After deportation, how do families cope?

Jamie Martinez knew her father, Javier, known to intimates as “Choco,” had been deported several times when she was growing up. But nothing prepared the Martinez family for the day that he would no longer return.

It had seemed like another ordinary day until oddly, her father, who worked in Long Beach, didn’t come home. Jamie’s mother decided to call the police station only to have them confirm her suspicions: Choco had been detained.

“He was jaywalking to catch the bus to go home when the cops pulled him over, saw his record and they booked him,” Jamie said. His record included him being detained for selling cannabis and then deported, among several other deportations for other minor reasons.

Read the rest of this story on VoiceWaves.

Editor’s note: VoiceWaves is a Long Beach youth-led journalism and media-training project. The youth, ages 16-24, are learning to report, write, and create digital journalism content. Read more at

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