In the last post, this blog began a discussion of the recent report to Congress from immigration officials on the number of U.S. deportations that involve the parent of a U.S. citizen.
The 2011 numbers were compiled during the first six months of the year, and the more than 46,000 deportations involving parents of U.S. citizen children account for 22 percent of the more than 211,000 deportations that occurred overall during the same time frame.
Some critics of the policy say that while convictions for violent crimes are obviously involved in deportation statistics, many of the deportees of citizen children have only been convicted of minor crimes, including using false papers to get a job. Moreover, more than 25 percent of the tabulated deportations of a parent of a citizen were not based upon a conviction at all, but for other reasons.
The ICE report presented to Congress does not include a breakdown of what types of crimes that resulted in a deportation of a parent, but apparently only overall percentages of the different overall reasons for the deportations.
Young U.S. citizens who lose a parent to deportation may wind up with other family members, but a number find their way into the foster care system. For those who remain with family, the financial strain from losing a working parent and the emotional strain on the child from losing a parent has critics of the policy concerned. Older siblings also have strains in the family setting as the loss of a parent places extra parenting duties on the young citizen.
The executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for tougher immigration laws, says the 2011 deportation data merely reflects past failures in enforcing immigration laws and claims the report is politically motivated to garner backing for immigration reform.
Source: USA Today, “Report: 22% of deportees have U.S.-born children,” Daniel Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, April 5, 2012