E.g., 02/17/2017
E.g., 02/17/2017

Detained or Deported: How Parents in the Immigration Enforcement System Can Protect their Children

June 24, 2014

Migration Policy Institute

Detained or Deported: How Parents in the Immigration Enforcement System Can Protect their Children

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Michelle Brané, Director, Migrant Rights and Justice Program, Women’s Refugee Commission

Emily Butera, Senior Program Officer, Migrant Rights and Justice Program, Women's Refugee Commission

Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, Deputy Assistant Director, Custody Programs, Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement


Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, MPI

As deportation levels for unauthorized immigrants have reached record highs in recent years, many mixed-status families have faced the deportation or detention of one or both parents, casting the fate of their U.S.-citizen children into turmoil and often involving the child welfare system. In light of this, the Women’s Refugee Commission is launching a toolkit to provide detained and deported immigrants as well as unauthorized mothers and fathers with crucial information to protect and maintain their parental rights and make well-informed, critical decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children. 

The toolkit includes information for parents on how to stay in touch with their children and how to participate in family court or child welfare hearings from a distance. It also provides officials, attorneys, advocates, service providers, and family members who work with detained parents and their children with critical information to ensure that family unity and children’s best interests are taken into consideration in immigration, child welfare, and family court decisions.

In addition to a discussion of the toolkit, speakers discuss the broader policy points surrounding detention and child protection issues and the implications for the immigration enforcement and child welfare systems. 

For more on the toolkit, click here.

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