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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > ICE quietly reveals they’ve deported over 46,000 undocumented parents. But where are the children?

ICE quietly reveals they’ve deported over 46,000 undocumented parents. But where are the children?

LatinaLista — The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department of Homeland Security has not had a good last couple of weeks. No matter which way they turned they were getting hammered for not being transparent enough either in their count of undocumented immigrants who escaped capture or their practices treating undocumented immigrants in detention.

It might be because they realized if they were truly transparent then they could really come under fire, like what happened today — four days after they released the report Deportation of Parents of U.S.-Born Citizens: Fiscal Year 2011 Report to Congress Second Semi-Annual Report.

According to the report, during the reporting period from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011, ICE removed 46,486 undocumented parents who claimed to have at least one US citizen child.

This is the separation of families so often cited as a sign of the nation’s broken immigration system.

Critics would argue that it’s a sign that our system is working but when any system lacks a moral component and has no hesitation in separating a parent from their child, a US-born child, then the system is beyond broken.

Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus addressed the revelations in this report by issuing a press release:

Washington D.C.: Chairman Charles A. Gonzalez (TX 20), Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL 4), Chair of the CHC Immigration Task Force and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA 34) released the following statements in response to an Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Report regarding the annual deportation of parents of U.S. citizens. The Fiscal Year 2011 Second Semi-Annual Deportation of Parents of U.S.-Born Citizens Report reveals that more than 46,000 parents of U.S. children were deported in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2011.

“To force hardship on American families is contrary with the ideals and standards of our country. Those who commit violent crimes should be a priority for deportation, but it’s misguided to deport parents who are simply living in the United States as a part of a mixed-status family. Some of those deported were here to raise their American children and to work for American employers, as they comprise a labor pool that is vital to many American businesses,” said CHC Chairman Charles Gonzalez. “I urge ICE to use its policy of prosecutorial discretion to prioritize deportation proceedings and then deport individuals that pose a danger to our communities, which is the wisest use of limited resources and in our economic best interest.”

“Thousands of federal employees go to work each morning with the job of taking parents away from their U.S. citizen children and breaking up peaceful, productive American families. It is a tragedy. The President’s policy of sparing long-time residents from deportation so that we can concentrate our resources on removing serious criminals needs to be fully implemented and followed. We are putting our future at risk every day that we delay serious reform and continue shoveling more good people into deportation and their children into foster care,” said Rep. Gutierrez.

“This report is the latest example of the terrible human toll our broken immigration system is taking on families. Tearing families apart like this is inhumane and completely unacceptable,” said Rep. Roybal-Allard. “We can’t continue to claim to value families while deporting parents in the tens of thousands. This must stop,” Roybal-Allard added.
These deportations have real social and economic costs. According to a 2011 report by the Applied Research Center, more than 5,000 children living in foster care have parents who were detained or deported from the United States.

ICE is in the process of implementing a new prosecutorial discretion policy which takes into account family ties in making deportation decisions.

“I believe it is critical that the new guidelines are interpreted as generously as possible by agency officials to prevent even more families from being torn apart,” said Rep. Roybal-Allard.

Deporting these parents may have followed the “spirit of the law” but it did so in gross contrast to the spirit of what the citizens of this country believe why our forefathers founded this nation.

Forcefully separating a parent from his or her child with a penalty for seeing each other again — either the family giving up life in the US to return to a poorer quality of life in the parent’s native country or forcing the parent to risk their life to return to the US illegally or bar him/her outright for ten years — is not a policy for a democratic nation that prides itself for upholding principles the world over that fly in the face of dictatorships, communism and oppressive regimes.

A policy that separates parent from their children does not provide much separation between the United States and all those countries that we would rather distance ourselves from because of their disregard to human right, democratic principles and the basic tenets of what is right and what is wrong.

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Comment(10)

  • AztlanConnect
    March 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    @LatinaLista
    ICE 46,000 undocumented parents. But where are the children?
    doesn’t CHC have the cojones to go and ask Obama that question?

