Over 5,000 children have entered the foster care system due to parental deportation that results in the severing of parental rights. In the next 5 years, 15,000 more children are predicted to enter the system if we do not change how we treat the parental rights of detained or deported parents. Children are having their parents taken from them and are then placed in foster care to be adopted by strangers while their families wait for them, often unaware that rights have been terminated. Immigration status should not determine whether someone is able to care for their child. Please support H.R. 6128, Help Separated Families Act of 2012, and encourage Congress to pass the legislation in order to keep these families together.
This letter is being presented to you on behalf of the thousands of children in the United States who risk being separated from their families every day due to a law that governs their right to a family. We support H.R. 6128 - Help Separated Families Act of 2012, which prevents parents from being deemed “unfit” based solely on their immigration status. This bill will reduce unnecessary expenditures on the state’s part by helping biological parents retain contact with and custody of their children. Over 5,000 children have entered the foster care system due to parental deportation. In the next 5 years, 15,000 more children are predicted to enter the system. This will be a very costly addition to the already overburdened foster care system. Kinship care placements, which have been shown to benefit the child and are now incentivized by U.S. law, would be encouraged and aided by the passage of this bill, preventing many children from being torn from their families and placed with strangers.
Of the children being affected, 80% of them are U.S. citizens. We have an obligation to protect them as a basic human right, but we have even more of an obligation to preserve their families. We should be enacting policy that enables and encourages these parents to keep their children, not deter them from keeping a close family unit.
Please consider co-sponsoring H.R. 6128 - Help Separated Families Act of 2012. Your support for this bill will ensure that these children get to grow and know their parents, who love them and want to see them have families of their own. For more information, please contact Matthew Lee in Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard’s office at Matt.Lee@mail.house.gov. Thank you.