U.S.-Born Kids Of Deported Parents Struggle As Family Life Is 'Destroyed'

By Brandon Hook 11-26-2012

As a privileged child growing up in suburbia, I could never imagine losing my parents. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities they gave me, and the love they have poured out on me for as long as I can remember.

“You’ll understand once you have a child, Brandon,” my dad has told me countless times in a sort of sage-like way. Without saying, we both acknowledge that I will not understand the love parents have for their children until I have a child of my own.

But, even if I could not comprehend the love my parents had for me, I am able to understand that I could not be who I am today — more likely, I would not be much of anything — without their presence in my life. And that’s not to say that anyone missing a parent cannot function.

But thousands of children to parents living in the U.S. without citizenship are abruptly forced to carry on without one or both of their parents, as a record number of people are being deported from the U.S. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), nearly 45,000 parents were removed in the first six months of this year.   

Parents — not criminals — are deported, leaving children to fend for themselves or unwillingly get placed in the foster care system. Children who need their mother, as evidenced by testimony from psychologists and counselors, are denied both a parent and humanitarian relief, and families are falling apart.

Check out this Huffington Post story to read about their stories.

Brandon Hook is Online Assistant for Sojourners.

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