William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


This note addresses how deportation of undocumented immigrants affects the U.S. citizen children of those immigrants. The author examines this issue by studying the story of Marta Escoto, a woman facing deportation and also the mother and sole caregiver of a U.S. citizen child with a severely debilitating disease. If Escoto is deported and forced to return to her home country of Honduras, her daughter will likely be unable to continue to receive adequate and necessary health care. Mothers like Escoto who face deportation often plead the well-being of their children, but few can satisfy the high burden of proving that an extreme hardship will befall their children if their mother is deported. The author argues that while the proposed Child Citizen Protection Act attempts to remedy these problems, it does not go far enough. The Act would lower the burden of proof from extraordinary circumstances to mere consideration of the best interests of the citizen children. The author asserts that enactment of a law requiring such consideration is necessary to protect the rights of U.S. citizen children born to undocumented immigrants, children like Escoto's daughter.