OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Immigration authorities say they hope to sweep up at least 2,000 undocumented immigrants across the country.
"It's very sad. It's very scary," said Maria Mendoza-Sanchez.
She understands the panic the prospect of deportation is causing. She herself has been deported.
"My heart goes out to those people who are in fear right now. Not knowing what is going to happen," she said.
In a highly publicized case, Mendoza-Sanchez, a cancer nurse at Highland Hospital in Oakland, was deported to Mexico with her husband almost two years ago, leaving three of their four children back in the bay area.
"During the time I was in Mexico I struggled a lot. Not knowing what was going on with my kids. Not seeing them every day. Really sad. I was in major depression. I couldn't sleep," she said.
Mendoza-Sanchez had come to the U.S. Illegally in 1994 to join her husband Eusebio Sanchez.
Despite appeals from the hospital and senator Dianne Feinstein, the couple was deported.
Because of Mendoza-Sanchez's advanced nursing degree, she was allowed to enter a special H-1B visa lottery which became her ticket back last December.
But her husband is still in Mexico with little hope of returning any time soon, if at all.
She says people come illegally often out of desperation, and that legal immigration is not easy either.
"When I went to the embassy I saw long lines of people. They got rejected for no reason even to visit. It isn't as easy as people might think," she said.
Mendoza-Sanchez has these ominous words for families who are out of options and facing deportation.
Once your family is broken apart, no matter what happens after, it is never going to be the same.
President Donald Trump says the raids are imperative to controlling a humanitarian crisis on the southern border.
State and local city governments have been mobilizing in opposition.