WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most Friday nights, in the Denver suburb of Arvada, Ramon Madera invites his sister Angelica and her three children over to his home for dinner and games. It’s a tradition that became all the more important after the children’s father was deported back to Mexico about five years ago.
Lately, conversations on game night have taken an anxious turn: Madera himself was apprehended by immigration enforcement agents in September and is due in court for a deportation hearing next June.
Madera, 36, said that while he may be a father figure to Angelica’s children, as a gay man who has no children of his own he is unlikely to benefit from the executive action President Barack Obama is expected to announce on Thursday night. His deportation hearing will probably go ahead as scheduled.
“I’m like the dad of the family,” said Madera. “If they need money, they ask me. If they aren’t sure if they should do something, they call me. For every thing, every opinion, they come to me.”
Obama, seeking to give legal status to some of the more than 11 million immigrants without documents in the United States, is likely to focus on keeping nuclear families together by granting temporary relief from deportation to parents of US citizens and permanent residents.
The Migration Policy Institute estimates that around 6.5 million people are like Madera, undocumented immigrant adults living in the United States without children.
Angelica’s daughter and two sons are US citizens, so she will likely be granted relief. But she worries about how she will provide for her family if her brother is deported.
She was laid off from a factory job around a year ago and has been supporting her family on wages from sporadic cleaning jobs and help from her brother.