DALLAS -- Around 9/11, people can be sure to find patriotic displays in bank lobbies, but the one in the Oak Cliff Bank of America, just south of downtown here, might make people stop and think. It has a bust of President John Kennedy, who was killed in this city, and the one you've seen a million times of the marines with the flag at Iwo Jima, but the three handmade signs read, "Join USMC 2, Lose Dad," "No Hoora Here," and "USMC Leaves Family Behind!"
The professionally printed text on the easel says that a young Marine from Oak Cliff found out, a week after being deployed to Afghanistan, that his father had been deported to Mexico! The text says that the father was legally married to an American citizen who is now struggling to get food stamps and other social services to help raise her other four children.
The bottom of the text recommends that people check out http://www.icie.us, which turns out to be the web site of the Isenberg Center for Immigration Empowerment. One of the articles, from the Huffington Post, tells a lot more about the travails of the Lopez family of Dallas. Ralph Isenberg is well known among Dallas activists for his efforts to relieve the misery of immigrant families and deportees.
In 2010, Democracy Now reported that some 1,000 foreign-born U.S. veterans, permanent residents, but not yet citizens were sitting in 350 detention centers across the country awaiting deportation.
Photo: In the lobby of BOA Oak Cliff , Sept. 18. Jim Lane/PW.