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Last week, I had the honor of going to the We Belong Together Immigration Reform Summit in Washington, DC. The intent of this summit was to come together to plan and strategize how the We Belong Together community would organize to make immigration reform happen in 2014!

From celebrating our victories to developing concrete plans for the upcoming months, each moment of the summit inspired me to continue our fight for immigration reform for the 5 million undocumented women and the 1.5 million undocumented children living in the United States.

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My favorite part of the summit was listening to the experiences of women directly, including youth activist Hareth Andrade who worked, and succeeded, in keeping her family together. Hareth, who was featured in Aloe Blacc's "Wake Me Up" music video, is a DREAMER who's father faced the threat of deportation because of a small traffic violation, but thanks to her work, he is now able to stay in the United States.

These stories are essential as we move forward in advocating for immigration reform and they remind us why this work is so important--including the stories of what follows deportation.

For example, learning about how activists in Mexico are supporting mothers who are deported and cruelly separated from their children made a particular impact on me. As someone who works on advocacy in the United States, I think it’s essential to understand what families face once deportation has occurred. One activist from el Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional explained that it can take more than a year for mothers to be reunited with their children! Families should never have to be separated for so long.

The time is now to keep pressure on our leaders and ensure this gets done in 2014 and that are families are treated equally.

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