  • Patricia Hernandez-Gonzales
    March 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Excellant article. How sad things have come to this in the US. My prayers go out to all those families torn apart by this. Can’t even imagine what they must be going through.

  • Luz Vargas
    March 31, 2012 at 6:33 am

    my emily whom i raised as a week old newborn had her father taken away deported so she ended up in foster care. i understand he was guilty of child abuse. i had warned this fellow whom i babysat his two kids i tried to help him as much as i could. i regret i did not d more for my emily n her brother. this case totally was a case if domestic violence against the father n i believe negelect on the part of the people who were suppost to be responsible for this children when the case in question happen. the only ones that suffered were the children. if an american citizen had been in a similar situation cps n the courts would have been more willing for this father to finish his steps to prove he was a fit father. instead they deported n proceeded to put the children up for adoption. the father came back illegally again n fought to regain custody n there was a living relative also but the father was once again deported so hat this children would be adopted out. perhaps when this children grow up they will think that their father did not love them or their mother. i am witness it was not the case. the mother was unable to care for her children but love them very much. i read some reports on her n i think i understood i also interacted with her n she always asked aboit her children n she loved them. she was grateful that i cared for them. the father work long hours to support them n tried to be a good father he just lack the age n the skills. his relation with this woman stared when he was way under the legal age of consent. the woman well she was unable to function or understand what she was doing as an adult should be able to. i feel sad i was unable to navigate this area cps deportation n adoption or parents loosing parental rights. i wish somehow i can forget this story but emily her sweet baby face n her warmth near my heart keeps me awake full of guilt. she was loved by her parents n by me. the greatest crime her father commited was being illegaly here.

  • Luz Vargas
    March 31, 2012 at 6:33 am

    my emily whom i raised as a week old newborn had her father taken away deported so she ended up in foster care. i understand he was guilty of child abuse. i had warned this fellow whom i babysat his two kids i tried to help him as much as i could. i regret i did not d more for my emily n her brother. this case totally was a case if domestic violence against the father n i believe negelect on the part of the people who were suppost to be responsible for this children when the case in question happen. the only ones that suffered were the children. if an american citizen had been in a similar situation cps n the courts would have been more willing for this father to finish his steps to prove he was a fit father. instead they deported n proceeded to put the children up for adoption. the father came back illegally again n fought to regain custody n there was a living relative also but the father was once again deported so hat this children would be adopted out. perhaps when this children grow up they will think that their father did not love them or their mother. i am witness it was not the case. the mother was unable to care for her children but love them very much. i read some reports on her n i think i understood i also interacted with her n she always asked aboit her children n she loved them. she was grateful that i cared for them. the father work long hours to support them n tried to be a good father he just lack the age n the skills. his relation with this woman stared when he was way under the legal age of consent. the woman well she was unable to function or understand what she was doing as an adult should be able to. i feel sad i was unable to navigate this area cps deportation n adoption or parents loosing parental rights. i wish somehow i can forget this story but emily her sweet baby face n her warmth near my heart keeps me awake full of guilt. she was loved by her parents n by me. the greatest crime her father commited was being illegaly here.

  • Latina Lista
    March 31, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Thank you for sharing.

  • LoveImmigrants
    March 31, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Lets do the math. 46,486 parents were deported and if they each had approximately 2 children each, we’re close to 100,000 children put in foster care or left to other US citizens to take care of. Why is this allowed to go on?  Why isn’t anyone doing anything about this? Is love, compassion and mercy gone from our beloved United States?

  • veraluz1
    March 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    keeping families intact has never been of interest to the government..,-It is easier to maintain control over a population that is fractured and divided and lacks family values

  • veraluz1
    March 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    keeping families intact has never been of interest to the govt. It is easier to maintain control over a populace that is fragmented and lacks family values

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    […] ICE quietly reveals they’ve deported over 46,000 undocumented parents. But where are the children? Posted on April 1, 2012 by Olga Aros Marisa | March 30, 2012 | 6 Comments […]

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