( – promoted by buhdydharma )
600 US born children have filed a lawsuit against Obama to stop the deportation of their undocumented immigrant parents, who mostly immigrated from Latin American countries. The children do not oppose President Obama, but rather are hopeful that he will exercise his authority to either adopt an Executive Order or promote immigration reform in Congress to cease this governmental policy of separating families. A similar lawsuit against Bush did not accomplish diddly-shit. This is another problem that Obama has inherited from Bush’s immigration policies and also from immigration “reform” enacted in 1996. One thing the children really need is public pressure. While children suing Obama should be an attention-getting story, so far the lawsuit has been reported “almost exclusively by Spanish-language media.”
Two children, 12-year old Cecia and 9-year old Ronald Jr., are part of the over 600 children who want to file a lawsuit to stop our government from deporting their immigrant parents. Last December, immigration agents picked up their mother, Maricela Soza, and her children decided to fight to keep their family together here in the US. Cecia and Ronald even tried a hunger strike:
We’re doing a hunger strike to help my mom get out of jail,” a sobbing Cecia told The Associated Press. “I would do whatever it takes to get my mommy out… I want Obama to see me to help my mother.” The girl said she had only ingested liquids in the previous 24 hours.
Last Wednesday, the US government deported Soza to Nicaragua. The children now are living with their uncle because their father is hiding to avoid deportation.
This is one of those under-the-radar issues that has not been deemed significant enough to warrant some basic fact-finding before our government changes laws or policies. In 1996, Congress enacted the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which is partially responsible for the legal nightmare now faced by undocumented parents. Prior to this legislation, undocumented parents of American children had the right to judicial review of deportation and could obtain residency if “they could show that they had been in the U.S. for over seven years, had good moral character, and the hardship inflicted on their kids by their deportation would be extreme.” This was the law for 40 years before the 1996 “reform” created automatic deportation.
Before changing the law, Congress apparently did not determine the nature or extent of impacts on the human rights and civil rights on American children or their parents. It is unclear how many families have been and continue to be torn apart by our policy of deporting parents. Some figures present a dismal story. There are more than 3 million US born children who have undocumented immigrant parents. Since last June, many of the 18,000 men and women that the US arrested and deported under Operation Return to Sender (or immigration raids at businesses) were parents living with their families here. It was reported in 2006 that no survey had been conducted to determine how many US-born children remain in the US when their parents have been deported. However, one study indicated a large potential pool because “one in five children has an immigrant parent” and 1/3 of those immigrant parents are believed to be undocumented. This translates to approximately “3 million to 5 million children risk a parent’s deportation.” While Bush’s policies no doubt contributed immensely to this mess, there is some nexus between the 1996 law and the number of increased deportations, which “jumped from about 40,000 a year in the mid-’90s to 204,000 in 2005.”
This forces a most difficult choice for the parents and children between two equally unpleasant alternatives. Do the children stay in a free, democratic US without their parents or relocate to the country from which their parents fled for some damn good reason in hopes of building a better life for their children. For the children, their home is the US: This is where they have lived, established friendships and community ties and some worry about not being able to write in Spanish should they go with their parents.
Of course, some who support stricter immigration laws feel that our government’s policy is not the culprit breaking up families. No, it is the parents who violated the law and have no respect for the rule of law. Seriously, some people have the audacity to hide under the rule of law that Bush has violated into oblivion:
God also tell us that we must obey the laws of our land. Anyone that has come into this country illegally has broken those laws… . The leaders of this country take an oath to support the Constitution and protect our land. They have fallen very short on this area, by NOT enforcing our EXISTING immigration laws. In my opinion, they should be charged with treason! I welcome immigrants coming into this country, as long as they follow our laws! We need to stop the leaches from living off us!
Boo hoo. Maybe their parents should have thought of that before they CHOSE to come to the US illegally. The deportation of their parents should also include their anchor terds.
What are we to do change the law for each and every criminal who wants to break the law, but have children that depend on them! Please! Come on! Get real!
One big obstacle for these children is that Congress apparently determined that class-action immigration lawsuits can not be filed in federal courts, only the US Supreme Court. Thus, this case is now before the US Supreme Court to obtain an order allowing it to be filed in the federal courts. A similar lawsuit had been filed against former President Bush, but it was rejected by the US Supreme Court on some technicality.
A House committee has been checking into this issue and may have a report with some answers in a couple weeks. The committee requested information from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on how many parents have been deported, what is the rationale for the deportations, how long did immigrants live in the US before deportation and how many children decided to remain here when their parents were deported.
Let’s hope President Obama and Congress resolve this human rights tragedy.