Children of Immigrants Suffer Too
According to the Urban Institute, the fastest growing segment of the United States’ child population is that of children born to immigrant parents – of legal and illegal status alike. CNN reports that 4 million of these children are born to illegal parent(s). This has created the issue of children born with every right to remain in the US while their parents stand a daily chance of being deported. Not only does this create a population of children in the U.S. who stand the great emotional risk of being separated from their parents, but it also creates a pool of children from which orphans can be instantly created so huge that it is enough to overwhelm the United States foster care system.
Not only do these children often lose one or both parents to deportation, but they may also lose siblings. Often, children will choose to remain with their parents in the parents’ home country, while other children from the same parents choose to remain in the United States.
Between 7 and 10 percent of children enrolled in US public schools are the children of one or both illegal parents. Not unexpectedly, these figures are closer to 10 percent in states bordering Mexico, which produces the highest number of illegal status immigrants in the US.
It is disheartening to learn that families can so easily be torn apart because of the laws that are currently in place – however, it highlights the need for all persons to follow protocol when immigrating to the US.
Recent estimates put the cost of deporting all illegal immigrants in the US (approximately 11 million people) back to their home countries at approximately 285 billion dollars. This combined with the cost of the possible 4 million orphans that would be created is astronomically huge – and inefficient for both parties. Not only would it be traumatic to the core family values that America prides itself on being built around, but it would be financially inefficient. There must be a better solution to this issue, but what?