AVONDALE, Ariz. — Mexican mother of four Norma Bernal was taking a stroll beside the dusty rail tracks that carve through this sprawling Phoenix suburb when she was stopped and questioned by local police.
Living in the country illegally and unable to provide identification, she panicked, gave a false name and was arrested on suspicion of trespassing on railroad property. Her U.S.-born daughter Julisa looked on, aghast.
“Because she gave a false name, they couldn’t pull up her records, and they were like, ‘You could be a felon … Someone could be looking for you right now.’ So they took her, and they asked us, ‘Do you guys want to watch us handcuff her?’” 16-year-old Julisa said of the Jan. 1 incident.
Norma, 36, a single parent, is in deportation proceedings at an immigration detention facility southeast of Phoenix. Julisa, a high school student, is raising her three younger siblings (all the children are U.S. citizens) with the help of several maternal aunts (three of whom have legal status) and her mother’s boyfriend, Isaiah Ybarra, an aircraft mechanic with three children of his own.
Read the complete article at: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/11/18/mixed-status-familieshopefulexecutiveactionbringsunity.html