[pdf] NIWAP Newsletter – October 2014: VAWA Confidentiality (+)

In this issue:
– Violence Against Women Act’s Special Immigration VAWA Confidentiality Protections for Immigrant Survivors
– Types of Immigrants Eligible for VAWA Confidentiality Disclosure Limitations
– Who Can Benefit from VAWA Confidentiality Protection?
– VAWA Confidentiality Protections for Eligible Immigrants
– Examples of Violations
– Exceptions to VAWA Confidentiality
– Penalties for Violating VAWA Confidentiality
– Reporting Violations to DHS
– How to Prepare to Address VAWA Confidentiality in State Courts

[pdf] Utilizing VAWA Confidentiality Protections in Family Court (February 17, 2017) (+)

Chapter of a publication on issues that arise in family court cases involving immigrant crime victims pending publication. This chapter discusses VAWA confidentiality protections and their impact on family court cases including a discussion of relevant case law.

Evidence Checklists For Work With Immigrant Survivors (February 11, 2017)

NIWAP has developed a number of checklists that assist attorneys and advocates working with immigrant survivors to prepare for a variety of legal cases on behalf of immigrant survivors.  Some of the following checklists are geared toward preparing to accompany a victim who will be applying for state or federal public benefits that the victim […]

[pdf] BIA Amius Brief on Recent Research Concerning the Neurobiological, Cognitive, and Psychological Development of Children and Adolescents (July 11, 2016) (+)

This Amicus brief was submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals and addresses an important issue presented by Amicus Invitation No. I 6-06-09, focusing on how the term “minor” should be defined and understood by the Board in child asylum cases in light of the substantial body of recent research concerning the neurobiological, cognitive, and psychological development of children and adolescents. This brief will focus on the significant and deleterious effect trauma and
maltreatment have on that development, including the impact of impaired development on the readiness of child migrants to file asylum applications.

December 12-16, 2016: OVW Grantee Training “Addressing Culture: Systemic Responses to Underserved Immigrant Populations”

All materials on this page were presented as part of our December 2016 conference: “Addressing Culture: Systematic Responses to Underserved Immigrant Populations.” Documents are listed under the workshop or plenary with which they are associated. The full agenda for this conference is available here. Opening Plenary – How to Use Culture, Religion and the Law […]

The Center on Immigration and Child Welfare

Parental Interest Directive materials from the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare’s site contains links to the following resources: Applying the ICE Parental interest Directive to Child Welfare Cases Facilitating Parental interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities FAQs on the Parental Interests Directive Parental Interests Directive Fact Sheet How to Get a […]

[pdf] Slides from “Helping Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Victims: Holding their Abusers Accountable” (+)

These slides were presented by Leslye Orloff in a keynote address entitled “Helping Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Victims: Holding their Abusers Accountable” at Youngstown State University on March 31, 2016. For additional materials relevant to this training, please visit www.niwap.org/go/Ohio2016.

[pdf] Slides from “Expanding Legal Representation of Immigrant Survivors in Immigration and Family Law” (+)

These slides were presented in Leslye Orloff’s workshop “Expanding Legal Representation of Immigrant Survivors in Immigration and Family Law” at Community Legal Aid’s Akron, OH office on March 30, 2016. For additional materials relevant to this training, please visit www.niwap.org/go/Ohio2016.

[pdf] Slides from A Trauma Informed Approach to Attorney/Client Relationships and Collaborations: Strategies for Divorce, Custody, Protection Orders, and Immigration Cases (+)

These slides were presented by Mercedes V. Lorduy, Mary Ann Dutton, and Aparna Bhattacharyya at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 29, 2015.

[docx] SJI Training Material – Minnesota (+)

A handout of the material distributed in the judge’s training in Minnesota. Interest in this training arose as a result of our work with judges in Minnesota on U visa certification by judges. Leslye Orloff and Judge Lora Livingston presented at this training in December 2015. NIWAP worked with the Judicial Education Program Manager to identify which areas needed to be addressed and issues the judges were most interested in learning more about.

[pdf] DHS U and T Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide Updated 11.30.15 (+)

Updated November 30, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published an updated resource guide to clarify and further explain the role of certifying agencies in the U and T visa application process. This guide addresses concerns, answers common questions, and provides accurate information on signing I-918B and I-914B forms for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and other government agencies qualified to sign U visa certifications such as the EEOC, federal and state labor departments, adult and child protective services, and any other eligible agencies that have criminal, civil, or administrative investigative or prosecutorial authority. The guide provides information on what U and T visas are, discusses U visa qualifying criminal activities and severe forms of trafficking in persons, explains the standard for “helpfulness” and “reasonable request for assistance”, and has many more important tips and information about the U and T visa.

