In the past month, Donald Trump issued executive orders that call for the deportation of any and all undocumented immigrants in the United States. Reporters estimate that would mean the deportation of 11 million people. His administration is uncertain where the billions of dollars will come from to hire 10,000 new immigration agents and build new detention facilities, but new raids and random ID checks have already started. In speeches, Trump defends this plan because, in his words, undocumented immigrants “routinely victimize Americans” and “pose a threat to the rule of law.”
But what will thousands—or millions—of deportations mean for the uniquely American families that have grown up in immigrant homes? What will happen when those people—those brothers, sisters, daughters, dads, moms, and grandparents—are taken from their families?
On today’s episode, we talk with two women who fought to keep their families together—as our immigration system tried to tear them apart. The stories of Paola Benefo and Jhoana Monroy give us an insight into something we don’t often hear about in the political rhetoric around immigration—the human impact of deportation.
• Paola Benefo (whose family photo is featured on this show) wrote an editorial in the New York Times about her family's experience—read it here.
• Big thanks to filmmaker Anne Galisky for connecting us with people affected by deportation.
• This episode mentions the detention of immigration activist Daniela Vargas—read more about Daniela's story here.
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