Our government has declared war on citizen children whose parent(s) are undocumented even though they may have lived and worked in the United States for many years. Even the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) granted to those who are victims of a natural and other disaster in their home countries is being revoked. Our government is destroying healthy, self-supporting families.

The lives of immigrant families are being shattered and children are suffering incredible hardship.

Write or email your legislators today and ask for their support. Tell them that a path to citizenship, rather than so many deportations and detentions, would strengthen families and communities. Offering citizenship for those who have paid their taxes and maintained a home for their children saves lives and money.

The True Cost of Deportation

Here’s what we lose by breaking up families and deporting parents:

  • United and stable families that support and pay for their growing children;
  • Billions in uncollected social security benefits;
  • More than $1 billion in state and federal taxes;
  • The performance of essential tasks by low-waged laborers; and
  • Healthy, untraumatized, children who can grow into effective citizens of our country.

Collectively, America’s undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.64 billion in state and local taxes every year, including sales, excise and property taxes. They also pay about $1.1 billion in personal income taxes. The Social Security administration estimates that earnings by unauthorized immigrants result in a net positive effect on Social Security because of uncollected benefits. This added roughly $12 billion to U.S. cash flow for 2010.

More than 6 million U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 live with an undocumented family member.

A recent study by the Center for American Progress shows nearly 2 million children are living this way in California, and that by 2011 there were 5,000 citizen children in foster care because their parent(s) were detained or deported. If we continue to deport parents, 15,000 more citizen children may lose their family, their homes, their livelihood and may become wards of a state’s child welfare system.

The lives of Undocumented immigrant families are being shattered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) even when parent(s) are paying taxes and fully supporting their families. No path for citizenship is under consideration for them and no decision was made on DACA youth this May. Sadly, ICE has adequate funding to detain many parents who then face deportation. Their citizen children are referred to state child welfare organizations and placed in foster care. Families crossing the border are also separated from their children. Let your federal legislator know what you think about families being separated and children referred to foster care.

Minimizing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

In all circumstances, the separation of a child from a parent or parents, through foster care, divorce, and/or death, is considered to be an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). A landmark study conducted between 1995 and 1997 found that these experiences have direct negative impacts on the life outcomes of these children. When parental separation happens, often alongside other adversities and traumas, negative impacts are compounded exponentially.

A plethora of available research proves time and again that Adverse Childhood Experiences lead to pervasive negative outcomes. Work is being conducted across the nation, as well as internationally, to find ways to prevent these outcomes. Please contact your congressional representatives and petition them to end family separations and support efforts that minimize ACEs.


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