Jorge Narvaez and his daughter Alexa first rose to Internet stardom in 2011, when their cover of Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes’ “Home” went viral, reaching over two million views on YouTube. Their notoriety eventually took them to the Ellen Show and to iTunes, where their music is available for download.
Now, joined by Eliana, Alexa’s younger sister, the Narvaez family has released another version of the cover that made them famous.
This time, however, the song has taken a new meaning. Esther Alvarez, Narvaez’s mother, came to the United States without papers in 1987. Twenty years later, she returned to Mexico so that her husband and son, both of whom are U.S. citizens, could sponsor her for permanent residency. Her application was denied, and she has been separated from her family ever since.
And so when Jorge, Eliana, and Alexa sing: “Home, let me come home / Home is wherever I’m with you,” they mean it.
The new video is part of a campaign that aims to reunite at least some of the thousands of families that have been separated by an unprecedented wave of deportations.
#BringThemHome, as the campaign is known on Twitter, is a network of support for 150 people who have crossed the Mexican border into the U.S. requesting asylum. Under current immigration law, such requests are one of few ways in which undocumented people who have been forced to leave the country can hope to regularize their status.
People requesting asylum have to demonstrate that they face “credible threats” in their home country before being admitted into the U.S. David Bennion, an immigration attorney who has represented some of the BringThemHome families, explained the process very clearly in this post for Open Borders.
The Narvaez family are circulating a petition to ask President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security to let their grandmother come home. You can find the petition here.