What is the Help Separated Families Act?
Deportation has separated children from their families even when the children are U.S. citizens. In July of 2012, U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced an immigration bill called The Help Separated Families Act, H.R. 6128 to deal with this problem. The number of U.S. citizen children placed in foster care when parents are deported and whose parents were subjected to parental rights termination based on immigration status was extensive.
Statistical information became available when Representative Roybal-Allard along with other members of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee requested the release of an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) report about annual deportation of parents with U.S. citizen children. According to the report, the United States deported more than 46,000 parents of U.S. citizen children in the first six months of 2011. The Department of Homeland Security (DOH) estimates that over 5,000 children in at least 22 states presently live in foster care as a result of deportation enforcement. The Help Separated Families Act proposes that immigration status should not be the sole reason for a willing and fit parent to be subject to parental rights termination.
A senior program officer involved in the detention and asylum program at the Women's Refugee Commission said that ICE frequently does not allow parents under deportation proceedings to participate in their child's welfare case. This makes it very difficult for parents in deportation to reunify with their child later on.
If dealing with potential deportation issues, it is vital to work with a New York deportation lawyer before taking action. Get legal help and protect your rights.