Fredonia, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) - In a small apartment in Fredonia, in the very early morning hours Wednesday, the Lopez family packs their bags and gets ready for a very long trip.
"We are going miles and miles away from Fredonia." Said 11-year old Christian.
He and his 4 siblings are on their way to Mexico-- but not by choice. They are following their mother, Angelica, who is being deported - forced out of the U.S. because she is an illegal immigrant.
Their father was deported months ago.
The family voluntarily surrendered themselves and are being flown back to Mexico.
Angelica's story began many years ago when she was brought here illegally at the age of 11 by her father. She claims her attempts to secure a green card have been denied.
Through the years, she worked as a migrant worker, where she met her husband and father of their children.
All 4 children were born on U.S. soil which makes them legal citizens, but with nobody here to care for them, they, too are heading to Mexico.
Their future is uncertain.
Their new home will be in a small village on the border of Mexico and Guatemala. Angelica says there are few jobs and food is tough to find. There are also concerns about gang and drug violence.
Their story, one of many, and at the center of debate over the need for U.S. Immigration reform. For years, lawmakers have debated how to figure out what to do with parents of children who are legal citizens.
"We need reform now," said Ed Wicks, a friend of the Lopez family, calling on elected officials to pass legislation. "I am not in support of illegal immigration but currently the path to citizenship in this country is very, very narrow. We leave these (immigrants) people little choice," he said.
But any change to the law will come much too late for the Lopez family. They're expected to reach their new home by the end of the week.
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