Violeta and Sujey face deportation hearing this Friday
August 17, 2011
This Friday, Violeta Pando will find out whether or not she will be separated from her wife, Sujey, who faces deportation back to Mexico. Although Violeta and Sujey are legally married, the federal government will not allow Violeta to sponsor Sujey because the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) keeps the government from recognizing their marriage for the purposes of immigration.
Sujey and her brothers left their home in Mexico when she was 16 to live in the United States with her mother and stepfather, fleeing the abusive household she was living in. Once in the U.S., Sujey overcame several difficulties to get where she is today—learning a new language, dealing with family struggles, making friends with her new coworkers, and finding a community that accepted her for who she was.
Then in 2006, at the Safari Nightclub, Sujey met Violeta. “It was like cupid’s arrow,” says Sujey. “My soul mate was there.” They were married in Iowa on November 15, 2010.
From the beginning, Sujey and Violeta tried to find way for Sujey to stay in the United States. After the government became aware of Sujey’s immigration status, Violeta and Sujey spent thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees to find a way to keep Sujey in the country.
On August 19th, the Immigration Court will hold the final deportation hearing for Sujey, meaning that in less than a week this family may be torn apart because of DOMA.
“DOMA is destroying my family,” says Violeta. “They want to take my wife away. They don’t care they’re tearing families apart. Why would they do that?”
DOMA threatens to tear apart not only this family, but thousands of others, because the government does not recognize marriages between same-sex couples for the purposes of immigration. Now is the time for DOMA to be overturned, before couples like Sujey and Violeta are torn apart by this discriminatory law.
To ask US Senators Udall and Bennett and Representative DeGette to stop the deportation of Sujey Pando, click here.
To ask your congressman to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that will overturn DOMA, click here.