Families Live with Fear of Deportation Amid New Immigration Memos
WESLACO - The Trump administration greatly expanded the number of people considered a priority for deportation.
Any immigrant living in the U.S. illegally who has been charged or convicted of any crime or even suspected of a crime will be an enforcement priority for deportation.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, more than a 100,000 people are living in the Rio Grande Valley without proper immigration documentation.
Fear of deportation is very real for them. Parents are concerned their U.S.-born children will be left behind.
Resident Paula and her family entered the U.S. with a permit, but it eventually expired. She requested her identity be hidden for fear of deportation.
Paula said violence tore through border towns in Mexico and left them no choice than to leave.
“Yes, we are afraid for everything that is happening here. We didn’t come here to cause harm to anyone. We came here basically against our own will,” she said.
Paula said they’ve lived in the Valley for six years now. She said her children attend local school.
“We used to go out to the stores and shop. Now on the way back from work, if we need something like groceries, we pick them up so that we won’t have to go out again,” she said.
Paula is just one of the hundreds of thousands of people in Texas left on edge.
According to MPI, Harris County has the largest number of people without papers in the state. The Valley ranks third with a group of 139,000 people between Hidalgo and Cameron counties.
Paula said she doesn’t know what to expect from now on.
“What scared us was that he gave authorization to the police and other agencies to ask for documents. It scared us a lot,” she said.
The mother said all her family can do now is continue to live their lives deep in the shadows.