Immigration

9 Year Olds Launch Campaign to Return Classmate from Mexico

“Bring Rodrigo Home” campaign launches to bring 9-year-old Rodrigo home after his family was denied re-entry into the U.S.

Rodrigo Guzman, 9.
Photo Credit: Change.org/petitions

Rodrigo Guzman loved life in Berkeley, C.A., especially his classmates. That’s why now, after his family was denied re-entry into the United States in Jan. 2013, they have organized a campaign to bring their friend home.

Rodrigo and his parents were returning from a trip to Mexico when Immigration Control Enforcement uncovered that the family’s visas were expired. They were then put on a plane back home and told they would need to wait five years before reapplying for their visas. Rodrigo, who has lived in the United States since he was two, is struggling to readjust to life in a foreign place.

With their “Bring Rodrigo Home” campaign, Rodrigo’s classmates are working to petition the government into allowing him and his family to return.

Rodrigo’s classmate, Kaiya Daniels, 9, told Berkeleyside,“It isn’t fair he is stuck in Mexico … All of his classmates and all of his friends miss him and he misses Berkeley.”

The classmates have written letters to President Obama and local congressmembers as well as set up an online petition and Facebook page. They spoke in front of their school district’s board, which passed resolution calling on the government to bring Rodrigo home. Berkeley’s City Council will consider passing a similar resolution on Tuesday, after the students attend a press conference.

Five of Rodrigo’s friends are even hoping to go to Washington, D.C., in April to testify to Congress as well as participate in a march calling for immigration reform.

According to Berkeleyside,Rodrigo’s classmates, while studying the civil rights movement for Black History Month last month, wondered if Rodrigo’s rights were being neglected.

Rodrigo’s teacher, Barbara Wenger, told Berkeleyside,“It looks so unfair … Here is a kid doing as well or better as any of the kids in the classroom, a model student, and because of his citizenship he is not allowed to be in the classroom.”

 

Alyssa Figueroa is an associate editor at AlterNet. 

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