The government and schools are too interested in the rules sometimes and not interested enough in what is fair. Take this case for example:
Meet Pedro and Salvacion Servano, a married Filipino couple who have been in the U.S. for 25 years.
Pedro Servano, 54, is a prominent family doctor in an underserved area of central Pennsylvania. His 51-year-old wife runs a grocery store and bakery….. Pedro Servano works at Geisinger Medical Group in Selinsgrove, where he has about 2,000 patients.
Two of their four children graduated from Temple University, while one is in high school and another is in middle school. Several years ago, the Servanos bought and renovated two properties in nearby Sunbury. Salvacion Servano recently opened a small grocery store there, selling Asian goods and baked items.
In 1978, while they were single, their mothers applied for visas for them to come to the U.S. They married in the Philippines in 1980. Mrs. Servano’s visa application was granted in 1982, and she came to the U.S. Dr. Servano’s visa was granted in 1984 and he followed. They’ve lived here ever since, raising their family, working, contributing to the community, paying taxes.
The Servanos applied to become U.S. citizens in 1990 and were refused. Why? Because their visa applications said they were single (which they were when their mothers filed them.)
Now, their appeals exhausted after an immigration official said they lied on their visa applications, they’ve been told to report to ICE for the start of deportation proceedings the day after Thanksgiving.
His legal team is considering emergency appeals in court and directly to the U.S. attorney general’s office. The family has lobbied for help from politicians. Friends scheduled a prayer vigil in Sunbury for Saturday night.
Even an ICE official is on their side:
“I fervently believe in the ICE mission. However, the Servanos did not sneak into this country illegally, they have broken no laws, and they have not been a burden to the economy. They pose no threat,” DHS counterterrorism operative Bill Schweigart wrote in a letter obtained by The Daily Item of Sunbury. “I cannot fathom how deporting the Servanos fulfills any portion of the ICE mission. In fact, I would argue the action runs counter to it.”
Hopefully there will be some action alerts letting us know how we can help the Servanos.
Jeralyn talks about how this is a case where they need to reform immigration laws, but to me it is also a case about when people need to have a sense of fairness and common sense and not just follow the rules just because they are the rules.
But this is not just a case of the need for immigration reform and a path to legalization. It’s a reminder of the need for Congress if it enacts such reform to avoid policies that require people like the Servanos to go to the back of the line and return to their home countries and wait years and pay substantial fees in order to return.
When you hear the Democratic candidates bemoan Congress’ lack of immigration reform, it’s important to ask of each one: What exactly is your reform proposal? Does it entail a one-size-fits-all policy of requiring everyone in the U.S. without proper documentation to return to their country of origin and wait in line to come back before being approved for citizenship? If so, it’s not immigration reform. It’s a continuance of the failed policy we have now.
There has to be a way to recognize and provide relief for people like the Servanos. It can’t be done with a blanket “go home, wait and then come back” policy.
Here’s more on what we need our candidates to support in terms of immigration reform.