us if we left, we wouldn't be able to come back.  It was a nightmare for us.  They held us in the building for almost two days, we couldn't sleep, the baby cried- it was horrible.  When we went there we wanted to help, we wanted to tell them who we are. 

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