Joannah “Josie” Molina Macaraeg’s father, Milton Molina, is currently in deportation proceedings, stemming from a non-violent DUI offense for which he’s already served his community service sentence. He’s got a pending notice to appear before an immigration judge, which might result in him being deported to El Salvador—a country where Molina has witness horrific violence, including up-close assassinations.
Milton Molina is a father to three U.S.-born children, and all three depend on him for financial support. His 11-year-old, Josie, chose to attend an event over the weekend where her representative, Scott Desjarlais (R-Tenn.), was speaking on immigration, to question what he would do to help her father stay at home with her—and the whole exchange was captured on video.
Desjarlais essentially responded that the child’s father should be deported, and was met with wild cheer from anti-immigrant supporters. As Huff-Po pointed out, the representative specifically said the nation has laws that need to be followed—although he himself hasn’t always done so: Desjarlais, who’s a doctor, was fined for conducting sexual affairs with his patients. Despite professing to be anti-abortion, he also encouraged one of the women he had an affair with to have an abortion.
Josie’s mother, Megan Macaraeg, meanwhile, feels overwhelmed by the response she’s seen since the video started going viral over the weekend. She explains that it’s very hard for her daughter to even attend public functions, but that Josie did so because she doesn’t want her father to be deported. And although Josie confronted a Republican, the family takes issue with both parties.
“We have to target both parties in Congress,” said Macaraeg by phone from Tennessee, “as long as Obama remains deporter-in-chief.”