The Applied Research Center, a 30-year-old racial justice think tank that uses media, research and activism to promote solutions, has prepared a report entitled "Shattered Families" that examines the intersection of immigration enforcement and the child welfare system.
The key findings of the report are as follows:
- There are at least 5,100 children currently living in foster care who are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents.
- If nothing changes, 15,000 more children may face a similar fate in the next 5 years.
- This is a growing national problem, not one confined to border jurisdictions or states-- ARC identified at least 22 states where these cases have emerged.
- Families are more likely to be separated where local police aggressively participate in immigration enforcement.
- Immigrant victims of domestic violence are at particular risk of losing their children
- 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.
A Freedom of Information Act request reveals that in the first six months of 2011, the Obama administration has deported 46,000 mothers and fathers of U.S. citizen children. ARC President Rinku Sen remarked in a press release that the Obama administration's policies are greatly increasing the chances that separated families will never see each other again.
Mr. Sen characterized this administration's actions as follows: "Detaining and deporting parents shatter families and endanger the children left behind. It’s unacceptable, un-American, and a clear sign that we need to revisit our immigration policies.”
Another shameful example of business as usual under the Obama administration.