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Deportation Pushes Mothers To Repeated Illegal Crossings

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HnOIde1oO0

Video published December 17, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Deportations of undocumented immigrants have increased this year - in some cases separating families. Some mothers risk dangerous illegal crossings to get back to their children left in the U.S. KPBS reporter Ruxandra Guidi went to a shelter in Tijuana and spoke to some recently deported mothers and has details.

Deportations of undocumented immigrants have increased this year - in some cases separating families. Some mothers risk dangerous illegal crossings to get back to their children left in the U.S. KPBS reporter Ruxandra Guidi went to a shelter in Tijuana and spoke to some recently deported mothers and has details.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

DEPORTATIONS OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS INCREASED THIS YEAR. IN SOME CASES SEPARATING FAMILIESMENT SOME MOTHERS RISK DANGEROUS ILLEGAL CROSSINGS TO GET BACK TO THEIR CHILDREN LEFT IN THE U.S. KPBS REPORTER ROXANNA WENT TO A SHELTER IN TIJUANA AND SPOKE WITH RECENTLY DEEPER STATED MOTHERS. WHAT WERE THE CIRCUMSTANCES AROUND THE MOTHERS?

IN THE STORY THAT I PRODUCED FOR KPBS I FOCUS ON THE CASE OF TWO WOMEN THAT HAD BEEN DEPORTED. ONE FROM THE L.A. AREA. ONE FROM THE SAN DIEGO AREA AND BOTH STAYING AT A SHELTER IN TIJUANA. ONE HAD BEEN TRYING TO GET A LOAN WITH FAKE DOCUMENTS AND THE OTHER WAS ACTUALLY CHARGED WITH BATTERY. SHE GOT INTO A FIGHT WITH HER HUSBAND AND GOT CHARGED.

THAT WAS THE REASON THAT THEY WERE PICK UP AND DEPORTED?

THEY WERE BOTH PICKED UP. THEY WENT TO LOCAL JAIL. ONCE THEY ENDED UP AT THE JAIL THEY CHECKED THEIR IMMIGRATION STATUS. THEY WERE BOTH UNDOCUMENTED.

WHY DIDN'T THESE WOMEN TAKE THEIR CHILDREN WITH THEM?

THAT'S AN INTERESTING STORY. AS THE STORY I KEEP HEARING OVER AND OVER AGAIN WHEN I TALK TO MOTHERS. CONDITION UNDER WHICH WOMEN AND PEOPLE IN GENERAL DEPORTED ARE DIFFERENT FROM ONE PERSON TO THE NEXT. BUT GENERALLY WHEN YOU ARE ARRESTED OR PULLED OVER BY A POLICE OR FOUND TO HAVE FAKE DOCUMENTS THE PROCESS THAT EACH PERSON GOES IS VERY DIFFERENT. SOMETIMES YOU GET TAKE ON THE A LOCAL JAIL. SOMETIMES YOU GO TO A DETENTION FACILITY. SOMETIMES YOU ARE ASKED FOR VOLUNTARY RETURN. THAT MEANS YOU CAN IMMEDIATELY BE DROPPED OFF ON THE MEXICO SIDE OF THE BORDER. THESE WOMEN WERE SURPRISED BY THE DEPORTATION ORDERS. BOTH OF THEM SPECIFICALLY HAD NO TIME NORREALLY THE DESIRE TO BRING THEIR KIDS BACK TO MEXICO.

THAT'S INTERESTING. I'M WONDERING WHETHER IMMIGRATIONS AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT FOLLOWS ANY PROCESS WHEN THEY DEPORT THE PARENTS OF AMERICAN-BORN CHILDREN TO TRY TO KEEP THEM TOGETHER?

SURE. THEY HAVE TO. THEY TOLD ME THAT THEY TAKE EVERY MEASURE TO MAKE SURE THE KIDS STAY WITH AN ADULT. PREFERABLY ONE OF THE TWO PARENTS. IN THE CASE OF VERONICA VARGAS, ONE OF THE WOMEN I TALKED TO, SHE HAD THREE U.S.-BORN KIDS THAT STAYED AT HOME. TWO WERE OVER 18. ICE MADE THE DECISION THAT THE OLDER SIBLINGS WERE OLD ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF THE LITTLE ONE. ICE OFFICIALS TOLD ME THEY ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT THERE ARE PARENTS OR SOME ADULT THAT CAN TAKE CARE OF THE CHILDREN AT HOME.

YOUR REPORT STATE HAD THE DEPORTATIONS HAVE INCREASED THIS YEAR. WHY IS THAT?

WE ARE LOOKING AT ALMOST 400,000 DEPORTATIONS IN 2010. THAT'S A RECORD NUMBER FOR ICE. THERE IS A NUMBER OF REASONS AND SPECULATION OVER WHY THAT NUMBER IS SO HIGH. A RECENT INVESTIGATION BY THE "WASHINGTON POST" AND THE CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING IN BURKELEY BELIEVES THEY FOUND DATA THAT SAYS ICE HAS BEEN TRYING TO MEET A QUO THAT AND ALSO THEY HAVE BEEN BEEFING UP NUMBERS WITH BORDER PATROL MEMBERS. IT IS REALLY HARD TO TELL. ALL WE KNOW IS THAT DEPORTATIONS ARE WAY UP.

DO THESE DEPORTATIONS IMPACT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE CROSSING ILLEGALLY BACK AND FORTH?

YOU KNOW I WOULD LOVE TO FIND A REAL ANSWER FOR THAT. IT IS HARD TO TELL. A LOT OF THE FOLKS I TALK TO THAT HAVE BEEN DEPORTED SEEM TO FIND NO DETER AREN'T DETERRENT IN THE PREVIOUS DEPORTATION. THEY KEEP COMING BACK.

WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE WOMEN YOU SPOKE TO?

TWO ARE STILL IN TIJUANA. THE OTHER I WAS GOING TO DO A FOLLOW UP INTERVIEW AND I FOUND OUT SHE WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BORDER. IN FOUR WEEKS SHE TRIED TO GET BACK TO HER KIDS AND SHE DID. THE BOTTOM LINE WITH DEPORTED MOTHERS MORE LIKELY THAN NOT THEY'LL RETURN TO STATES TO BE WITH THEIR KIDS RATHER THAN BRING THEIR KIDS TO MEXICO.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU.

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