The Urban Institute and Migration Policy Institute stated in 2015: “An estimated 5.3 million children live with unauthorized immigrant parents, and 85 percent of these children are US-born citizens… [from 2009-2013] half a million parents may have been deported, affecting a similar number of US-citizen children.”

Jeffrey S. Passel of the Pew Hispanic Center wrote in 2006: “Out of the total of 6.6 million unauthorized families, a significant share can be classified as being of ‘mixed status’ —in other words, families in which at least one parent is unauthorized and at least one child was born in the United States. There were 1.5 million unauthorized families in which all the children were born in the United States. These families represent about one-quarter of all unauthorized families and more than half of unauthorized families with children. Another 460,000 families, or 7% of unauthorized families, had both U.S. citizen children and children who were unauthorized.”

PRO (yes):
Families for Freedom, an immigration advocacy group, wrote in 2007: “Every year, nearly 200,000 non-citizens —many with kids who are U.S. citizens— are deported and torn away from their families even when a judge thinks they deserve to stay in the U.S. to help raise and support those families. In 1996, our immigration system made deportation a mandatory punishment for many non-citizens… Judges do not have a say in deciding if deportation is fair… Families must choose between splitting up, resulting in more single parent households and psychological and financial hardship, or forcing their U.S. citizen children into deportation with them. These American children may have to start over in a country with a new language, fewer resources, and an uncertain future. America’s immigration laws force American children to lose their parent(s) or their country. Mandatory deportation is a life sentence of exile. Such a severe ‘one size fits all’ punishment cannot be the basis of our immigration system.”

CON (no):
You Don’t Speak for Me, a US-based Hispanic group against illegal immigration, wrote in 2007 that the U.S. government is sometimes unwilling “to uphold the rule of law and enforce its own immigration laws. This failure has undermined our sovereignty while harming the interests of countless Americans… Children are not human shield[s]… It was his mother who put the boy in a difficult position when she knowingly broke multiple laws in this country. Whenever parents are held accountable for breaking the law their children are inevitably harmed. We all regret when that happens but no justice system in the world can allow parents to hide behind their kids.”

Source: ProCon.org
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