Spouses of American Citizens Targeted for Deportation

A new study from the national grassroots organization, American Families United (AFU), claims that at least 350,000 individuals with US citizenship are married to immigrant spouses who face problems with immigration authorities in the US and that the figure could go as high as over half a million.

Kim Anderson, the president of American Families United, says the most neglected constituency in the debate over immigration is US citizens, but that the way to unlock the debate is to recognize that they are the biggest priority in legal immigration. According to an AFU analysis of data from the US Census Bureau, around 4.4 million American citizens are married to spouses born overseas.

Over 800,000 of these live in California, with almost half a million in Texas, and an estimated 350,000 in New York. There are significant numbers in almost all states, with over 100,000 in Washington, Illinois, and Virginia, 35,000 in Utah, and 40,000 in Wisconsin. Anderson says that even AFU’s lowest estimates put at least 350,000 American citizens married to spouses who may be at risk because of the current immigration crackdown.

Anderson insists that the issue is the rights of American citizens, who should not be put in a position where they are forced to choose between their country and their spouse. The analysis made by AFU was based on the 2013 special report by the US Census Current Population Survey.