Undocumented parents are rushing to get their American-born children Mexican citizenships.
When a Wimauma mother of two saw the nation pick Donald Trump as its next president, she felt one thing.
“Scared. I was scared," she said.
We’ve agreed to hide her identity because she’s living in the U.S. undocumented.
“We’re going to deport them" has been Trumps promise throughout his campaign. She fears he’ll keep it. But what keeps her up at night is what that’ll mean for her American-born children.
“They would be alone without mom and dad," she said.
It’s not just the adults feeling the same.
“You should be scared because they could separate your family and then you could be by yourself," said 9-year-old Carlos Antonio who was born here.
The Mexican consulate says their fears are very apparent. They’ve received a boom in the number of calls to their office. That’s why, this week, the consulate is in Wimauma. Alongside the League of United Latin American Citizens 7260, the Service Employees International Union and the Hispanic Services Council they are helping packed rooms of concerned parents get their children dual citizenship.
Getting a Mexican birth certificate takes just around three hours and is completely free. Despite the ease of the process, a few families we spoke with call it all bittersweet.
“I don’t have money in Mexico," said the undocumented mom, "So if I go over there with my kids I don’t know how to give them a good future.”
A split family also costs taxpayer money.That’s because these American-born children end up with the state.
“In foster homes, yeah they have to be taken care of by the state," said Kharlo Quiñones with the Mexican Consulate.
Reclaiming them from Mexico is lengthy and expensive. But he says families shouldn’t fear the unknown, rather prepare for it.