January 5, 2017

Left Behind: Trump’s Immigration Plans Could Spur Uptick in Foster Care Numbers

Baltimore, MD, (January 5, 2017) – President-elect Donald Trump has stated that he plans to deport between two and three million undocumented immigrants, a drastic increase from current practice under which about 235,000 were sent away in 2015.

Many of the people being deported will be parents of children who are U.S. citizens, born into the rights and protections of this country. Child welfare and immigration reform advocates fear that the surge in deportation will prompt a spike in foster care admissions for children in this circumstance.

Right now, parents face many barriers to reunifying with their children. When a parent is detained, child welfare agencies may not be able to find them. If the parent is located, they aren’t always able to communicate with child welfare case workers or their families due to the distance of the detention center from their home community and strict visiting guidelines.

Felicity Northcott, director of External Partnerships and International Services, weighed in for this article that appears in The Chronicle for Social Change, an online news publication dedicated to solution-based news coverage of child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and educational issues faced by vulnerable children.

At the federal and state levels, there are no laws that forbid the placement of a child in foster care solely because their parent has been deported. And even if a deported or detained parent can follow the plan to reunification, as Felicity Northcott said, the state court system could still decide to cut the family’s ties to the child just because the parent has been deported.

“There have been cases where the judge has said that the very fact that the parents are here without documentation is sufficient reason to remove the child – that the parents have acted illegally and therefore are not competent to be parents,” she said.

Keep reading the full article, Left Behind: Trump’s Immigration Plans Could Spur Uptick in Foster Care Numbers.

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