BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Terrified by Alabama's strict new immigration crackdown, parents living in the state illegally say they are doing something that was unthinkable just days ago — asking friends, relatives, co-workers and acquaintances to take their children if they're arrested or deported.
Many illegal immigrants signed documents in the past week allowing others to care for their children if needed, assistance groups say, and a couple living illegally in nearby Shelby County extracted a promise from the man's boss to send their three young children — all U.S. citizens — to Mexico should they be jailed under the law.
A key sponsor of the measure, state Sen. Scott Beason, said such concerns weren't raised when legislators were considering the bill, and he wonders if the stories now are designed to "pull on heart strings" and build sympathy for illegal immigrants.
But for Maria Patino — who prays every time she leaves home — even a chance encounter with police could end with her two elementary-age children being left alone or taken to foster care if she and her husband are sent back to Mexico. Both are in the country illegally and have no friends or relatives close enough to take in the kids."Every time I leave I don't know if I will come back," Patino, 27, said through tears. "I can't stop working. My daughters need shoes and other things."
Social worker Jazmin Rivera helps dozens of Spanish-speaking immigrants fill out paperwork weekly, and many are now seeking legal documents called powers of attorney so friends and others could care for their children.
"People are scared, and they want to be sure their kids are safe if something happens to them," said Rivera, a case manager at the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama.
Beason, R-Gardendale, has his doubts about how widespread such cases really are.
"I would do whatever it took for my family to stay with me," he said. "It's beyond my comprehension that you would just leave your children anywhere."More on this sob story here at Yahoo News
I know I'm being callous, but you knew there was a chance this could happen when you chose to invade MY Country, when you chose to enjoy life on my dime, when you chose to become a criminal.
No apologies from me, I don't feel a bit sorry for you or your family.