First Focus — in collaboration with We Belong Together, UWD, MomsRising, and America’s Voice Education Fund — has launched a PSA campaign to highlight the impact our broken immigration system has on kids, particularly the US citizen children of immigrants.
The stunningly beautiful and poignant ads — which feature a number of children from mixed-status families — come as the Supreme Court is soon expected to announce the fate of DAPA and DACA+, which would protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
America’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths, and children of immigrants now comprise one quarter of all U.S. children. In America, we also believe that every child should have a fair shot at achieving his or her full potential. Thus, our country’s future prosperity will depend on the extent to which all children in America are connected to the stability and support they need to grow up healthy and contribute to the future of our country.
Unfortunately, U.S. immigration laws frequently harm children. Currently more than 5 million children in America live in mixed-status families with one or more undocumented parent, the vast majority of whom are U.S.-born citizens. Every day, these children must live in constant fear of losing a parent to deportation. In fact, the U.S. government deported nearly 200,000 parents of U.S. citizen children between 2012-14. Children who lose a parent to deportation often experience symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and are more likely to fall into poverty and do poorly in school. Even the fear alone of possibly losing a parent can harm a child’s long-term health and development.
We believe we can fix our immigration policy. And we think children are the key. First Focus hopes that you will help us lift up the stories and dreams of children of immigrants, many of them immigrants themselves, as part of the new My American Story campaign.
One of the ads, “A Child’s Wish,” opens with five-year-old Zury, with more of the “This Is My American Story” ads available to watch here.