Maria Mendoza-Sanchez the deported nurse of Oakland, was Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA 13th District) guest at the 2019 State of The Union Address Tuesday night.
Eusebio Sanchez, and Maria Mendoza, grew up together in the Mexican state of Hidalgo and moved to Oakland, California, in their early 20s. Ms.Mendoza-Sanchez was working as a nurse at Highland Hospital in Oakland. After a long battle to reach the United States, but leaving much of her family behind in Mexico, Obama-era laws that favored keeping immigrant families intact allowed Maria and Eusebio to gain stays of deportation and continued work permits.
Then came Donald Trump as POTUS.
Maria and Eusebio were deported to Mexico last August, leaving their four children behind in Oakland. But work behind the scenes and in front, and by a great many people, resulted in a phone call last November from the U.S. Consulate in Mexico City saying her visa had been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Maria was able to return to America and to Oakland – and to be Congresswoman Lee’s guest at The 2019 State of The Union Address.
This is what Congresswoman Lee wrote to her constituents:
Tonight, President Trump will address the nation in his annual State of the Union.
In the past, he has used public appearances like this to demonize immigrants, spread misinformation and deceive the American people.
President Trump has consistently refused to acknowledge the countless families hurt by his vindictive and divisive policies.
But we all know that real people — neighbors, friends and classmates — have suffered because of the actions of the Trump Administration.
That’s why I will be bringing Oakland resident Maria Mendoza-Sanchez as my guest to the State of the Union tonight.
Maria is a beloved nurse at Highland Hospital and the mother to four wonderful children. She has lived in the Bay Area for more than two decades.
Tragically, because of President Trump’s punitive immigration policies, Maria was deported in 2017 and separated from her family.
After 16 months away from her loved ones, Maria was able to secure an H-1B visa last December and return home to Oakland.
I was thrilled that Maria was able to return home — but I haven’t forgotten the many families across the East Bay who remain in limbo.
I hope that Maria’s attendance at the State of the Union will highlight the urgency around comprehensive immigration reform. Every day that we delay is another day that families suffer needlessly.
Rest assured that I will keep fighting for immigration policies that treat every person with dignity, respect and compassion.
As always, my office is available to help. If you need assistance with a federal issue, please call my Oakland office at (510) 763-0370. You can also connect with me via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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