Dear Secretary Napolitano and Director Morton,
One of the most heartbreaking results of our broken immigration system is the separation of children from loving parents. In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, we request that a moratorium be placed on the deportation of parents with minor children.
Between January and June of 2011, more than 46,000 parents with children in the US were deported. There are over 5,000 children currently in the foster-care system whose parents have been detained or deported. In a time of fiscal austerity, it is an absurd use of resources to separate children away from stable, loving homes, detaining and deporting their parents.
As a country, we claim to value the family unit, and to believe, fundamentally, that children do best when raised by supportive, loving parents. Deporting these parents, and separating them from their children, goes against everything we stand for as a nation; it destroys homes and communities. No mother should have to leave her children behind; no children should end up in the care of the state when there is a loving, capable parent aching to care for them.
The Morton Memo gives ICE the prosecutorial discretion to refrain from deporting parents who have no criminal record, but it is unevenly applied. While our communities desperately need comprehensive and just immigration reform, we call on ICE and DHS to use the discretion allowed for in the Morton Memo and enact a moratorium on the deportation of parents now!
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants & The Bullfrog Community