Colorlines reporter Seth Freed Wessler was awarded the prestigious Hillman Prize for his work on Shattered Families investigation, which found at least 5,000 U.S. citizen children are in the foster care system today due to the detainment or deportation of their undocumented immigrant parents by the U.S. government.
“The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann” invited Colorlines.com reporter Seth Freed Wessler to discuss the Shattered Families report: “Children are being ripped from the arms of their parents at an alarming rate today in America. 5,000 American children are in foster care today because their parents have been deported. So is this really what Americans want when they call for greater enforcement of our borders? Or has something gone terribly wrong with immigration enforcement?”
Justice Daniel Eismann wrote that a lower court’s finding that the father had willfully abandoned his daughter and failed to maintain contact with his child is “clearly erroneous. In fact, it is absurd.”
Nearly a quarter of the U.S. citizen children that Colorlines.com found stuck in foster care as parents moved through detention and deportation are in California. The state Senate is moving forward with a bill that would keep their families together.
The petition calls on the Department of Social Services in Allegheny County, NC. to ensure that Felipe Montes, a single-father who was deported to Mexico, not be permanently separated but instead be reunified with his three sons in the United States or Mexico.
Nobody argues whether Felipe Montes is a great dad. But the state doesn’t want to send his U.S. citizen kids to Mexico, so he may lose them forever. The Montes are among a growing number of families facing similar crises.
An estimated 15,000 U.S.-born children will face the threat of permanent separation from their families in the next five years as their immigrant parents move through detention and deportation. Watch Rinku Sen explain the problem on ABC’s “Nightline.”
President Obama says his administration must “make sure that children aren’t torn from their parents without due process.” A Colorlines.com investigation concluded at least 5,100 kids are stuck in foster care because their parents are detained or deported.
Data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveals nearly a quarter of people deported in first half of 2011 were parents with U.S. citizen children. That’s a dramatic increase from the 10-year period before the Obama administration.
A yearlong investigation by Colorlines.com’s publisher, the Applied Research Center, found more than 5,000 children stuck in foster care because their parents were detained by ICE. One in four deportees have U.S.-born kids and face total loss of parental rights.