*Breaking Barriers Table of Contents

Breaking Barriers is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of domestic and family violence. This Manual provides a detailed overview explanation of immigrant survivors’ legal rights under immigration, family, public benefits, and criminal laws and their rights to […]

*Empowering Survivors Table of Contents

This is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of sexual assault. This manual will help advocates and professionals expand their knowledge and capacity to aid immigrant victims of sexual assault in accessing justice under federal and state civil, […]

[pdf] DHS Enforcement Priorities: Policies and Memoranda Information for State Court Judges (+)

The purpose of this bench card is to inform courts about DHS protections available to all immigrants so that the court can assess cases with an understanding of real policies and see official memoranda describing the intended protections available.

[pdf] In Re Interest of Angelica L. and Daniel L. (N.W.2d) (+)

Unanimous decision from the Nebraska Supreme Court overturning the termination of parental rights of an immigrant mother who was detained and deported and who was not provided language access to the state family court proceedings. The court found that immigrant parents, including undocumented, detained and deported parents and their children have a Constitutional right in the parent child relationship that must be preserved absent specific findings of abuse. In Termination of Parental rights proceedings courts should not engage in a comparison of countries or cultures that can lead to separating U.S. born children from their immigrant parents who have not abused or neglected the children.

[pdf] Removals Involving Parents of United States Citizen Children (+)

DHS report as one of a series of audit, inspection, and special reports prepared as part of our oversight responsibilities to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness within the department. This report addresses the number of instances over the past 10 years in which the illegal alien parent of a United States citizen child was removed from the country. It is based on interviews with employees and officials of relevant agencies and institutions and a review of applicable documents.

[pdf] INS Detention Standard: Non-Medical Emergency Escorted Trips (+)

INS Detention standard operating procedure regarding non-medical emergency escorted trips. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) provides detainees with approved staff escorted trips into the community for the purpose of visiting critically ill members of the detainee’s immediate family, or for attending their funerals.

[pdf] ICE Response to Letter on Performance Based National Detention Standard on Escorted Trips for Non-Medical Emergencies (+)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s, Office of Detention Policy and Planning, response to Michelle Brane’s, Director of Women’s Refugee Commission, letter regarding proposed changes to the Performance Based National Detention Standard on Escorted Trips for Non-Medical Emergencies.

[pdf] Use and Outcome of Civil Protection Orders by Battered Immigrant Women in the U.S. (+)

This presentation covers battered immigrant women’s knowledge about protection orders, their opinions about the effects of protection orders on the intimate partner violence, the reasons leading them to file for protection orders, and the remedies they sought to have in protection orders. The presentation, also, looks at the structural processes that contribute to immigrant women obtaining civil protection orders. Finally, the presentation explores battered immigrant

[pdf] COP Registration Form (+)

To apply to the COP, submit this application by Thursday, March 10th. Applications can be emailed to community@niwap.org or mailed to NIWAP at WCL, 4300 Nebraska Ave NW, C100, Washington, DC 20016.

You can fill out the form online at http://goo.gl/forms/It4xjjr4ky

[pdf] Guide: Access to Publicly Funded Legal Services for Immigrant Survivors (+)

In 2014, the Legal Service Corporation (LSC) issued regulations confirming that all immigrant crime victims are legally eligible for LSC funded legal services under anti-abuse regulations. This brochure discusses immigration status based eligibility as well as eligibility under anti-abuse laws. It provides advocates with a guide to immigrant crime victim access to LSC funded legal services, including an illustration on how VAWA, U-visa, and trafficking victims become eligible for LSC representation.

[pdf] Chapter 05.2: Ensuring Access to Protection Orders for Immigrant Victims of Family Violence (+)

This chapter addresses the importance of protection orders as a tool to prevent domestic violence and discusses the authority and obligation of family court judges to issue protection orders to all survivors of intimate partner violence. Most importantly, this chapter explains the distinct separation between the powers of family court judges to issue protection orders and other family court remedies to survivors of domestic violence and the federal authority to grant or revoke immigration status.

[pdf] Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Information for Child Welfare Workers (+)

Information for child welfare workers in regards to the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).

[pdf] Immigrant Victims in the Justice System (+)

Flow chart illustrating the importance of providing support for immigrant victims seeking help from the justice system and the many different types of justice system cases immigrant victims encounter as they turn to the justice system for help. The systems immigrant and LEP victims need support navigating include: immigration, domestic violence/ arrest incident, family court, benefits, and protection orders (civil court process).

