Separated at the Border: The Impact to Families

Parents want the best for their children, and they will go to extreme lengths to make sure their children live as best as possible. For many families, this means migrating to the United States to have a chance at the “American Dream”. However, many of these family’s risk coming to the United States without documentation. While this option is extremely dangerous, for some families it is their only option. There are many consequences while trying to cross the border undocumented, still, thousands of families take the risk every year. The psychological effects that it takes on families especially children can be severe. Children who are separated from their parents at the border due to trying to enter the United States without documentation suffer from being placed in detention centers without knowing when they will see their family again. These same children are given a court date to attend to try and explain why they were crossing the United States border. Many children are made to sleep on the floor and go days without bathing or eating due to the detention centers being overcrowded.

Many families make it across the border and establish their lives in the United States. Their kids, many times U.S. citizens have their opportunity at the American Dream. However, it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye. Something as small as a traffic spot can be detrimental to an undocumented family. Undocumented people cannot apply for a driver’s license, therefore being at risk for deportation every time they are behind the wheel. Not only are undocumented people afraid to drive but many are also scared to go work. The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted its largest raid against undocumented workers in 2019. People without documentation live in fear every day. Not just the fear of being detained and possibly deported, but the fear of leaving their spouse and children behind. Many times, children have come home to news of their parent’s deportation and with new living arrangements.

Due to being afraid of being outed as undocumented, many people do not speak out and continue to live in fear. Children who are separated from their family usually suffer from depression and anxiety. It is important to support those who do not feel supported by a country they consider their own. If you know anyone struggling with such an issue, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Please call us at (972) 590-8030.


About Kenia Rios

Kenia, an Oak Cliff local, has seen the community prosper over the last few years. She is passionate about helping those in her community and believes in spreading awareness to break down the stigma of mental illness. Kenia believes in hosting a safe and non-judgmental space where individuals are free to express themselves and achieve their counseling goals. She utilizes an eclectic approach to help others become the best version of themselves.

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