Soto, Estela Juarez Ask President Biden to Reunite Juarez Family

Congressman Darren Soto and Estela Juarez, daughter of Alejandra Juarez, sent letters asking President Joe Biden to take executive action to reunite the Juarez family. Currently, it is within the Department of Homeland Security’s discretion to grant Alejandra Juarez parole, under 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5), and allow her back into the United States.

In August 2018, Alejandra Juarez, a Polk County resident of over 20 years, was deported from the United States to Mexico. Alejandra’s husband, Sgt. Temo Juarez, is an Iraq combat veteran who served in the Marines and the Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard. Together, they raised their two U.S.-born daughters Pamela, 19, and Estela, 11, in Davenport, Florida. 




“I am grateful for your commitment to undo the harm posed on immigrant communities across the nation by the previous administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policies,” wrote Congressman Soto. “These policies have significantly impacted constituents in my district, such as the Juarez family, a military family who faced the heartbreaking reality of family separation when Alejandra Juarez, the wife of a U.S. Marine veteran, was deported to Mexico in 2018 after living in the United States for 20 years and raising their two U.S. born daughters. I respectfully ask that you give their request for parole your full and fair consideration.”

Last summer, Estela read a letter to President Trump at Democratic National Convention. Now, with President Biden in office, she hopes her family will be reunited through executive action. 

“My father served his country as a soldier, like your son Beau,” wrote Estela. “He enlisted in the Marines right after high school. When he finished his tour in the Marines, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves. Like Beau, he was deployed to Iraq. And like your son’s wife, my mom took care of our family and everything else at home all the time he was gone.”

“Ever since my Mom left, I have a hole in my heart. I know you have one, too. I am deeply sorry about the loss of your son. I wish you didn’t have to go through such loss. I feel blessed that my mother is still alive. I see her every day when we video chat. I can see her face and talk to her, but I cannot touch her, hug her or feel her arms around me. My dad told me that he is hoping that as president, you will reunite my family by asking the Department of Homeland Security to grant my mom humanitarian parole. This would allow her to return to Florida. My family has prayed that you would be elected the next president. I am praying with all my heart that you will help her come home,” continued Estela.

If President Biden does not direct DHS to take action, Congressman Soto is hopeful his bills, H.R. 163 and H.R. 495, will help bring Alejandra back to the United States. The Protect Patriot Spouses Act includes new language to allow eligible veteran spouses who have been removed or left the United States to apply for an immigrant visa and return home. First Lady Jill Biden’s chief of staff is expected to monitor efforts to reunite families separated at the US-Mexico border. On Tuesday, President Biden is expected to announce his administration’s task force will begin the process, but there have been few details.

Congressman Darren Soto’s letter can be read here. Estela’s letter can be read below and can be seen in this video.

Mr. President, We Are More Alike Than Different

Dear President Biden,

I hope you remember me. My name is Estela Juarez. I am 11 years old and live in Davenport, Fla. I was in a video that was played at the Democratic National Convention last summer. I read a letter to President Trump, asking him to let my mother come back to the U.S. to live with me, my sister and my father.  I sent him two letters in the last few years, but he never answered.  I am praying you will. I know you’re a busy person, but I thought you might because we have some things in common. 

My father served his country as a soldier, like your son Beau.  He enlisted in the Marines right after high school.  When he finished his tour in the Marines, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves. Like Beau, he was deployed to Iraq. And like your son’s wife, my mom took care of our family and everything else at home all the time he was gone. 

I think you would like my mom.  I know she came to the U.S. illegally, which was wrong, but she was a teenager and all alone when she saw a crime and had to run away to save herself.  She is brave and strong.  She met my dad and they fell in love and got married. She lived here for 20 years, building a family and a home, working hard and paying taxes.  But then President Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy forced her to leave.  I lived with her for a little while in Mexico while my dad and sister stayed here, but it was hard. Now, I am back in Florida. I’m in sixth grade.  I miss my mom.  My dad keeps telling us to have faith that our family will be united again.  He has taught all of us to be strong, and we are. But no one can be strong all the time, forever. My mom has been gone almost three years. 

Now another holiday season has passed. It has become the saddest part of the year. My mom used always to listen to music and sing along when she cooked for the holidays. Now when I walk by our kitchen, it is quiet. There is no smell of her vegetable soup filling the house, making me hungry. 

Ever since my Mom left, I have a hole in my heart. I know you have one, too. I am deeply sorry about the loss of your son. I wish you didn’t have to go through such loss.  I feel blessed that my mother is still alive. I see her every day when we video chat. I can see her face and talk to her, but I cannot touch her, hug her or feel her arms around me.   My dad told me that he is hoping that as president, you will reunite my family by asking the Department of Homeland Security to grant my mom humanitarian parole. This would allow her to return to Florida. My family has prayed that you would become president. I am praying with all my heart that you will help her come home.   

I believe you are a good man.  When I spoke at the convention last summer, I told the country that we needed a President who wanted to keep families together, not tear them apart. I know you will bring us together. I have hope that you will do everything within your power to help me and my family. I know you have endured loss and pain and that you really understand the deep sadness that missing someone causes.  I need my mother. My whole family does.  Please help me, my father and my sister. Bring my mom back home as soon as possible so we can be a family again! 

Love, 

Estela Juarez

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