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Deportation fears force AZ mother to take steps to protect son

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Natally Cruz, 24, grew up in the Valley but doesn't have legal status. Natally Cruz, 24, grew up in the Valley but doesn't have legal status.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Senate Bill B1070, Arizona's tough but controversial immigration law, is sparking some change in the way immigrant families protect themselves in case of deportation.

A young mother, brought to Arizona illegally when she was a little girl, told CBS 5 News what legal tools she uses to ensure her son is safe in case she were to be deported.

Natally Cruz, 24, grew up in the Valley, but doesn't have legal status. When SB 1070 started to unfold, she watched as closely as anyone. With her 7-year-old son, Adrian, in mind, she decided to go a route many have also decided to take.

"The less I drive the better, but it's really hard," Cruz said. 

Cruz admitted she tries to drive as little as possible to keep from putting herself in the way of law enforcement. 

Cruz admitted she has been unable to go to school or work because of the fear of being detained and deported.

At one point, Cruz took college classes. She even graduated with the top of her class at Camelback High, but all that came to a halt.

"I needed a Social Security card for work and to take more classes, and I don't have a Social Security card," Cruz revealed.  

But instead of remaining in fear, Cruz decided to take action.

"I have designated my aunt as the custodian of my son," Cruz said. "When I first came to the United States, she had a power of attorney for me, and now just in case, she will have the same for my son."

Cruz also has all of her life's accomplishments along with bank statements, medical payment stubs, utility bills and her high school diploma neatly filed in a three-ring binder.  She said she has created the binder for her family to keep handy in case she needs it in court to defend herself in front of an immigration judge.

She said one of the worst things that plays in her mind is the day her son sees her being taken away by law enforcement.

"I hope he does what I am not able to do because of this bump that I had down the road," Cruz said.

Copyright 2012 CBS5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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