The Undocumented Mexican Immigrant Family:
Lives Lived In Fear
Imagine, if you can, having to constantly be on the alert for someone who might turn you and your family in for not being in the United States legally. The prospect looms large upon the minds of undocumented immigrant parents, not knowing whether today will be the last day that they will see their children. Most families that are separated from their children do not see them again for many years to come or ever. This is especially the case when one, or both parents do not have legal paperwork to be in the country, and their children were born in the United States. Their children are United States citizens, but they (the parents) are not! This dilemma is encoun-tered on a daily basis by hundreds of thousands of Mexican families, whom are trying to better their lives, emigrating to where there are jobs to be had and the chance of a better life for their spouses and children.
All children deserve the opportunities, which are given freely to the majority of their neighbors, whom by chance, or luck, were born in the United States, and thus became the recipi-ents of these opportunities. Of what opportunities do I speak? The opportunity to attend a school, to receive a high-quality education, and even to attend an institution of higher learning, such as most state and private universities throughout the United States provide today.
One such opportunity is the right to vote for candidates for public office. Being able to voice your concerns about your community is part of civic engagement. The right to drive a car legally in the U.S., enabling the person to get to and from job sites to work to provide for his family, to become a member of a coalition pushing for legislative reform of existing laws, which have, in your opinion, become outdated, and no longer serve their original purpose. These oppor-tunities are denied to Mexican Immigrants without legal paperwork, even though they, too, have to survive in America today.
“Deportation of Mexican Illegal Immigrants has become epidemic in the past decade, es-pecially with the passing of new legislation, such as the USA Patriot Act, and increased efforts to deport undocumented immigrants” (Kanstrom, 2008). The article, entitled “The Impact of Detention and Deportation on Latino Immigrant Children and Families: A Quantitative Exploration,” came from the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, a paper written by faculty members, and was dated 01/01/2010. In the last four years more undocumented immigrants have been detained and deported than in the past two Presidential terms in office. The situation has now come to the point of merely flying the deported to their home state of record in their country of origin, without bothering to detain them long enough to determine whether or not they should be allowed to stay.
The end result is broken families with one or more parents deported, and their children farmed out to foster homes. There have even been cases of the soon to be deported parents kill-ing their children and then taking their own lives to prevent the family members being parted. As an American one can count oneself very fortunate that such an act has never been perpetrated upon oneself. Maybe it is time to stop and take a concerted look at the United States Immigration Policy of today. A more humane and up to date answer to the situation in which many today find themselves is needed now! A solution is out there and now is the time to implement these changes for the betterment of our nation.