Jazmin Arellano copes with her father’s deportation

Feature Photo By: Elizabeth Serrano – Sophomore Jazmin Arellano poses for a photo outside of Rangeview during her off period.

By: Elizabeth Serrano, Review Staff

Many say coming home after a long day of classes and extracurriculars to a loving family is a blessing — it’s a place where you can leave behind your stress and problems at school.

This isn’t a reality to many, and it’s not a reality for sophomore Jazmin Arellano.

Many would agree that Arellano is going through one of the most difficult experiences that a 15-year-old daughter of immigrants could ever go through: losing a parent to deportation.

One year ago, Arellano’s father was sent an unexpected letter. Just one letter and everything instantly became more challenging for her and her family.

The letter explained that her father needed to leave the country in under 30 days. Within those days, Arellano’s family was able to get a lawyer who was able to grant her father’s stay for a longer period of time.

Around June of this year, Arellano’s father was sent a letter ordering him to go to the ICE detention center, of which the family’s lawyer said there was a huge chance of ICE arresting him. The day he was scheduled, he went in and that is exactly what happened — he was arrested.

At the beginning of August, Mr. Arellano was deported back to his home country, Mexico.

“Obviously he loves his hometown… but he seems to be lost and without a purpose… he isn’t doing so well over there, he needs his family. His family needs him,” says Arellano.  

Now, without his support in the house, things have become more difficult as he was a huge source of income.

Arellano’s mother has to put in twice the work to earn money that barely pays off the bills. The Arellano family has extreme stress and trauma in their daily life.

Arellano sits in the library while she studies and finishes her assignments (Elizabeth Serrano).

To some, this is just a typical story that happens to many every day.

According to CNN, “In 2017, ICE made routine arrests of more than 155,000 immigrants, 30% of whom were not criminals.”

Arellano has a different story on how to better a situation like this, yet she noted that she misses her father terribly — he was the supporter and provider of the house.

However, each day Arellano attempts her best to be positive, whether it’s dealing with her friendships, loaded school work, or with her other serious problems apart from her father’s deportation.

“She is amazing,” sophomore student and friend, Ej Diallo says. “She can be wild sometimes but it’s okay, [her personality] makes everything much better.”

Every morning, she wakes up and does what she loves the most: her makeup. According to Arellano, starting off the day with an activity that fills you up with excitement will make your day a little bit better.

Throughout the school day, she focuses on her education since she hopes of attending college after high school.

“I’ve known her since middle school, I’ve noticed she hasn’t really slacked off when it comes to school,” says sophomore friend Ivan Serrano. “Now more than ever, she tries her best.”

After school, the hardest part is keeping herself distracted. Luckily, Arellano is involved in helping her mom out and doing after school extracurriculars: Polynesian Club and College Track.

During the weekends, she uses that time to focus on helping out around the house and spending time with her mother and siblings.

“Yeah it’s hard not seeing my dad, and I miss him more and more every day, but I’m trying to see the positive side of things, and keep going for my family,” Arellano expressed.  “We still have family days and I’m grateful for everything because now I know that things can change instantly. I’m trying my hardest in school and just trying to make my family proud.”

Her best advice is to focus on other things and take some of the stress away from what she experiences. Better yourself to better the situation. 

Arellano continued, “This situation has taught me a lot: especially to not take anything for granted because you never know when it can be taken away from you. It has also made my family and I a lot stronger. Everything happens for a reason and I can’t wait for the day I can hug my dad again, and go back to the way things use to be. Now I’ve learned to appreciate what I have more than ever.”

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