There are more immigrants in California than in any other state, says the Public Policy Institute of California. For example, more than 30 percent of the population in Orange County is foreign-born, and half the children in the state have at least one parent who is an immigrant. While a quarter of these are immigrants with green cards, visas or some other form of legal status, an equal amount or people are undocumented. This has resulted in stressful situations for families where parent(s) face removal ( deportation).
Recently, California lawmakers have tried to take federal law into their own hands and address the problem of families being separated when one or both parents are deported. All too often, the United States citizen children of those deported, end up in the foster care system and may never see their parents again. The state Assembly has approved the amended Trust Act, which aims to prevent parents without criminal histories or those convicted of non-violent crimes from being taken from their children. The law would more clearly define the offenses that would justify deportation.
Families torn apart
The Huffington Post related the story of an undocumented mother from Guatemala who was deported, leaving her American-born children without a mother, and her legal Guatemalan husband devastated. The Los Angeles Times states that at least 5,000 kids in the U.S. foster care system today are there because their parents were deported. It is suggested that within the next five years, an additional 15,000 more children may be added to the system for the same reasons. What the papers fail to point out, however, is that there is no law that requires the children to remain in the United States. Perhaps impractical in some situations, but dangerous in others, the children are always free to join their parents in their respective "home" countries. But, these kids are Americans, and in this writer's opinion, we as Americans should take a greater interest in "our" children.
Getting help from an attorney
Splitting up families by deporting parents may result in ongoing problems should the children who are left behind grow up in foster care. If you're facing the fear and heartache of being deported and separated from your family, it's crucial to contact an experienced immigration attorney right away, to learn about your options and fight for the rights of your family.