Like many other immigrants in New Jersey and beyond, a woman currently residing in another state came to the United States years ago as a teenager. She is now a 36-year-old mother of three. The birth of her youngest child recently took place in a church building. The woman has been living there with her two other children because she is worried about her immigration status.
Years ago, the woman emigrated from Peru. She reportedly wanted to get a job and was told she could purchase a Social Security number to help her do so. She says she had no idea that she was doing something illegal.
The situation placed her at risk for removal, which is why she sought sanctuary at a local church. A minister from the church said his congregation wanted to help this family and others who may be facing similar immigration problems. They even installed a shower to provide for the family’s personal hygiene needs. A midwife assisted the woman during her recent 15-hour labor and delivery.
The woman said she was afraid to leave the church to have her baby at a medical facility because she fears that if she exits the building, immigration officers will arrest her. She worries that she and her children may become separated and that she will be deported. There are likely immigrants in New Jersey who are worried about similar immigration issues. It is helpful to seek support by discussing one’s case with someone who is well-versed in U.S. immigration law.