Nov. 21, 2012 at 5:23 PM ET
This time of year, many kids start writing letters to Santa Claus, promising to be good.
For one boy in South Florida, writing a letter -- in which he promises to “be a good student” and to be “somebody in life to help this country” – was not an attempt to get gifts under a tree. Rather, he wants the gift of his father.
Anthony Hoz, 12, wrote the poignant letter to a Florida judge who is deciding whether Anthony’s father, Maximino, an undocumented immigrant, will be deported from this country.
NBCLatino.com reports that Maximino, a father of five, has been in the U.S. since 1993. He has been in a detention center for the past 11 months.
In his letter (which was first posted at DREAMActivisit.org) to immigration judge Rex Ford, Anthony explains that he and his brothers need their dad “so he can pay the bills of the house, and we love him so much.”
“We beg you not to send my dad to Mexico, Because we don’t want him to be killed over in Mexico. Please I beg you with all my heart to leave my dad with us and I promise you I will be a good student and I will be somebody in life to help this country. I thank you for reading this letter.”
Anthony’s mother, Reyna Hoz, told NBCLatino.com that all of her boys have been having a tough time since their dad has been detained. While the family has legal representation, they have been told their case is not going to be easy to win.
Reyna Hoz adds that Anthony wrote the letter on his own, without any help.
With the start of the holiday season upon us, Anthony’s note is a reminder of what it’s really about: Not eating turkey and shopping and opening presents, but cherishing family, sharing love and, most of all, having hope.