Magazine article New Internationalist

Deported without Your Kids

Magazine article New Internationalist

Deported without Your Kids

Article excerpt

United States

When I met 'Alicia' at a women's shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, in October 2012, she told me through tears that she had not seen her two daughters in two and a half years. Alicia had lived and worked in the US without legal papers for a decade, first in Illinois, then in Utah. She became a single mother after her husband was deported to Mexico in 2009.

Alicia told me that in 2010, local police in Utah stopped her for pulling out of a parking lot without her lights on and arrested her for an unpaid traffic ticket while her daughters cried in the back seat. The police turned her over to immigration authorities and she was deported. Her daughters, both US-born citizens, now 10 and 12, were put into foster care. The youngest has a history of kidney disease.

Over the past four years, the US government has deported 1.6 million people for violating US immigration law, including hundreds of thousands of people like Alicia who have children who are US citizens. …

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