By Mary McPhail Gray
I wondered why some of my clients were acting more vigilant—and hyperalert?” commented a Taos Behavioral Health clinician in the Taos schools. Soon he had an explanation—ICE was in town.
While most of the attention and talking about undocumented residents is about adults — we at TBH see the evidence of how children and youth are impacted. At a minimum, a family with undocumented adults is often living in very small quarters with few resources to provide for their children. Adults who work usually make minimum wages and are often subjected to a variety of abuses in their employment.
The fear of deportation or of family separation is real. Some families work with Sin Fronteras Nuevo Mexico and Taos Immigrant Allies (TIA) to establish guardianship for their children in case the parents are arrested and taken away. The guardian assumes responsibility for the children’s needs until the parent is able to resume their primary role. This arrangement can be comforting to the children IF the selected guardian is well known to the children and the parents have thoroughly explained the circumstances to them. However, TBH clinicians have clearly heard children say that if their parents were deported, they naturally would want to go with them. [Read more…] about My Heart is Hurting: Things that Touch the Children