U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter plans to bring a Thornton woman whose father was recently deported with him Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union.
Trump is anticipated to lay out his plan for those who entered the United States illegally during his address to Congress. Perlmutter, who represents Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, called the president’s current immigration policies “indiscriminate, unjustified and cruel.”
“We are a nation of immigrants — it’s what makes our country great — and I believe the president’s policies of targeting people with no criminal records and breaking up families is disgraceful,” Perlmutter said in a statement.
In 2017, Melecio Andazola-Morales and his family thought they were near the end of a 16-year process for Andazola-Morales to get a green card. But in October, Andazola-Morales, who lived in the United States illegally since 1998, was detained after going to a meeting in Aurora with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Andazola-Morales was later deported to Mexico in December.
His oldest daughter, Viviana Andazola Marquez of Thornton, is expected to attend the State of the Union as Perlmutter’s guest.
Andazola Marquez, who is a 21-year-old student at Yale University, penned an article for The New York Times after her father was detained titled, “I accidentally turned my father in to immigration services.” Andazola Marquez’s college admission essay, which describes many difficulties she had to overcome, including periods of homelessness, also appeared in the New York Times.
Perlmutter called the situation with Andazola Marquez’ family “devastating” and said that that “we can never forget when we talk about immigration policy, we are talking about real people and families.”
“Folks like Melecio are positive, contributing members of society and are often the only source of financial support for their family. In Viviana’s case, her father will no longer be able to see her graduate from college and is no longer able to support his family, including his other three children, one of whom has epilepsy,” Perlmutter said in a statement.
Denverite reached out to the other congressional leaders who represent the Denver metro area about who they plan to take with them to the State of the Union. Rep. Mike Coffman’s office said he is bringing Heidi Ganahl, University of Colorado regent-at-large. Diana DeGette’s office said she gave her guest spot to Sen. Cory Gardner. Gardner and others did not immediately respond.
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