What Standing on the Side of Love Means to Larry Love
Larry Love, a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, spoke out at the Interfaith Standing on the Side of Love with Immigrant Families Event in Salt Lake City. This is his story.
My wife of three years is facing deportation and my family is about to be torn apart. My wife applied for political asylum years ago and was turned down and told to leave. She did not have the $2800 in airfare back to Guatemala to pay for herself and our children, nor did she have the $34 per month per American Citizen that Guatemala charges after you have been there 90 days. She has paid taxes for 16 years here in the US, raised our three citizen children and been active in the community.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) came to my door in March and said they were looking for a woman registering cars to my home address illegally. After my wife came to look at the picture of that woman they said, “We are not really here looking for this lady but we are here to arrest your wife.” After pleading with the ICE officers, she was allowed to kiss her kids goodbye. They then had her sign a legal document written in English saying everything was explained to her in Spanish when nothing was.
We are told that she won’t be able to return for 20 years after she is deported. In order for her to come back we will have to file many forms adding up to thousands of dollars. When she is in Guatemala we will lose her current wages of $1000 a month and we will also loose our health insurance since her work plan costs $210 per month and my work plan is over $600–more than we can afford.
My children and I could move to Guatemala with her, but the wages there are five to eight dollars per day and it is very dangerous. She does not want us to move for fear that kidnapping or violence could occur.
My wife understands that there are consequences to her actions and she is willing to pay the price. Although she and I both have a hard time understanding why our U.S. citizen children also have to pay.
There is a lot of false information about immigration that misrepresents Hispanics and the real story is not known. I don’t advocate illegal actions but the way we are treating our brothers and sisters is wrong and we need to fight for reasonable reform.
Unitarian Universalists have donated almost $1000 dollars to the Lizeth Morales Donation fund at Zions bank and we want to let you know that we are grateful. We had to hire a lawyer and sign a $5000 dollar contract. We have paid almost $3000 and are making payments.
Speaking at the community witness event alongside the leaders of the Unitarian Universalist, Catholic and Episcopal Churches was an honor. I am grateful to Unitarian Universalists and I felt your concern for all people during the conference here in Salt Lake City. I personally don’t agree with the lesbian and gay lifestyle, but I feel that any hate directed toward them or any other group is wrong and not Christian or Godlike. I see people spending more time attacking the Mormon, Catholic, or Jehovah Witness doctrines than preaching the Gospel and good news. I feel that is misguided in the same manner as people preaching hate against any group or church. Hate and mistreatment has no place among God’s people.
I wish success to the “Standing on the Side of Love” effort. Needless to say, our family’s life is now uncertain. My 10 year-old cries at night, but crossing the boundaries of religion was a wonderful help to us. Thank you again and know that we feel your love.