Friday, April 12, 2024

Deportation Fears Prompt Immigrants to Prepare Wills for Families

As the immigration issue has heated up across the country, undocumented immigrants have begun turning to lawyers to help them prepare the necessary documents to help their families should they be separated.

The legal documents will help determine what will happen to families and belongings should one of the providers be deported.

“There’s a culture of fear out there,” Jason Mills, a Fort Worth immigration attorney, said.  He says before this year he was never asked for such help.

Cecilia Menjivar says she has seen this happen since 2006.  The Arizona State University sociology professor says it began when Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents began conducting raids at work sites.

When deportation befell a family, many children were left stranded at school if their parents were arrested at work and wives were unable to access their husbands’ bank accounts.  Families also began to discuss who would care for their children and prepared emergency lists.

“People usually have the firefighters or police on that list, but in this case, it’s people who can take care of the kids, the number of employers,” Menjivar said.

Mills says Arizona’s anti-immigration law has also played into the immigrants’ fears.

“People have gotten scared,” he says.

Immigrants can count on their wills being held just as binding as any other legal paper, according to Mills.

USA Today