posted on July 16, 2018 09:44
Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire. (2015). Margaret Regan. Beacon Press, 247 pp. $18.00 (Paperback). ISBN #978-0-8070-7983-6. http://www.beacon.org/Detained-and-Deported-P1207.aspx. Review by Grecia Anaya-Arevalo, Truckee Meadows Community College.
Recent changes in immigration policy have shed a light on the lives of individuals who are undocumented. As academic advisors we will encounter students who may have relatives in current deportation proceedings, and we will encounter students who are undocumented and fear they may be deported. In order to truly empathize with a student and understand that fear, we must first learn what it actually means to be undocumented, what it truly means to go through deportation proceedings and understand the reason why many choose to move to a different country in search of a better life. In Detained and Deported, Regan allows the reader to see through the eyes of undocumented people as they are detained for years in a facility with little hope of getting out.
Rural Arizona houses one of the largest detention centers in the country. The Eloy detention center detains undocumented individuals while they await a court decision on whether they will be deported or if something could be done about their case. The detainees are allowed to see a lawyer but without funds and with so many people detained many do not get the attention needed to appeal a case and end up in Eloy for years. The conditions at the Eloy detention center are very poor. There is limited access to see a doctor, detainees barely get to see their families and when they do, it is for a very short time (p. 3-33). These conditions have led to some people committing suicide (p. 25). For those who get deported, they are sent back to a country they have not seen in years. In some cases they leave kids behind, often not knowing what will happen to them or who will take care of them (p.111-132). Those who have managed to get an education while being undocumented have had to work twice as hard and at times lose opportunities because of their status. Such was the case with Arely. Arely grew up in the states and came from an educated family (p. 216). When she graduated high school, she had the option to apply to a university but because of her status, she would have to pay out of state tuition. Her family could not afford to pay for her education and instead went to the community college where she got an associates and is now working as a waitress (p. 217).
Many of us will encounter students like Arely who cannot further their dreams because they do not have a paper that says they can live here. What I liked about this book is the honesty in which it was written. No one ever talks about the living conditions in these detention centers and what it truly means to go back to a country that a person may fear because of the dangers and poverty. Even if there is no simple answer or simple way to help an undocumented student, just learning about these experiences can help us listen with open mind and heart and be a resource that a student may need in a country where their future is unknown.