Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has proclaimed today May 4, 2021 as Kali and Felix Pliego Day in the City of Minneapolis. Kali Pliego joined Frey at City Hall to discuss how families like theirs live under threat of lifelong separation, with no immigration avenues to enable them to enjoy the right to reside together in the United States. Frey joined the Pliegos in supporting The American Families United Act, which was introduced on April 30 in the 117th Congress as H.R. 2920 and would help families like Kali and Felix’s, who just last week celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary.
Full text of the proclamation the importance of keeping families together is available below.
Whereas, separating families runs contrary to Minneapolis values; and
Whereas, U.S. immigration and naturalization law was founded on the principle that U.S. citizens should be allowed to live in their homes with their spouses and children; and
Whereas, the waiver of inadmissibility process (I-601 application) within the U.S. Citizenship and Nationality Act allows individuals to overcome legal barriers to entry to the United States based upon hardship to their U.S. citizen spouse and children; and
Whereas, the I-601 process is virtually the only mechanism available to inadmissible immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members to be reunited in the United States; and
Whereas, this process falls far short in reuniting all family members who are separated due to deportation or additional grounds of inadmissibility that prevent family members abroad from obtaining an immigrant visa; and
Whereas, due to this gap, families that include U.S. Citizen spouses and children may experience the unjust penalty of lifelong separation, with no further legal avenue to assert the right to reside together in the United States; and
Whereas, U.S. citizens also face barriers within the legal immigration process for their children, including some natural born children who are denied U.S. nationality at birth; and
Whereas, the American people are demanding policymaking grounded in compassion and commonsense; and
Whereas, 5.8 million people belong to the family of a U.S. citizen whose spouse faces barriers within the legal immigration process; and
Whereas, this total includes 75,000 people from Minnesota and is impacting families in Minneapolis like Kali and Felix Pliego’s; and
Whereas, Kali and Felix’s relationship is a uniquely-Minneapolis story with their first date at First Avenue and their marriage at Park Avenue Church; and
Whereas, Due to gaps in the process, the Pliego family is currently living under the threat of separation for the formative years of their four-year-old son’s life; and
Whereas, the American Families United Act has been introduced with bipartisan support in the 113th, 114th, 115th, and 116th Congresses to address barriers to family unity for U.S. citizens and their spouses and children, including irregularities in the waiver of inadmissibility process; and,
Whereas, the American Families United Act was introduced on April 30 in the 117th Congress as H.R. 2920 and last week Kali and her husband Felix marked their 14th wedding anniversary; and
Whereas, Minneapolis’ immigrant community helps form the backbone of our city and all families deserve to be welcome here in not just words and action, but in law.
NOW, THEREFORE, I JACOB FREY, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis, do hereby urge the United States Congress to pass the American Families United Act; and proclaim May 4, 2021 as
KALI AND FELIX PLIEGO DAY IN THE CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS.