Our report this month focuses on families—undocumented, mixed-status, seeking asylum—to reveal the larger tragedy and trauma wrought by inhumane immigration policies and continually delayed reform in the U.S. These news stories document in greater detail the toll on children and other loved ones when a family member is detained or deported.
- Separated Families in Detention: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the U.S. government for detaining a Congolese mother and child in separate facilities 2,000 miles apart, the mother in San Diego and her 7-year-old daughter in Chicago. The case represents the increasing skepticism with which asylum seekers are treated and their needs overlooked, technically permitted under U.S. law, but a source of needless suffering for the families involved. Read more about this family’s situation and the grounds for the lawsuit here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-mother-child-separated-20180226-story.html.
- “Nation of Immigrants” No More: As Congressional debate continues about a new immigrant bill, still without any agreement or resolution, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services deleted the words “nation of immigrants” from its mission statement, and the Supreme Court declined to hear a DACA-related case and ruled against bond hearings for detained individuals. Here are two interviews, one audio and one print, with a mixed-status family and an immigration lawyer with the same background, outlining the challenges and stresses they face in this time of change and uncertainty: https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2018/02/28/589249748/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-nation-of-immigrants.
- Deportation’s Children: A tale of four children, ages 6 to 14, left behind with their undocumented mother when their father was deported to Mexico testifies to the deep sorrow and trauma of family separation. Here, a graduate student, herself a child of undocumented immigrants, visits with families facing this mass tragedy of deported parents and spouses, to learn more about how they cope and survive and take a closer look at the broken system that leaves them bereft and often without recourse. With millions of citizen children and partners in mixed-status families, any family’s story is both specific and also stands in for countless others: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/opinion/american-families-immigrants-deportation.html.