The tragic situation of children of illegal immigrants in the US

2012-08-02 L’Osservatore Romano

Washington, 1. There are several thousand children in the United States separated from their parents, who have been subjected to 

judicial measures or who have been deported because they are in violation of immigration law. In order to ensure that families are reunited, Catholic bishops have joined representatives of more than 100 organizations in supporting “The Help Separated Families Act”. This act is a legal initiative currently being reviewed in Congress and would guarantee social integration for minors and especially all necessary support by relatives, thus seeking to prevent traumatic moments which occur in institutions which welcome and aid children. Those who back the proposed bill argue that it serves to confront migration from not only from a bureaucratic point of view, but especially from a humanitarian one. It is estimated that there are at least 5,000 children in this situation.

For those who support it, the law is an important step forward in eliminating the obstacles which prevent families from being reunited. According the Department of Homeland Security, there are more than 46,000 parents - with children born in the United States - who in the last six months have been found without legal documents and subsequently deported. Often the courts suspend parental rights and put these minors up for adoption instead of trying to unite the child his or her family.