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Is fear of deportation adversely affecting your health?

If you're one of approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in Florida and throughout the nation, you likely understand the immense anxiety that can arise in situations that would be considered normal to native and naturalized citizens. For instance, sending a child to school often poses all sorts of stressful possibilities for non-citizens, including the fact that a son or daughter could come home to an empty house. Some immigrant parents have created set plans (like fire drills) for their children to get help in such situations.

As an undocumented immigrant living in the United States, you may have been one of many who grew even more nervous following the recent presidential election. It seems the new administration's plan has caused growing unease among the nation's immigrant population. U.S. immigration law is complex and can be difficult to understand, especially if language poses a barrier. Seeking support ahead of time is often key to mitigating any negative circumstances that arise.

Be aware of deportation changes

Perhaps, you've only been in the United States for a year or two, or maybe you've been living, working and raising your family here for several decades. Either way, if your residency status is undocumented, you may want to pay close attention to some of the following changes that have taken place regarding possible deportation:

  • It used to be that only the most hardened, convicted criminals were subject to deportation due to their records. Nowadays, authorities can detain you and slate you for removal even if you are merely charged with a crime.
  • An immigration officer has the power to detain any immigrant who, in his or her opinion, has committed a chargeable offense. This means you or your family member may be detained even if formal charges are not filed.
  • If you're cited for driving without a license, it is now grounds for removal.

There appears to be a heightened sense of fear among Florida immigrants and others across the nation. Basic daily activities, such as going to work and school, shopping at a grocery store or seeking medical attention for adverse health conditions, become terrifying incidents when fears of deportation take hold. In fact, many immigrants may be suffering poor health due to stress-related situations regarding threats of removal. Some say seeking outside support helps reduce such stress.

An immigration and naturalization law attorney knows the ins and outs of the U.S. immigration system. By reaching out to an experienced advocate, an immigrant fearing deportation may be able to increase the chances of avoiding removal.

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