American Kids, Immigrant Families

Please Don't Tear Our Families Apart











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
to us.

RESOURCES For Families Fighting Back:

* Factsheet on the CCPA

* Factsheet on CCPA (Español)

* Postcard to send to Congress

* Bill Text: CCPA (HR 182)

*Legislative Packet 2009


History of Child Citizen Protection Act:

American Kids, Immigrant Families

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.



In the Media
June 16, 2013
NEW YORK, Jun 16 2013 (IPS) - As the debate on immigration reform continues in the Senate and fractured talks persist about the future of 11 million undocumented migrants, one New York-based group took to the streets to ask their senator a question. Stationed outside Senator Chuck Schumer’s office in midtown Manhattan Friday, Families For Freedom, an organisation fighting against the detention and deportation of immigrants, particularly parents, asked their leaders, “Obama, Schumer, would you deport your papa?” The protest, held two days before Father’s Day, was meant to highlight the trauma deportation and detention causes by separating families when parents are held in facilities or sent home. “We’re demanding that President Obama stop deporting fathers and that the fathers that have been deported are able to come back,” Esther Portillo-Gonzalez, spokesperson for Families for Freedom, told IPS.
News and Annoucements
Families For Freedom was happy to be in the advisory committee of Human Impact Partners' new report – Family Unity, Family Health: How Family-Focused Immigration Reform Will Mean Better Health for Children and Families – that shines a light on the public health consequences of current immigration policy on children and families. Advised by a nationwide group of health and immigrant rights organizations and researchers, the report pulls together data from a wide range of sources on the impacts that the threat of deportation and detention has on the physical and mental health of children and families

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

News and Annoucements
Last year we had a major victory along with the NY State Working Group against Deportations keeping the misleadingly named “Secure Communities” program out of New York. In June 2011 Governor Cuomo suspended the "Secure Communities" (S-COMM) program in New York City and State while championing the basic human right to family unity. Since Families for Freedom's inception we have been organizing against ICE access programs believing that criminal law enforcement agencies should not be turned into frontline enforcers of civil immigration laws. We have continually organized against racial profiling and police tactics like Stop & Frisk and highlighted the devastating affects that they have on immigrant communities of color as ICE & law enforcement work more closely together. Shortly after Cuomo's suspension of Secure Communities, President Obama announced in August 2011, that the program will be mandatory come 2013. We will continue to organize so that it doesn't enter NY and support nationwide efforts to end this destructive program.
In the Media
November 02, 2011

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.