Rosario Reyes says las pandillas, or gangs, always lingered in her neighborhood in El Salvador, but she became even more afraid after her brother-in-law was assassinated in a shooting on his way home from work. Gang members shot him 12 times during a robbery.
She feared for her life, her husband Ramon, and their two young children, Ricardo and Jose. Although her brother-in-law was not a gang member, the family began to receive threats.
The Reyes then decided to move to a place where they could find safety.
Ramon left El Salvador in 2002 and a year later, Rosario Reyes began the difficult journey to meet him in Maryland. This path included days of traveling until she crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.
“My husband and I, we were afraid. We wanted to get away from the criminality,” she said.
Rosario Reyes and her family are among the 4 million undocumented immigrants who could be allowed to live and work legally in the United States without the constant fear of deportation.
A decision could come this week if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of President Barack Obama’s immigration actions in the landmark case United States v. Texas.
The case focuses on Obama’s 2014 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, and the expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA.
The measures would protect young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. They would also extend deportation protections to undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for some years. Both actions would allow them to work legally for a period of two years subject to renewal.
By Aline Barros for Voice of America
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