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UNCERTAIN FUTURE

Students express overwhelming fear of family members being deported

All she remembers from living in Mexico is running around the streets and playing with other kids. Then one day she left with her grandmother to the United States to reunite with her mother.
“I just knew I was going to move to where my mom was living at the time,” said the junior, who asked to be anonymous.

She recalls her grandmother telling her how dangerous the journey would be, how she had to remain quiet, how she had to go through certain modifications, and how she had to cut her hair in order to pass.

Now that she and her family are together and living in the United States she is one of many on campus and millions across the state facing a new fear: the possibility of their family being torn apart once again as a result of the recent deportations under the administration of President Donald Trump.

“It would be really scary if someone in my family got deported because what would I do without them?”

President Trump has signed executive orders to enforce immigration laws more strictly. The results of these include forcing police departments to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, building more detention facilities, discouraging asylum seekers and speeding up deportations.

She is the only person in her family who is working to become legalized. She sees the worry creasing her grandfather’s face, and although her grandmother tries to stay calm, she knows her grandmother is nervous for her parents and sister down in Los Angeles.

Despite the fear that may have gripped many in Stockton and even here at Stagg, the city has pledged to protect its large immigrant population against President Trump’s heightened immigration enforcement.

“In Stockton, we’re a welcoming community,” Mayor Michael Tubbs said in an interview with The Record. “The Police Department does not interrogate, detain or stop people because of their immigrant status.”

It’s especially frightening when one’s parents are in danger of being stripped away from their children. Gabriel Castillo, a junior, tells how he and his family are carrying on with their lives despite the fear that surrounds them.

“I can tell my family is a little scared but not too much. We still try to work through things, like keep getting up for work, and we try to keep those things in mind.”
The outcome of the election shocked Castillo’s family and caused them concern since his parents and older brothers are undocumented, yet they are currently working towards becoming legal.
According to a USA Today analysis of more than a dozen federal raids in early February, 26 percent of those people seized had no criminal record, compared to a mere 10 percent during President Obama’s administration.

Stockton Unified School District passed a similar resolution guaranteeing that students would have access to education despite whatever their immigration status may be. The resolution also promised that information such as a student’s immigration status wouldn’t be given to federal agencies without the permission of their family.

Gerardo Delgado, junior, is another student whose family has been affected by the recent concerns surrounding deportations. His aunt, a single mother with one child, is undocumented but is working with a lawyer to become documented. Delgado’s father and cousin have been worried for her, yet his cousin has hope that nothing bad will happen to her.

“He does have that fear, but he knows something good will happen,” Delgado said. “He has faith.”

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