Migrants to Obama: Don't deport Mama

2013-05-03 09:10
(AFP)

(AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mexico City - Beneath the slogan "Obama, don't deport my Mama", dozens of migrant families deported from the US despite having children born there rallied outside the US Embassy before President Barack Obama's arrival on Thursday, demanding passage of a US immigration law they say is vital to keeping families together.

Vladimir Mejia Franco, 12, held a hand-lettered sign that said "Obama, Stop Deportations". The American citizen born in St Louis was 4 when his parents were deported in 2005. The family later split up after his father legally returned to the United States and started another family there. Vladimir lives in Mexico with his mother, Veronica Mejia Franco, 32, formerly a housekeeper at a St Louis hotel who says she has a hard time finding work in the western Mexican state of Michoacan.

Echoing the march's slogan, Mejia Franco said "that's exactly what happened to us".

"He says that when he grows up he wants to go back, but he doesn't know English or anything," Mejia Franco said of her son. "He wants to go now, to learn English, but he doesn't want to leave me behind."

Similarly, immigration advocates in the U.S. have been angered by record numbers of deportations under Obama, which they say is splitting up families.

A group of eight US senators — four Democrats and four Republicans — have crafted an immigration bill that Obama says meets his basic criteria of making the border more secure, targeting employers who hire people who are in the US illegally, providing an opportunity for them to become citizens and improving legal immigration.

At a news conference later on with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Obama said he was "optimistic about us getting this done because it's the right thing to do".

The Beast

In welcoming Obama on his first visit to Latin America since winning re-election, Pena Nieto invoked the words President John F Kennedy spoke to his Mexican counterpart, Adolfo Lopez Mateos, who is a historical hero to Pena Nieto and was the subject of his college thesis.

Kennedy spoke in 1962 at the National Palace, which also was the setting for a joint news conference on Thursday with Obama and Pena Nieto.

"Geography has made us neighbours, tradition has made us friends," Pena Nieto said in Spanish.

He added that neither neighbour should allow any separation in what nature has united.

One member of the US delegation proved more popular than Obama among Mexicans: his heavily armoured limousine, nicknamed "La Bestia," or "The Beast".

Since the country's drug violence began to escalate in 2006, so has interest in bullet-proof vehicles. So the Beast, with its long wheelbase, extra-thick doors and huge tires, was a natural hit.

Its arrival in Mexico, several days before Obama, was greeted with front-page newspaper stories and graphics of its many security features.

A photo of the Cadillac getting filled with fuel at a city gas station ran on the front page of Reforma, one of Mexico's largest dailies. Live TV news coverage of the American president's arrival in Mexico City's centuries-old main plaza was marked by news anchors reporting its every move: "There's the Beast! The Beast is entering!" they exclaimed.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.