“What our current system is doing is ripping families apart and leaving this generation without parents,” according to Bethany Anderson, Director of the Our Children Initiative at Solidarity. If a child’s parents are undocumented, the child is usually remanded to the foster care system, which puts the financial burden on the government and leaves the children stranded often without healthy family structure. At 18, the government’s support is lifted, and the results are often dire. “I think 80% – or something like that – of women in the sex industry have come from foster care. There are zero resources and opportunity for them to have any sort of good life. At all.”
In the past, citizen children with undocumented parents could petition for their parents, but because authorities were concerned that the petition would be exploited to create a loophole in immigration policy, the petition was slowly made more and more difficult to obtain. Now, very few families meet the qualifications necessary for the petition to be available to them, and even if they do meet the qualifications, they can’t file a petition until they are in the midst of a deportation hearing.
From The Justice Conference 2012.