What often gets forgotten in the immigration debate that's circulating around the country right now is the strife that many families encounter in trying to stay together when immigrating to the United States in search of a better life.
Lately, we have been hearing about the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants that have been deported in recent years, but let's also not forget about the families that have been torn apart.
Today, it was reported that a study revealed that more than 5,000 children have been separated from their parents, and another 15,000 children could face the same fate if the deportations continue at the same rate.
The goal of the report, which was conducted by the activist group Applied Research Center (ARC), was aimed at showing what the children of deported immigrants are forced to go through.
"These deportations shatter families and endanger the children left behind," the report stated.
Right now, there are more than 5,100 children of deported or detained immigrants who are living in foster care in the United States, the report said. This amounts to 1.25 percent of the total number of children receiving foster care in the country, it indicated.
In the first half of 2011, there were 46,000 parents who were deported, the report stated. According to government data, there were 397,000 total deportations through Sep. 30 of this year. Only about half of these people had criminal records.
ARC, which describes itself as a group dedicated to racial justice, also said that too often when victims of abuse report the crimes to law enforcement, they are detained and their children are put into foster care.
Unfortunately, it appears that the high number of deportations will continue. Hopefully many more people in situations like this are able to obtain legal representation to help keep their families intact.
Source: AFP, "Thousands of families split by US immigration efforts," Nov. 2, 2011.