I want to share the following letter from someone in our community who couldn't send it herself because her parents are unauthorized immigrants. I obtained it from El Centro Comunitario in Hendersonville. I've shortened it a bit but otherwise not changed it:
"Dear Santa: I am a little girl that is 9 years old. I do not care or mind if you do not bring me any gifts. All I want is that I do not want the police or immigration [to] separate me from my family. Please tell God or Virgin Maria to open the office so people can get their driver's licenses. I am confused because my dad has diabetes and my mom does not get to drive to the store, doctor or school. Santa Claus, how would you feel if your mom could not take you anywhere? I don't understand why they say that people are criminal for their origin or skin color. You know, Santa Claus, that if you cannot drive, you cannot work; if you can not work, you can not eat.
Santa Claus tell me how to do it. For example, if my sister or brother are sick in school, how would my mom go to pick them up? I do not understand because some people can go anywhere and some cannot. For example, I wanted to go to see other states [and] Myrtle Beach because I don't know the sea. …
Santa, why do the birds make their nests really high? Because they do not want anything to happen to their babies. Why do the birds go somewhere else when it is winter? Because they do not want their babies to die. Like my parents do not want to go to Mexico because they are killing a lot of people there. That is why I want you to take good care of my parents, so they will not get deported to Mexico.
I am not putting my address because I don't want them to find my parents — sorry Santa. I hope this is the best Christmas for me and my family."
The U.S. Congress will soon be debating whether we can allow the hardworking people who've joined our communities a way to achieve earned legalization. As U.S. citizens, you and I have the power to be Santa Claus to this girl and hundreds of thousands of other children. I hope we'll do the right thing and ask Congress to pass immigration reform.
— Victoria Lyall