The Trauma of Being a Non-Documented Immigrant:
A Life Lived in Fear
The majority of non-documented Mexican immigrants live in a constant state of fear. Always wondering when the axe will fall, and the prospect of detention and deportment looms large in their minds. The trauma of trying to maintain a low profile to avoid detection, and still try to live a normal life is daunting. Many are desperately trying to blend in with the documented population in an effort to avoid detection by immigration authorities, while at the same time live what is considered a normal life. The fear of deportment means separation from children born in the United States, wives who are natural born U.S. citizens, and other family members whom are citizens already.
Looking over one’s shoulder, fearing that some mannerism will make one suspect of being an un-documented immigrant means being in a constant state of high-vigilance. A lapse of this vigilance could mean being targeted by the local police, as is being done in a multiple of states as part of the Secure Communities initiative. This initiative allows local police to stop drivers for any reason if suspected of being un-documented. If jailed, fingerprints are taken, and sent to the immigration (I.C.E.) authorities. A possible undocumented immigrant status places one in dire circumstances and subject to detention and deportment. This is especially true of mixed families, where one or even both parents are un-documented and their children are natural born citizens by virtue of being born in the United States.
The prospect of such a possibility places one in a constant state of fear for one’s own safety, and the safety of one’s family. Psychological trauma also extends itself to the wives, or husbands and children that are legal that are left behind, while the other is deported, with little chance of ever attaining legal means of reunification short of once again crossing the Mexico-United States border illegally.