Tulsa immigrant families prepare for deportations following Homeland Security memos

Posted at 4:54 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 21:42:15-05

Tulsa immigrant families are preparing for the worst in fear their families could be ripped at the seams at any given moment.

Two new memos released by the Department of Homeland Security have undocumented parents making emergency arrangements to protect their children.

The department has expanded the number of people considered priority for deportation and many undocumented immigrants said they feel like they are in limbo, waiting for mass deportations, raids, and the destruction of their families

Perhaps what makes Tulsa so colorful is the people. A city full of rich culture and friendly faces. But as 2 Works for You learned, some of these faces are masked by fear.

Not one immigrant family 2 Works for you encountered had the courage to speak against new immigration guidelines, sweeping the nation, in fear of retaliation.

So in their place, a documented immigrant, part of grass roots reform group, Dream Act Oklahoma, raised his concern.

"I still live in fear knowing that friends, family and neighbors are in danger of being taken away at any moment," Ivan Godinez, former president and now member of Dream Act Oklahoma said.

Godinez crossed the Mexican the border when he was 14.

"I remember being very excited the first time I came to the U.S.," Godinez said.

A life of freedom and endless opportunity. He said today's America, just isn't the same, and it began with former president Barack Obama.

"President Obama deported more people than any other president has in the past," Godinez said.

The Obama administration's reform targeted criminals. Now, the two new memos released by DHS, are revamping that fear, under a new president.

"They're expanding the pool for even more people," Godinez said.

This means, a simple traffic violation could lead to an arrest, tearing a family a part.

"All of a sudden, a family is out of a dad, brother or a mom and that's the fear people are having at the moment," Godinez said.

To combat the fear, undocumented parents have come up with emergency plans so their children don't find themselves in an empty home.

"I know people who for example have gotten their passports or I.D's for their 2 year-olds so they have a form of I.D.," Godinez said.

He adds that undocumented parents are also making plans with neighbors, to take care of their children if anything should happen.

Godinez said each day, is a new risk, with family's not knowing if one day in the U.S., might be their last.

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