If all Southeast Asian families in Pennsylvania were to be surveyed regarding challenges they have overcome when adapting to immigrant life in the United States, their answers may be quite similar. In fact, at least 16,000 Southeast Asian families are currently trying to resolve deportation issues. Such situations are often highly stressful and financially draining on those involved.

A woman in another state says it has cost her thousands of dollars to try to persevere through her husband’s immigration detention problems. He is a Cambodian refugee who came to the U.S. in the 1980s. In 2016, however, he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in connection with a second-degree felony conviction in his past.

The man’s wife was left to raise her three children on her own while also trying to make financial ends meet. She says it caused her to suffer depression and insomnia for which she had to seek therapy. The mother of three says daily life was tremendously stressful, trying to drive back and forth to see her husband, keep up her home and address her children’s emotional needs as they awaited the final outcome of their father’s situation.

The children’s father was eventually released. Even so, an immigrant advocate recently stated that there has been an increase in immigration arrests among the Southeast Asian communities. More than 70 Cambodian immigrants have faced deportation already this year. Regardless of specific ethnic background, any man or woman in Pennsylvania currently facing threat of deportation may reach out for legal support.