Colorlines reports that the “federal government conducted more than 200,000 deportations of parents who said their children are U.S. citizens in a timespan of just over two years…Between July 1, 2010, and Sept. 31, 2012, nearly 23 percent of all deportations—or, 204,810 deportations—were issued for parents with citizen children, according to federal data unearthed through a Freedom of Information Act request.”
Frank Sharry, Executive Director at America’s Voice Education Fund, reacted to the news by saying:
As Colorlines reveals, failed immigration laws and enforcement are destroying the families of hundreds of thousands of American children. Our government should be in the business of reuniting families, not separating them. When Congress takes up immigration reform next year, it has to consider the impact on children and take bold steps to ensure our laws strengthen rather than destroy families.
While the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) frequently claim that that they are focusing their enforcement on the “worst of the worst” – referring to statistics on removals of “criminal aliens” to underscore their point – a closer look at the data and the description belie their claims. In short, despite the scary-sounding terminology, many of these “criminals” have done nothing worse than run a red light. See this America’s Voice Education Fund post on April 2012 for more.
Let’s be clear – since DHS won’t: immigrants get run through the deportation mill for minor offenses as well as major offenses. Should the punishment for driving without a license be permanent separation from your children? The answer should be obvious. We can do better than this.