BOLINGBROOK — The Flores family of Bolingbrook had a special guest Friday evening.
Seated with them at the dinner table was U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville. Foster came to their home – along with several members of the media – to discuss immigration programs that would have benefited Pedro Flores, the father of the family, who is an undocumented immigrant.
Those programs are the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which would protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. Their implementation has been blocked by federal courts, he said.
If Flores was deported, it would rip the family apart and they would be limited in many ways, said his wife, Inez Flores. Pedro Flores came to the U.S. in 1990, married and is now raising three children.
“I would have to quit my job or get two jobs,” she said.
In his conversations with the Flores family, Foster learned their three children aspire to be a soccer player, an architect and cosmetologist. He also spoke with Pedro Flores about his work in construction.
“We do all this work in Washington and it’s very easy to forget that people are hurt or helped by what we do,” Foster said to the family.
He said he came to their home Friday to celebrate the announcement of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program last year by President Obama. But he also lamented the legal challenges to immigration reform from Republican lawmakers and courts.
His conversations with the Flores family were no different than with any other American family, he said, except one family member could be deported.
“There is this legal knife suspended over one of the heads of the household and at any point, that knife could fall and that family could be suffering,” he said to reporters.
He said if Congress continues to not pass immigration reform laws he will continue to keep fighting for them. He said to Pedro Flores his life is not what it should be because of his status as an undocumented citizen.
Inez Flores thanked Foster for joining the family for dinner and supporting the community.
“Thank you for representing us in Washington,” she said.