The Echoes

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Separated by a border

Daughter, father divided by immigration laws

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Back to Article

Separated by a border

Family Forever

Family Forever

Draven Sanford

Family Forever

Draven Sanford

Draven Sanford

Family Forever

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With a kiss on the head and a hug goodbye, sophomore Araceli Domingo-Geronimo’s father vanished from her life as if out of thin air.
At eight years old, a daughter lost her father, separated, by immigration laws.
“I remember the day he left. We thought he would come back in the next month because that’s what we were told,” Domingo said. “We didn’t take it seriously as kids because we thought he was coming back. We were just like, “Bye,” we love you and we’ll miss you, see you soon.”
Domingo’s memory of her father is sharp and yet foggy all at the same time.
“A week before he left, my mom told us that he was leaving and that he was going to be gone for awhile,” Domingo said. “We thought he was coming back.”
Alfredo Domingo-Geronimo’s journey to America began in the Central America country of Guatemala.
From the start, Alfredo’s passage to America was drawn out and treacherous.
“It was so dangerous where he was that when he left…My mom told me that he would stick his money under his socks,” Domingo said.
With the help of coyotes, individuals who smuggle immigrants across the border, Alfredo made it to America, in search of a better life.
A visa permitted Alfredo to stay in the United States for a period of time.
Later, his visa expired, and once again he was sent back to Guatemala.
Alfredo was forced to leave his family and life in the United States behind.
Today, Domingo chooses to see the best of her father’s deportation and absence in her life.
“I think it made us (Domingo’s family) stronger. When you’re a kid you rely on your parents to do everything. My mom was starting to work all the time so we had to learn how do things for ourselves,” Domingo said. “After my dad left, I had to learn how to take on certain responsibilities.”
Domingo’s newfound independence encouraged her to recognize the disadvantages and potential perks that came with being raised in a single-parent home.
Domingo’s mother went from being a stay-at-home wife, to balancing a job and tending to eight children by night.
Financially, Domingo’s family depended on their mother entirely to provide for the family.
Domingo’s innocence toward her father’s deportation in the past has played a momentous part in molding her opinions about immigration laws today.
“Instead of pushing people out, we should be taking them in,” Domingo said.
Through her experiences, Domingo has come to a realization about what is unfair about the United States’ present day immigration policy and Domingo has come to a realization about what is unfair about the United States’ present day immigration policy and what needs to be changed.

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Separated by a border