While most of the child welfare field stays mum about the havoc sometimes created for youth and youth-serving agencies when adults are arrested in raids on illegal immigrants, more than 100 community-based Latino organizations have spoken up.
They signed a letter last month to President Bush, released by the National Council of La Raza, “to express our outrage and deep concern over the manner in which workplace raids have been conducted all across the United States in the past few months.”
Several high-profile raids have raised questions about whether U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement should cooperate more with government child welfare officials and community groups to serve the children of arrested parents. (See “ICE’d Out,” May.)
“In the aftermath of the raids, churches, schools, and social service agencies have scrambled to determine which workers have children, assess which children must be picked up from day care and school, find caregivers for the children, and provide basic health and nutrition services,” the letter said. It estimates that at least 3.1 million children who are U.S. citizens have at least one undocumented parent.
The letter urged the Bush administration and Congress to adopt immigration reform “that does not result in parents being separated from their children.”
The letter, which was also signed by some non-Latino groups, can be found under “News” at http://www.nclr.org.