(CBS) – Hundreds of undocumented immigrants in Chicago are afraid they will be deported, so they are rushing to make sure their children can legally stay here.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
Bladimir Caballero, 17, is a Dreamer from Hoduras. Here since infancy, and now documented, his mother Doris is not. Their entire family fears she’ll be sent back.
“She wants me to stay and carry on with my school and become someone that she always wanted me to be,” Caballero says.
To ensure Bladimir stays in the U.S., Doris is prepared to sign a document giving power of attorney – guardianship – to her American citizen husband.
Immigration advocates say fear is widespread.
“Recently, we’ve seen a huge influx of people calling in who fear detention or deportation,” Rebekah Rashidfouroki of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services says. They are “looking to set up safety plans for their children,” she adds.
That usually means appointing short-term or stand-by guardians for their kids, including those children who are American citizens. The first is a less formal arrangement; the second, a formal, court-involved appointment.
“In the past I used to get zero calls about something like this, and I’m getting maybe three or four calls or Facebook messages or emails a day,” she says.
Jeff Halm believes immigration enforcement is needed.
“There are laws on the books, and if you don’t follow laws there are legal consequences to them,” says Halm, president of the Chicago Young Republicans.