More than 46000 deportations of the undocumented immigrant parents of U.S.-citizen children were carried out between January and June of 2011, according to an unreleased data obtained by Colorlines.com's publisher, the Applied Research Center.
The report reveals that at least 5100 American citizen children have been left stranded behind in the government's foster care system, while their parents are sent away from the country, detained or deported. The figures of the deported people shows a striking increase in the rate of removal of parents and has also given rise to questions about the impact that it is going to have on the children who are separated from their families.
At the current rate of growth, an estimated 15000 children could be languishing in foster care within next five years and could be separated from their parents for long periods, concludes the Applied Research center after a yearlong investigation. And at this rate of deportation, the U.S. would have removed as many parents from the country in next two years as they would have otherwise in 10 years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tracked previously. As a consequence, the number of children in the U.S. Child Welfare System will also increase subsequently.
The Obama administration has accepted the deportation of parents as an acceptable consequence of its immigration enforcement policy. It has been very clear about the fact that ICE holds the power to determine who will be detained or departed.
At the end of the day, when you have immigration law that's broken and you have a community of 10 million, 11 million people living and working in the United States illegally, some of these things are going to happen, said Cecilia Munoz, the administration's top advisor on immigration, in an interview aired on PBS' Frontline last month.
Even if the law is executed with perfection, there will be parents separated from their children, Munoz added. It is a result of having a broken system of laws.
The report demonstrates that the mass deportations of harmless parents are resulting in families separated for decades and are also resulting in straining public resources that take care of the children.
Department of Homeland Security in August announced that it would suspend deportations of those who did not pose threat to the nation's security in anyway. But the application of the policy had not been even, as a result of which, many families are unnecessarily separated.
President Obama said that parents should have access to their children if they were detained and that he was ensuring the same by directing the Department of Homeland Security to examine its family unification practices.