A disturbing new trend among immigrant children
Posted at: 08/15/2012 8:32 AM
| Updated at: 08/15/2012 8:39 AM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
There’s a stunning trend happening within the immigrant community around the country and in New Mexico. Many undocumented parents are fearful not just of immigration officials, but of their own children.
“I don't know what to say about that. That's kinda terrible," said Paul Martinez of Albuquerque.
It may sound unreal but there have been cases reported of U.S. born kids and teens threatening their undocumented parents with having them deported.
"Sadly but that's happening around here too," said therapist Jennifer Nagorski, who works at Enlace Comunitario. She says these types of cases are on the rise locally, especially against women in domestic abuse situations.
Nagorski says it’s that violence that’s to blame in many situations.
‘"Even the little ones, two years old, start to abuse their mothers because they see that violence at home," she said. “The idea is that they're going to be free. Free from their mother."
Maria De la Cruz of Albuquerque says she’s heard of this happening when she lived in California.
"A neighbor said her son, if she didn't buy him something, he'd say: Oh, I'm going to call police so they can deport you. A little boy!," said De la Cruz.
The Albuquerque Police Department says it hasn’t responded to calls like this, and doesn’t ask immigration status.
"Kids aren't disciplined right now,” thinks De la Cruz. “They do what they want. And parents are scared of their kids." Enlace Comunitario urges victims to come forward. Therapy is also available for their kids.
“Try to see the child more as a victim not the perpetrator and try to help the child because he went through abuse for a long time," said Nagorski.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, says it hasn’t heard of this happening.
But the office in El Paso says if a child were to call to report their undocumented parents, Ice would treat the call like any other report they receive.
ICE would then pass it on to agents to investigate.