Frankie was brought to Arizona from Mexico when he was a few months old. His mom made the only decision she could to save her own life and the lives of her children. Frankie grew up in Flagstaff and became active in the community — helping Democrats get elected and rallying crowds on immigration issues against Arizona’s racist SB 1070 and as a member of the local pride board for marriage equality.
Frankie did the best he could with the cards he was dealt. He showed up for all of us.
And then an unscrupulous lawyer, who eventually lost her license, mishandled his DACA application. Frankie was left without the ability to work or even drive. This meant he was unable to properly care for his mother who was battling a serious illness.
Our immigration system pushed him to live in the shadows of society, which led to depression and drugs as an escape and a means to make a living.
Frankie was arrested and sentenced to jail. While incarcerated, he completed a comprehensive treatment program and was feeling good about living a life without drugs.
But instead of being released to his family, he was detained by ICE. Frankie was deported to Mexico in August of 2017. On October 2 of that year, he took his own life.
He was 26 years old. Frankie couldn’t imagine living without ever seeing his mother, family, and friends. He was American in every way, he simply lacked a piece of paper.
Thirteen congressional cycles went by during Frankie’s life in the United States and our political elites did nothing for him and people like him. This is why we need to change the system — we need to completely overhaul our immigration system.
I’m proposing Frankie’s Law — a new immigration framework that includes, among other provisions, the following:
Frankie’s Law is still a work in progress but I have every intention to make this my very first bill when elected.
This is why elections are so critical. We can either continue down the path of the status quo, or we can be brave and bold. We must elect leaders who won’t cower to corporate and partisan influence.
I vow to honor the memory of my friend every day that I serve.