American Kids, Immigrant Families
Our current immigration system tears families apart often in cases where the children are U.S. Citizens. To help families stay together Families for Freedom has been campaigning for the The Child Citizen Protection Act (H.R. 182). This act will change the lives of thousands of American children by providing immigration judges with the discretion to consider the best interests of U.S. citizen children before ordering his or her parent deported. Every year, more than 100,000 non-citizen parents are deported and torn away from their families even when a judge thinks they deserve to stay in the U.S. to help raise and support those families. Mandatory deportation has heart-breaking effects on American children who are either separated from their parents or forced to start over in a country that is not their own.
The Child Citizen Protection Act is an opportunity for us to show that we truly value
families and that the health, safety and well-being of our nation’s children are important
RESOURCES For Families Fighting Back:
History of Child Citizen Protection Act:
Most people assume that American children are considered before a mom or dad is taken away. But because of laws passed in 1996, deportation and detention are mandatory minimums for whole classes of families. On the same day as the massive 2006 protests in Los Angeles, FFF organized a Vigil for the rights of children in front of Federal Plaza. That day children of deportees and people facing deportation gave their own testimonies about the affects of deportation on their lives. We were joined by religious leaders and elected officials.
At a Bronx Town Hall Meeting, FFF member Julio Beltre stepped to the podium. Before families facing deportation, concerned citizens and leaders, and Congressman Jose Serrano, he recounted how Homeland Security took his father. Julio, his little sister and brothers are American citizens. They saw their daddy shackled and deported to the Dominican Republic.
In direct response to Julio’s story and the pleas of so many other constituents, Congressman Serrano introduced the Child Citizen Protection Act into the House of Representatives. Since this victory, other Congress members are pledging support and organizations around the country are teaming with us to focus on the rights of our American children in the immigration debate.
|Joe & Mei, parents of US born children, who took Sanctuary to fight their deportation|
Locally, FFF is building the campaign for the rights of our children with the New Sanctuary movement -- an interfaith, nationwide coalition of religious leaders providing spiritual and materials support to families suffering under a broken immigration system. Two of our families were the first in New York to seek sanctuary in May 2007.
We invite religious leaders, educators, and other respected voices to join the movement for deportation reform -- the cruelist civil proceeding in America, and the flipside of legalization.
Don't Let their Father Get Deported
Mr. Qing Xiong Liu, a New York resident
of 14 years, was wrongfully detained by
ICE while he was traveling to work from New
York to Ohio.He has spent 6 months locked
up in an Ohio jail, separated from 2 US citizen
When I was about three years old, I observed something that formed one of my earliest memories. Sitting outside of my mother’s family home in Calcutta at twilight, I saw a man on the street walking very fast with a toddler in his arms. I think it was a boy.
As parents are detained and deported, an increasing number of children are being fed into the foster care system, with little hope of reuniting with their mothers and fathers. It’s an injustice that hurts everyone.