Americans in blended families cope with toll of deportation

As the United States takes a harder line on immigration, thousands who called the country home are being forced to go. Often, they leave behind spouses and children with American citizenship and must figure out how to go on with families fractured apart.

Studies have found an estimated 8 to 9 million Americans — the majority of them children — live with at least one relative who is in the country illegally. And so each action to deport an immigrant is just as likely to entangle a citizen or legal U.S. resident.

One woman was deported this year from Kansas City to Mexico, leaving behind her American husband and daughter. The family connects now through phone calls and text messages as a lengthy legal process unfolds.