[pdf] How to Get a Detained Person to Court for Family Court Cases Involving Children and/or Criminal Proceedings (+)

This handout will provide best practices for judges, attorneys, and advocates on how to secure the attendance, in court proceedings, of immigrants who are being detained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) so that immigrants can participate in family court proceedings involving their children and in criminal court proceedings.

[pdf] Protection Orders and Battered Immigrants: The Impact of Attorneys and Advocates (+)

This document outlines the purpose of and need for protection orders in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault, the barriers that victims face in obtaining protection orders, and the intersection of protection orders and immigration concerns. The document will be particularly useful for attorneys, advocates, and judges attempting to understand the impacts of protection orders on a victim’s immigration case.

[pdf] Creative Methods in Protecting Battered Immigrants (+)

Battered immigrants often require additional protection to address specific needs sensitive to the particular dynamics of power and coercive control in the abusive relationship where the abuser is the only pathway to lawful immigration status. This chart offers creative filings that a victim may consider based on the specific behavior she wants to deter. This document will be particularly helpful to advocates and attorneys representing battered immigrants, and to judges looking to familiarize themselves with possible remedies in such cases.

[pdf] Family Court Bench Card on Immigrant Crime Victim Access to Public Benefits and Services (+)

This document pertains to a family court bench card on immigrant crime victim access to public benefits and services. It explains the public benefits for undocumented domestic violence victims, and the additional public benefits for domestic violence victims who are lawfully present.

[pdf] Common Immigration Issues that Arise in Custody Cases Involving Immigrant Crime Victims and Their Children (+)

This helpful reference covers topics, such as the role of immigration status in custody cases, immigration relief for immigrant crime victims, and common immigration status misconceptions that arise in custody cases.

[pdf] Detained or Deported: What About My Children? What to do if You Can’t Be With Them (+)

This guide describes the child welfare system in great detail. If you do not know what a word or term means, see the Glossary. You may need to read certain sections in this guide several times in order to understand and you may also need to ask someone else for help.

[pdf] Justice for All: How Attorneys Can Successfully Win Custody Cases for Immigrant Survivors When There Is a Clash of Laws, Cultures, Custody, and Parental Rights (+)

This chapter is designed to help lawyers develop case plans that position immigrant clients to best take advantage of the immigration and family law protections available to help battered immigrants. This chapter also highlights key issues that arise for lawyers representing battered immigrants in custody cases. Tools and resources are provided to help screen clients for immigration relief eligibility and to locate immigration lawyers in your state who have expertise working with immigrant survivors.

[pdf] Immigrant Crime Victims Legal Bibliography (2013) (+)

Bibliography of legal journal articles and legal publications related to the legal rights of immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking through 2013.

[pdf] Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities (+)

ICE Directive complementing and building upon policy memoranda and enforcement priorities to clarify ICE policy and procedure with regard to the placement, monitoring, accommodation, and removal of immigrant parents of children living in the United States, parents and legal guardians involved in family court proceedings involving children, and parents or legal guardians who have minor US citizen children

[pdf] Chapter 04.1: Access to Programs and Services that Can Help Battered Immigrants (+)

This chapter highlights several important types of assistance that nonprofit organizations serving immigrant victims of domestic violence may provide and discusses the requirements that service providers must meet when working with battered immigrant populations. Specifically, the chapter describes shelter services, victim compensation, legal assistance, and other types of federal benefits that organizations may provide to battered immigrants. Next, it discusses federal laws prohibiting service providers from discriminating on the basis of national origin and requiring them to provide services without regard to immigration status when necessary to protect the life and safety of a victim.

[pdf] Chapter 04.3: Barriers to Accessing Services: The Importance of Advocates Accompanying Battered Immigrants Applying for Public Benefits (+)

This chapter discusses the different barriers which immigrants may encounter with regard to accessing services. It discusses the impact of Welfare Reform on immigrant families. This chapter also includes a policy guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, regarding handling questions on citizenship, immigration status, and social security numbers during the benefits application process, as well as facilitating access to public benefits for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). Other topics included in this chapter are Medicaid and SCHIP, food stamps, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

[pdf] Chapter 06.4: Ensuring Economic Relief for Immigrant Victims Through Family Law Proceedings: Child Support and Spousal Support (+)

This chapter provides an overview of the child support system and demonstrates some of the problems faced by immigrant victims in accessing this system. This chapter also provides practical information on how to prepare for a child and spousal support case; what form of support orders are best in domestic violence cases; and tips on child support enforcement. The focus of this chapter is on the child- and spousal support issues that arise in cases of immigrant victims.

