Family Values? Mom's Plight Reveals Who'd Help Families

Family Values? Mother’s Heartbreaking Story Shows Which Party Truly Cares About Families (VIDEO)

Republicans claim to care about family values, but Lucia Quiej’s gut-wrenching story from Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Miami shows which party truly cares about families.

Lucia Quiej, mother of five, tells her story of a family torn asunder at the Democratic debate.

Fusion reports that with her five children sitting beside her — plus some moral support and translation assistance from Univision’s Enrique Acevedo — the Guatemalan mother of five stood up and addressed Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Spanish:

“I am in great pain, me and my children, because the father of my children was deported. What will you do to stop deportations and reunite families?”

Debating the finer points of immigration reform is one thing: Coming face to face with this petite, sorrowful, shy-looking woman as she emerges from the shadows into the painful glare of the spotlight is another. If we, as a nation, truly care about family values, then we need to seriously rethink our immigration policy (and a whole lot of other policies as well).

Enrique Acevedo then translated Lucia Quiej’s question:

“As you can see, this is a very painful and personal issue for Lucia and her family. She wants you to know what you would do to stop deportations, but most important, to reunite families like hers.”

While the supposed party of family values‘ top candidates rant about building walls and deporting everyone (Donald Trump), soft-pedal their anti-immigration platform (Ted Cruz), or backpedal on past support for immigration reform (Marco Rubio), the Democratic candidates truly rose to the occasion.

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Bernie Sanders flatly declared his support for reuniting families like Lucia Quiej’s:

“Well, I absolutely support that. […] At the heart of my immigration policies is to unite families, not divide families.”

Although Sanders mistakenly thought her children had been deported, when it was actually her husband, he still denounced the separation of families as “wrong and immoral.” He then mentioned a young man in the US military whose wife was deported while he was serving.

“That is beyond comprehension and policies that should not be allowed to exist. So, ma’am, I will do everything that I can to unite your family.”

Even Hillary Clinton — who was part of Obama’s mass deportations administration — now agrees that these deportations must stop. In one of her finest moments, Clinton delivered a genuinely heartfelt response.

“First of all, please know how brave I think you are, coming here with your children to tell your story. This is an incredible act of courage that I’m not sure many people really understand. And I want you to know that in the work that I’ve done and the many families that I’ve met, I have heard similar stories like yours, where your husband is deported, your children’s father is gone, you are doing your very best to support your children, but it is time to bring your families together. And I don’t think there’s any doubt that we must do more to let stories like yours be heard more widely so that more Americans know what the human costs of these policies are. And I will do everything I can to prevent other families from facing what you are facing. And I will do everything I can to pass laws that would bring families together.”

Hillary Clinton also promised to continue and vigorously defend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) for DREAMers and undocumented parents whose children are citizens.

Bustle adds that Lucia Quiej hasn’t seen her husband, Andres Jimenez, since he got deported back to Guatemala after being pulled over and caught driving with an expired driver’s license back in 2011. Since his application for asylum was denied, this family’s prospects for being reunited are bleak.

Quiej is the mother of five children, all of whom attended the debate. She has thus been made the primary breadwinner for a household already mired in the stresses of making their way in a foreign country. She lives in nearby Homestead, Florida, just 21 miles out from where the debate had taken place.

Bustle also reports that in 2014, Lucia Quiej painted a bleak picture of despair and fear of deportations in her community in her interview with Progresso Weekly:

“I was one month pregnant and they deported him only because he didn’t have a driver’s license. There’s a lot of people here with ankle monitors, many children whose parents were taken away by Immigration. In Homestead, there’s nothing; only despair.”

Watch: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders reveal who really cares about family values.

Featured image: Video screen grabs CNN/Univision via Fusion.

Elisabeth Parker is a writer, web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante.

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