Amid news of stepped-up deportation efforts under President Donald Trump, many of the estimated 700,000 public school students in California who have at least one undocumented parent are living in constant fear that their families will be torn apart. This story originally appeared in the California Health Report.
Each time 17-year-old Stephanie gets a call or text message on her cell phone at school, her heart starts pounding and her hands begin to sweat.
“I think, ‘Oh my God, they took them. This is it,’” said the Ventura County high school student. “I can’t concentrate on what’s going on.”
While at school, Stephanie texts her mom constantly to check on her, something she never used to do. At home, she races to be the person to answer each time the phone rings or there’s a knock at the door. Late at night, she lies awake wondering how she’ll take care of her two younger siblings if her parents get deported.