Today, Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard reacted to the release of new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) statistics that show an alarming number of parents of U.S. citizen children--more than 200,000--have been deported from the U.S. over the past two years.
"Deporting parents and breaking up families does nothing to make us safer as a society or stronger as a nation," said Rep. Roybal-Allard. "The policies responsible for separating so many mothers and fathers from their children are unjust and un-American."
According to a 2011 report by the Applied Research Center, more than 5,000 children living in foster care have parents who were detained or deported from the United States. Rep. Roybal-Allard is the author of a bill, HR 6128, the Help Separated Families Act, which would help to reunify the children of detained or deported immigrants with their family members.
While the Administration's prosecutorial discretion policies contributed to a slight decline in the number of parents deported in the fourth quarter of this year, at over 20,000 people, the total is still unacceptably high.
"These deeply troubling statistics show that ICE has yet to embrace President Obama's vision of an immigration enforcement system that focuses on felons instead of families. They also demonstrate once again the urgent need for humane and comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together."