[pdf] Chapter 06.3: The Implications of the Hague International Child Abduction Convention: Cases and Practce (+)

This chapter will provide an overview of the Hague Convention and its applications, as well as some practical recommendations to attorneys and advocates working with victims of domestic violence who are considering leaving the country with their children or who are fearful that their abuser may leave the country with their children.

[pdf] Chapter 15: Jurisdictionally Sound Civil Protection Orders (+)

Chapter in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. This chapter discusses the importance of and steps that advocates and attorneys working with immigrant victims of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, stalking and sexual assault can take to ensure that civil protection orders issues to family, stalking and sexual violence victims are jurisdictionally sound and enforceable. It provides practice pointers for avoiding agreement to and objecting to court orders that result in state court issuance of “no-findings” protection orders and lays out best practices for receiving consent protection orders that are jurisdictionally sound and enforceable because they are based on the uncontested affidavit of a victim in a civil case.

[pdf] Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault (+)

This is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of sexual assault. This manual will help advocates and professionals expand their knowledge and capacity to aid immigrant victims of sexual assault in accessing justice under federal and state civil, immigration, public benefits, social services, language access legal services and criminal laws in the United States. The goal is to help provide resources, assistance, and support to help immigrant victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment recover, heal, and rebuild their lives. The chapter and tools included in this manual may also be useful to advocates, attorneys, and social services professionals working with immigrant victims of domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking.

[pdf] Chapter 06.1: Countering Abuser’s Attempts to Raise Victim’s Immigration Status in Custody Cases (+)

This chapter is designed to help family lawyers prepare to counter attempts by abusers to raise immigration status in custody cases. Attorneys should be encouraged to use the information in this chapter to educate judges hearing custody cases about the fact that they should not consider immigration status in making custody decisions in the best interests of children. The contents of this chapter are written in a format that could be incorporated into a bench brief to a trial court in a custody matter or that would be included in materials for educating judges.

[pdf] Breaking Barriers: A Complete Guide to Legal Rights and Resources for Battered Immigrants (+)

Breaking Barriers is a comprehensive tool that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of domestic and family violence. This Manual provides a detailed overview explanation of immigrant survivors’ legal rights under immigration, family, public benefits, and criminal laws and their rights to access a broad range of victim services without regard to immigration status of the immigrant crime victim or their children. Breaking Barriers provides social science research findings, information about laws, policies and best practices, legislative history, tools and checklists that will help professionals working with immigrant survivors navigate intersecting legal and social services options that are legally available to assist all immigrant victims including those who are undocumented.

[pdf] Chapter 05.1: Battered Immigrants and Civil Protection Orders (+)

Civil protection orders are available in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and all U.S territories and are designed to protect battered individuals from their abusers. The civil protection order aims to offer the victim protection from future abuse and can be crafted to uniquely address and counter abuse, power, and control in each particular relationship. When civil protection orders are appropriately drafted and consistently enforced, they can provide effective protection for victims of domestic violence. Most importantly, civil protection orders provide a victim-initiated and controlled justice response to domestic violence that does not require criminal justice system involvement. Civil protection orders are initiated by the victim, thus a victim can choose to pursue this justice-system remedy without reliance on the criminal courts. This chapter discusses civil protection orders in depth.

[pdf] ICE Expands Community and Detainee Helpline (+)

Announcement of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of extension of operating hours of the ICE Community and Detainee Helpline. The helpline provides direct channel for ICE detainees, their lawyers and advocates, nongovernmental organizations, and the general public to directly engage the ICE Office of the Public Advocate to answer questions and resolve concerns.

[pdf] Custody of Children in Mixed-Status Families: Preventing the Misunderstanding and Misuse of Immigration Status in State-Court Custody Proceedings (+)

This article is designed to provide accurate information about current immigration laws and policies to family court judges and attorneys representing immigrant parents, to counter efforts by litigants in family court to raise immigration status of an opposing parent to gain advantage in a custody proceeding. A key goal of this article is to give courts and parties the information needed to keep the focus of the court’s decision making in custody cases on statutorily required factors—best interests of the child and primary caretaker determinations.

