One Saturday morning in 2009, Katherine Figueroa was playing with her cousins when she overhead a television report saying that the carwash where her parents worked had just been raided.
Katherine, 9, soon discovered that her parents were arrested by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies on suspicion of using false documents to work.
A few hours later, activists from Puente Arizona, a grassroots organization that advocates for human rights, videotaped Katherine making a plea to President Barack Obama to release her parents. The video went viral.
Katherine said in the video:
“Mr. President, I need you to help me, my family and my parents. I want them back with me again.”
She has been trying to stop her parents’ deportation ever since and has finally succeeded. Thanks to Katherine’s hard work, a judge granted a motion to close her parents’ immigration cases on July 17.
“It’s a good feeling knowing that after all the struggles, something good came,” said Katherine, 13. “I’m just so happy. I don’t have words to explain how happy I am that my parents and I can be here.”
“I didn’t see this coming," said Katherine’s mother, Sandra. "I didn’t think there was a solution.”
Katherine’s father, Carlos, added that he feels “a sense of relief and tranquility” now that the threat of deportation has been vanquished.
Katherine's viral video is below.