Undocumented parents prepare to leave American-born children behind

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by Kristine Harrington

Bio | Email | Follow: @kharrington3tv

azfamily.com

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 22 at 6:41 AM

PHOENIX -- A lot of people here in Arizona are anxiously waiting to hear what the Supreme Court Justices have to say about SB 1070, especially those who will be directly impacted by their decision.

In fact, some undocumented parents, afraid of being deported and leaving their kids behind, are taking legal action to protect their family's future.

"Maybe we were born in a different country but in our hearts we are from here," said Vladimir Heredia.  "We are just very proud to be Americans you know."

But Valdimir and Miriam Heredia are not Americans. They are undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. some 16 years, living in fear of deportation, even more so since Senate Bill 1070 passed and they have three kids to consider.

"I wish, I wish to be a citizen," said Vladimir.  "But it is hard and it is taking a very long time."

It's already been years and will likely be many more before these parents become citizens. In the meantime they worry about being caught.

"I don't worry about me being in jail I worry about my children," said Miriam.

So these parents got a power of attorney to protect their American-born children who could end up left behind.

"There have been thousands of cases of children taken by CPS because there was no one to leave them with," said Immigration activist Carlos Galindo.

So Galindo, a certified legal document preparer, is offering to write up power of attorney documents for free.

"If a child ends up a ward of the state it's costing us money so this is fiscally responsible," said Galindo.

Galindo said demand for this document is high with so much focus again on Senate Bill 1070 and the pending Supreme Court decision. 

"We're not trying to help these parents violate the law we're trying to help protect children," Galindo explained.

CPS tells 3TV they don't keep track of how many cases involve parents who have been detained or deported by immigration authorities, but they work closely with the different consulates, families and friends to ideally get children back with their parents.
 

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