ICE Harms Children by Destroying Families
The immigration issue in the United States is a serious concern, both for the undocumented immigrants who are being deported, and for their citizen children. Approximately 4.1 million U.S. children have parents/guardians who are undocumented immigrants. Not only does deportation divide families, it also can severely impact a child’s mental health. Citizen children whose family are split up by force have a high probability of having PTSD. Those who anticipate and fear deportation are more likely to develop anxiety and depression. This leads to problems such as integrating into new social settings such as school. and on a child’s ability to learn.
Some children whose parents are deported have the good fortune to stay with other relatives or good family friends. Sadly, others are often put into state care. President Trump plans to deport between two and three million undocumented immigrants, a drastic increase from current practice under which about 235,000 were sent away in 2015.
Many deportees will be parents of children who are U.S. citizens. Child welfare and immigration reform advocates fear that the surge in deportation will prompt a spike in foster care admissions for children in this circumstance. Integration into the foster care system can be particularly difficult after a traumatic loss. Some children never see their parents again after being put up for adoption.
The division of families is an issue that needs to be addressed. We need all our citizen children to develop into contributing members of our country. America needs to revise its immigration policies, especially in this climate that is so hateful towards immigrants. It is essential that children be able to live with their parents, whether they’re undocumented immigrants or citizens of the United States.