Dozens Walk from Mentor to Cleveland to Urge Immigration Reform


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Elizabeth and her two sons in 2014. - EMANUEL WALLACE / SCENE
  • Elizabeth and her two sons in 2014.
Yesterday, a group led by Elizabeth Perez walked from Mentor to Cleveland to raise awareness of the need for immigration reform and of Elizabeth's own fight for her broken family.

The News Herald has the report on the walk.

“I believe in our legislators and I believe that they can help,” Elizabeth told the paper. Her husband Marcos' own deportation was a sudden break from their happy life in the summer of 2010. He's been in Mexico ever since, and his chances at returning to his home are slim.

“He’s missing out on so much in their lives and they’re missing out on his, too,” Elizabeth continued. “It just hurts so bad.”

Last year, Scene published a feature story on the Perez family's plight. A brief excerpt:

When Elizabeth arrived on Marcos' final scheduled day in jail, she waited around for a while and nervously watched the clock tick away. When an immigration hold is placed on someone in custody, a local police department grants ICE a window of opportunity to show up and claim the person in question. Tick tock. Tick tock.

Elizabeth held her infant son and thought about her and her husband's second baby. There had been so much to think about in those past two weeks. Marcos was the sole breadwinner for the family that summer. She simply wanted him home.

She held on to hope, resisting the urge to panic, until a prison guard pulled her aside and pointed out the window to an unmarked white van outside.

"He's in that van," the guard said. "And you're probably never going to see him again."

We reported in that story that Elizabeth was hoping to apply for a humanitarian visa, something often reserved for political refugees.

The family's application submitted in March, has been denied. Marcos will not be able to apply for a visa again until 2020. 

"I want to see my family. Sometimes families, in these kinds of situations, they separate," Marcos told Scene over the phone from Mexico last year. "It's kind of hard to make it work like that." 

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