In the last year, Donald Trump has directed his Administration to be more aggressive toward immigrants, unleashing the full force of the federal government to target and deport anyone eligible for deportation, including those without criminal records and people who have current, valid work permits.
“No one is safe,” a recent TIME headline said. ICE deportation arrests soared 40 percent from the same period last year after Trump took the “shackles” off the agency. Here are just a few of the most recent headlines:
The Washington Post: “Lulu’s choice. At 16, the U.S.-born daughter of deported Mexicans must decide between life with her parents and life in America.” Lulu, 16, is a U.S. citizen, yet she was essentially deported when her mother, Lourdes Salazar Bautista, was deported last year. Her father had been deported years earlier. Lulu is now separated from her home and birthplace, Ann Arbor, her high school, and her hopes of attending medical school. She is now being forced to decide whether to move back alone to the U.S., where she feels she belongs, or stay with her family in Mexico.
MLive.com: “Ypsilanti-area mother of four’s deportation leaves void for family.” Maribel Rivera Martinez, 47, had lived in Ypsilanti, Michigan for fifteen years, before she was deported in April, leaving behind her husband of 28 years and their four children, three of whom are U.S. citizens. She worked as a housekeeper and had a work permit, due to ICE previously recognizing that she was not a priority for deportation. One of her daughters has had serious medical conditions since birth, which has required multiple surgeries and specialized treatment, and she must now recover without her mother’s support and care. Rivera Martinez’ life was threatened in Honduras, and relatives of hers have been killed, but the U.S. Government still deported her.
Las Vegas Sun: “Las Vegas Mother’s arrest sends chill through immigrant community.” Cecilia Gomez was detained late last month after showing up at a green card appointment, where she was detained despite being a hair’s breadth away from obtaining legal status. Gomez was physically assaulted during her arrest, and taken to several different detention centers across the country, which put her just hours away from deportation. While advocates intervened, and Gomez was released after about a week in detention, her case is still pending.
Said Lynn Tramonte, Deportation Defense Coordinator at America’s Voice:
“Another day, another barrage of newspaper articles about real American families living a nightmare under Trump. Lulu is an American teen who should be focused on her future; instead, she’s struggling to decide where to live–in Mexico with her parents, or at home in Michigan, without them. Maribel is a mom from Honduras with a valid work permit, American children, and nothing but danger waiting in her native country. Cecilia is a Las Vegas mom on a path to a green card, who was inexplicably arrested and nearly deported, leaving her young children frightened and traumatized.
“And these are the just the stories that make it into the media. For every single deportation we read about, there are multiple others who remain nameless but still feel the very same pain. It’s wrong that deportation decisions are being made and carried out like this. Instead of focusing on bad people, they’re going after everyone–with serious psychological and other consequences for the Americans left behind.”
Also view a summary of Trump’s actions on immigration from militarizing the border to stepping up draconian workplace raids, from Marshall Fitz, Managing Director of Immigration at the Emerson Collective.