WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is requesting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide data within 30 days regarding the effect of the increased immigration enforcement actions on children of deported parents and how the Trump Administration identifies and assists children in need of support.
Heinrich joined a group of 15 Senators led by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in sending a letter to the agencies today.
“We are particularly concerned about the impact of such policies on vulnerable people, including the children of deported parents,” the Senators wrote. “More than 5,100 children enter the child welfare system each year because of the deportation or detention of their parents. These children are United States citizens, and the deportation of their parents leaves them vulnerable in myriad ways. Abruptly separating from parents is a highly destabilizing, traumatic experience for children, and one that carries long term consequences such as feelings of loss and grief, economic hardship, and increased risk of neglect and abuse.”
The letter urges these agencies to have effective policies in place to protect the welfare of children whose parents are being detained and deported.