New Report: Neglect of Citizen Children in America’s Immigration Enforcement Policy

Posted by on April 6, 2009

In December 2006, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents simultaneously raided Swift & Company meatpacking plants in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Utah, detaining nearly 1,300 undocumented immigrants in the largest immigration enforcement action in recent history. The consequences of these raids also spread to many U.S.-born children, who faced the loss of a parent and great instability. The unique circumstances of these citizen children pose fundamental questions for our immigration law system about their rights and interests—questions that remain unresolved more than two years after the arrests.

A new report, “Severing a Lifeline: The Neglect of Citizen Children in America’s Immigration Enforcement Policy,” highlights these problems and argues that current laws ignore the needs of the 3 million citizen children of undocumented parents. The authors contend that our laws are seriously deficient and out of step with the way children are treated in other areas of U.S. law, marginalizing what it means for them to be American citizens.

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