By Heather Sells, CBN News Reporter
January 31, 2012
Orlando resident Lucas da Silva, 23, received the news three years ago.
“I got a call from my mom. ‘Where’s your dad?’ she asked. ‘I haven’t heard from him,’” da Silva recalled.
“And I said, ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. “I tried calling him and the phone just rang and rang and rang.”
Da Silva’s parents brought him to the U.S. from Brazil when he was 12-months-old. His father landed diplomatic visas for the family when he became a chauffeur for the United Nations in New York.
But after the terror attacks in Sept. 11, 2001, he decided it would be better to leave New York and move to Florida.
The da Silvas said they felt safer from the threat of terrorism. But deportation would prove to be the greater danger.
A few years later, as he was driving home from work one day, the police stopped da Silva’s father for a minor traffic violation. After detaining him for several months, the U.S. government deported him.
“At this point it’s hard to plan,” da Silva said. “He got a 10-year ban, so he can’t come back for 10 years and I can’t go back to a country that’s foreign to me. I don’t even know how to read or write correctly — what am I going to do?”
Da Silva said his mother feels responsible to stay in the U.S. to oversee his younger sister’s education.
“I never imagined that I’d have my family ripped apart before my eyes,” da Silva explained. “I never imagined that I’d never be able to see my dad again for at least a decade.”
Although da Silva has decided to speak out publicly for immigration reform, he also faces the possibility of deportation at a moment’s notice.