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Immigration Activists Protest Parental Deportation (Video)

Immigration Activists Protest Parental Deportation (Video)

Activists protested in downtown LA on November 14 to help bring attention to what they call the government’s “immorality” when it comes to deporting parents.

In an early November briefing with Latino journalists, President Obama directly acknowledged that his administration’s immigration enforcement practices break up families and exclude parents from decisions about the custody of their children. “It’s a real problem,” the President said.

A groundbreaking new report “Shattered Families” from The Applied Research Center, a 30-year-old racial justice think tank that uses media, research and activism to promote solutions, found that:

  • There are at least 5,100 children currently living in foster care who are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents.
  • The problem is national, not one confined to border jurisdictions or states.
  • Families are more likely to be separated where local police aggressively participate in immigration enforcement.
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention obstructs participation in Child Protective Services’ plans for family unity.
  • Most child welfare departments lack systemic policies to keep families united when parents are detained or deported.

The report found that in many cases, ICE was detaining victims of domestic violence and human trafficking whose children then entered foster care and they subsequently lost their children.

Andrea Garcia, a Los Angeles immigration attorney told the rally:

Not only have I seen families destroyed and children left without mothers, but our system of justice is being destroyed with all these detentions and deportations.

Our courts cannot handle it. Our detention centers do not have enough space for people. And we’re just pumping more and more money into detaining and deporting people who are not criminals.

The president told the Latino journalists that parents should have access to their children if they are detained and that he has directed the Department of Homeland Security to examine its family unification practices to ensure that happens.

“I think we have to keep putting pressure on those responsible for administering the program, to make sure that children aren’t torn from their parents without due process and the possibility to stay with their children,” the President said.

New guidance for Homeland Security is supposed to ensure that criminals are prioritized and discretion is practiced in non-criminal immigration cases.

But in interviews with Colorlines.com, immigration attorneys and advocates around the country say that they have not seen any significant increase in the use of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) discretion to release parents.

 

Video: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Related stories:

Abused and Trafficked Women Losing Children Under Immigration Regime (Video)

Is Arizona Set To Change Tack On Immigration?

Tomb of the Unknown Migrant

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Image byShattered Families cover

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39 comments

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7:31AM PST on Jan 20, 2012

PEOPLE keep in mind that ILLEGALS are not all MEXICAN. Stop your narrow mindedness!! Illegals arrive through our beaches, seaports and airports and the Canadian border so don't just look at the Mexican border. Your government officials bring and hire illegals but hide it until Caught. Freedom and work is all that "illegals" want because too many AMERICANS love living off of UNEMPLOYMENT until it Runs Out rather than taking a job below their previous pay scales. So when Americans stop being Lazy, illegals might stop having a reason to come because all jobs will be taken up.... OH... If the GOP Corporations start hiring ... and not holding jobs hostage.

12:55AM PST on Dec 10, 2011

Kathy P - "It is sad that the parents are separated from their children, but it is even more sad that parents bring their children into the situation that allows this to happen. We can't just allow parents to stay with their kids.... I'd bet the percentage of illegals with children is 90% or above. Furthermore, they come here then start making babies like rabbits. Should that be a free ticket for them? I think not. Perhaps knowing they could lose their kids would be a deterrent for them."

You are 100% right! And these "parent's" knew the risks they were taking by being here lllagally. They just depended on our system being broken them not getting caught. I do feel for the children, however- for having such parents!

9:29PM PST on Dec 7, 2011

Way to go activists! I wish I could have been there.

9:28PM PST on Dec 7, 2011

Way to go activists! I wish I could have been there.

9:42AM PST on Nov 26, 2011

It is sad that the parents are separated from their children, but it is even more sad that parents bring their children into the situation that allows this to happen. We can't just allow parents to stay with their kids.... I'd bet the percentage of illegals with children is 90% or above. Furthermore, they come here then start making babies like rabbits. Should that be a free ticket for them? I think not. Perhaps knowing they could lose their kids would be a deterrent for them.

12:08AM PST on Nov 26, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:47PM PST on Nov 25, 2011

@ Terry K “The Bracero program ended in 1964. Look it up!” Well then, it’s time to start it up again, isn’t it ? Or do you prefer the increasing destruction of the present situation ? @ Megan M How about separating a child from an abusive family? We are hearing a lot about the poor illegal women suffering domestic abuse lately.



10:12AM PST on Nov 25, 2011

omg that's horrible

6:55PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

I agree they should all go back. The Mexican drug cartel has taken over in my area of southern California and there is one murder a week in my town. In the city of LA right now 95% of the murders are done by illegal aliens who flee to Mexico and escape. That means only 5% of the murders in the city of LA are done by American citizens. Border states are going broke under the crushing burden of supporting illegal aliens' children. They are all eligible for food stamps, free housing, free medical and free educations. This has nothing to do with racism, it's about money. The American taxpayers ran out of money to support them.
There's a recession and Americans are having trouble taking care of themselves.

9:30PM PST on Nov 23, 2011

There is no such thing as illegal immigration- one is either an immigrant (legal) or an illegal alien. No other country has tolerated what has created this issue in the US. You are either there legally, as a tourist, worker, student whatever- or you are shown the border. I had my papers checked several times while in Europe.

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