The Face of Deportation
The jail cells were crowded as hell; as a public defender, you never lacked for work. I called out a latina name and saw a hand go up. The investigator/interpreter and I went over, found a nice, nervous young woman and a relatively quiet place to talk. We reviewed her charge, driving without a license…
She just didn’t have her magical papers. The tags were bad on her car, and that’s why she was pulled over.
Then we began to discuss the fact that she had an immigration hold on her. She was being deported.
Huge tears started welling up in her eyes as we discussed how she would be transferred to a Federal jail in Louisiana, and would be taken from there to Mexico. 6-9 months of jail as an estimate, before getting back home.
6-9 months of jail for being in the wrong place, the Land of the Free, without papers.
She asked, barely keeping it together, about her son.
“Que hijo” or What son”, was my brilliant reply.
She told me she had gone out in the a.m. for some juice and bread, leaving her toddler with her friend and neighbor.
The investigator/interpreter, Amber Kaset, who is absolutely wonderful and now has her own company, AK Investigations, LLC, and I were able to get a phone number, contact the neighbor and a brother or something to patch together some sort of care for the baby as it was ferried back to Mexico and his abuela.
6-9 months where this mamma was not going to be with her baby.
Now, I know she broke the rules, such as they currently stand in the Nation-Built-By-Immigrants.
But this woman had been here for years, without any whiff of trouble. She was working, paying her rent, probably paying into social security under a false number, had a kid…
Her world, and the world of her small son, were just absolutely ripped apart.
Because she had no papers.
We need to make it easier for our brothers, sisters, future friends, future CEOs, future workers, future customers, future dream-makers to immigrate.
Speak out against mass deportations.