“It’s unknown how many children of deported immigrants have been adopted” says Tania Velazquez whom is seeking help to prove to an Orange County caseworker and a family court judge in California that she can support her 3 year old American citizen daughter in Mexico because she has been deported. Velazquez’s goal is to reunite with her daughter that she has not seen in over a year. Velazquez is determined to gain custody again and since she is terrified of losing custody permanently she now has a job and is saving up to get her own place.
“An estimated 5,000 children of deported parents are in foster care.” Many families are being torn apart when the parents are put in detention centers and forced to sign their deportation papers and this resulting in an immediate loss of children’s custody; leaving the children’s future uncertain.
According to the website Thinkprogress, federal immigration authorities are now being advised to consider the family’s connections when they arrest undocumented immigrants. This does not prevent deportation but parents are now allowed to make caregiver decisions for their children.
Jill Replogle, “Deported Parents Face Hurdles To Reunite With U.S.Citizen Children” KPBS, June 10, 2013, http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/jun/10/deported-parents-face-hurdles-reunite-us-citizen-c/
Applied Research Center, “Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System”, http://www.arc.org/shatteredfamilies
Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, “New Obama Immigration Directive Eases Deportations of Parents”, August 24, 2013 http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/08/24/2522691/immigration-memo-parents/
Student Researcher: Karen May (College of Marin)
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)