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Immigration Raids Harm Children
May 14, 2008
Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.
-Abraham Maslow
"Immigration raids at worksites in the U.S. last year resulted in substantial harm to young children," reports Preschool Matters (March/April 2008; www.nieer.org). The newsletter reports on the results of a study by the Urban Institute and the National Council of La Raza of raids that took place last year in Greeley, Colorado; Grand Island, Nebraska; and New Bedford Massachusetts. The studies findings:

  • Nine hundred people were arrested, affecting 500 children.

  • At two of the sites, most of the children were age 10 and younger. At one, half were age 5 and younger.

  • The impact on children was immediate, with many of the arrestees leaving the country before contacting their families and others afraid to divulge to authorities that they had children.

  • Parents were deported or in some cases held in detention for months, causing hardship for children including difficulty coping with psychological and economic stress.

  • At all three study sites, community leaders and institutions initiated responses. Religious institutions emerged as distribution points considered "safe" by families.

  • Few of the affected families sought public assistance due to trust issues.

Preschool Matters presented some of the report's recommendations: "...that Congress provide oversight of immigration enforcement activities to ensure children are protected, that immigration authorities provide detainees with access to counsel, and that schools develop systems to help ensure children have a safe place to go in the event of a raid."

For more information on the study, go to www.fcd-us.org/usr_doc/UrbanLaRazaReport.pdf.

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Comments (7)

Displaying 5 of 7 Comments   [ View all ]
Linda Gregory · May 16, 2008
San Jose, California, United States

I am a naturalized citizen. My parents struggled and waited years to come here legally. We lived in the number 1 murderous city in for over 20 years. They and my older brothers picked flowers in a nursery. After severe health issues, my father was hospitalized and my mother was on AFDC. Our lives were not easy. I can relate to the struggles of immigrants.

I put the burden of responsibility on the parents of these children. They come here illegally. They are not legal immigrants. They are illegally aliens. They jepardize their children's stability by their choices. I place the responsibility on Mexico for not providing for their citizens.

Jay Pierce · May 14, 2008
United States

Im happy the raids are dirupting . I want them all rounded up and deported as soon as possible. I am sick of the dumbing effect that they have on our kids and I do not pay taxes to support the mexican wetbacks.

Susan · May 14, 2008
United States

When I see articles like this I get very frustrated with the liberal thinking minds in this country. It is not the the fault of the INS that children are being "injured" or harmed psychologically by the imigration raids. It is the fault of their parents who made the choice to enter this country in an illegal way. We need to start putting blame where it belongs and stop making those that are upholding the law of our country the bad guys.

Laura · May 14, 2008
NJ, United States

This is a political issue. I am sure there are many children across this country whose parents comitt crimes and they pay a dear price. My heart goes out to those children and we need to be concerned with helping them in any way we can as we would assist any child whose parent has committed a crime.

mclayburn · May 14, 2008
United States

children are always the ones hurt through the actions of their parents. Many of the illegal immigrants have already been arrested and sent home at least one time and have returned; or they know someone that has. Surely they know the impact this will have on their children and yet are still willing to make their children suffer the consequenses of their foolish actions.

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