Chicago kids make plea against deportation in DC: 'I need my dad'

FOX 32 NEWS - On Tuesday, a group of Chicagoans went to Washington, D.C. to tout a longshot lawsuit.

They want to stop the deportation of parents who are here illegally, but have at least one child who is a U.S. citizen.

Most of the young people said they were born here and are U.S. citizens. But most of their parents violated American immigration laws and could now be deported, as Mahalea Velasco's father was.

“We haven't been the same since he was taken away from us. It’s not fair. I just want to be able to go to school and grow up with both my parents here with me. I need my dad,” said 11-year-old Mahalea.

“We think this is an injustice. And they should have their day in court. We’re not saying they will win.  But at least let them have their say in court as a class,” said attorney Donald Schlemmer.

The attorneys hope to convince a court that deporting parents infringes on the rights of their U.S. citizen-children – injuring their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. It's an argument sure to infuriate many supporters of President Trump. He's claimed many foreigners specifically had children here to take advantage of the Constitution's grant of birthright-citizenship.

Activists hope to win at least a three-year delay in deporting any parents of U.S. citizens. But with limited political power in Washington, they're frankly hoping emotion will win support.

“I know it's painful. I see the tears in your eyes. And I hope the rest of America cries with us. And in crying understands that we don't have to have these policies,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

Gutierrez plans to speak on the floor of the House of Representatives at 9 a.m. Wednesday. He's trying to build turnout for immigration-related protests in 42 cities scheduled for the first of May.