Preparing for the Worst

For many immigrants, deportation is a worse-case scenario. In fact, for most immigrant families, just the word can cause tremendous fear and anxiety. Despite the push for immigration reform, there are still states around the country that are working to strengthen anti-immigration laws, which can potentially mean more deportations.

In recent years, new laws have included Arizona’s controversial immigration law that allows law enforcement officers the ability to investigate people they suspect as being illegal immigrants, as well as laws placing restrictions on the hiring and renting of property to illegal immigrants. It is the hope of many illegal immigrants that new immigration laws will be put into place to make it easier to gain citizenship in the United States, and while there is progress being made, deportation is still a very real possibility.

Deportation can separate loved ones and eliminate any hope for U.S. citizenship. In spite of the terrible effects of deportation, it is a reality that should be faced head-on. There are steps illegal immigrants can take to be prepared if the worst case scenario does indeed occur.

Important Information

Keep documentation of all important information, including the name of your employer, in case unpaid wages need to be collected by your family. Other information to keep written records of includes bank account numbers of any institutions in which you may have money. If you are detained, childcare arrangements should be in place for your children, and your child’s school should have information about that caretaker, in case that person needs to pick your child up from school. A good way to ensure children and family members are taken care of in case you are detained is through a will. A will can designate specific childcare instructions, and you can also ensure your spouse, children or family members receive any property or assets that you’re required to leave behind in case of a deportation.

Taking Care of Belongings

In the difficult situation of a deportation, you aren’t allowed to take belongings or money with you, so these items should be taken care of prior to any potential detainment. If you have money in a bank, your spouse or chosen family members should have access to the money. Name them on the account, and ensure they know all relevant account numbers and information.

Make a list of belongings and who you would like to have each item, and then have the list notarized. If you have a great deal of assets or belongings, a will may be the best way to designate who should have what, in the case of a deportation. Without a will, the state will often determine what happens to your belongings, and may end up keeping the items.

Know Your Rights

As an illegal immigrant, it’s important to understand your rights and immigration law prior to ever having to face a situation such as detainment or deportation. An immigration lawyer should be consulted, not just in the case of detainment, but also to assist in the preparation of a potential situation with the law. No one wants to face deportment, but there are simple steps that can be taken to keep your family taken care of, even in the worst case scenario.


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