[pdf] TRAUM-Qref-AdvocatesToolDevelopingSurvivorStory-7.10.17 (+)

A survivor’s story is one of the most important pieces of evidence submitted with the VAWA, U, and T visa applications, which makes them different from other immigration applications. This is an opportunity for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adjudicators to hear directly from the survivor, in his or her own voice. When reading the survivor’s story, the reader – ultimately, the DHS adjudicator – should be able to know and feel what the survivor felt after being subjected to abuse or crime victimization.

[pdf] Family Law Toolkit: Detention and Termination of Parental Rights (+)

A comprehensive manual covering topics, such as: attorney guide for victim parents at risk of detention, fact sheet on State v. Maria L., Nebraska Supreme Court ruling, explanation and power of attorney designation instructions, appointment of temporary guardian of child (one parent and two parents), motion to dismiss for inadequate service of process, motion to appear telephonically, motion and memo opposing TPR, TPR trial brief template, protecting assets and child custody in the face of deportation, and how children move through the child welfare system.

[pdf] Battered Immigrant Women in the United States and Protection Orders: An Exploratory Research (+)

This article explores battered immigrant women’s use of protection orders. It presents an exploratory view of battered immigrant women’s knowledge of protection orders, the reasons leading them to file for protection orders, the remedies they sought in the protection orders, their views on what would improve the process of obtaining protection orders, and their experiences with the violations of protection.

[pdf] U Visa Law Enforcement Certification Resource Guide (+)

Department of Homeland Security resource guide clarifies and explains the role of certifying agencies in the U visa application process. This guide was published by DHS to provide accurate information on signing I-918B forms for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and other government agencies qualified to sign U visa certifications such as the EEOC, federal and state labor departments, adult and child protective services, and any other eligible agencies that have criminal, civil, or administrative investigative or proprietorial authority. The guide provides information about what a U visa is, how law enforcement and government agencies have a special role in certification, tips on filling out the form, and contains answers to frequently asked questions.

[pdf] Economic Relief Tool Kit (+)

A comprehensive tool kit on subjects, such as: ensuring economic relief for immigrant victims through family law, proceedings: child support and spousal support, applicant financial statement, employer financial statement, employer affidavit, sample cover letter requesting employer’s statement, retroactive child support, and timing of immigrant victim access to work authorization.

[pdf] Family and Criminal Court Scenarios in Which Courts Will Encounter Immigrants Who Are Eligible for Immigration Protections (+)

Information and examples explaining how and in what proceedings courts may encounter immigrants who are eligible for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA and U Visa), Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), Special Immigrant Juvenile (SJIS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) immigration protections.

[pdf] LSC Memorandum Regarding Hague Convention Cases (+)

Memorandum from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to all its grantees confirming that LSC grantees have the statutory and regulatory authority to represent eligible foreign nationals in Hague Convention cases (compelling the return of a child from one member nation to another) brought in United States courts. This authority extends to foreign nationals residing abroad.

[pdf] Somewhere to Turn (+)

A comprehensive manual covering topics such as: domestic violence and battered immigrant issues, cultural competency training, cross-cultural interviewing, recruiting and hiring multilingual and multicultural staff, shelter protocols, outreach and community collaboration, shelter access for battered immigrant women, VAWA immigration cases and victim advocacy confidentiality, creative use of protection orders, protections orders enforcement and criminal prosecution, access to public benefits, verification and reporting requirements under the U.S. Attorney General’s guidance and order, and model programs.

[pdf] Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jasper County (+)

E.M.B.R. (Mother) appeals a judgment terminating her parental rights to her son, C.M.B.R. (Child), and granting M.M. and S.M.’s petition to adopt Child because the trial court found she willfully abandoned him. Court determines whether her consent was required under section 453.040(7), and the adoption of Child by S.M. and M.M.

[pdf] Services and Assistance Legally Available to Help Immigrant Victims of Violence Against Women (+)

Training powerpoint on public benefits from the December 1, 2010 Sioux Falls, South Dakata

[pdf] Escorting Detained Parents and Other Immigrants to Court (2010) (+)

This letter used together with the ICE Performance Based National Detention Standard on Escorted Trips for Non-Medical Emergencies (also included in this library) describes the system for securing attendance at court hearings for immigrants in ICE immigration detention. For parents in immigration detention this letter and the Non-Medical Emergency escort policy has been replaced by the 2013 Parental Interest Directive (also included in this library). This letter and the Non-Medical Emergency escort policy will have continued availability for use by courts and attorneys seeking to have detained immigrants appear in court for proceeding that do not involve children.

[pdf] Power of Attorney Designation Instructions for Guardianship of Child (+)

A guardianship election form is a notarized statement indicating who should have the authority to act as the temporary guardian of your child should a client be suddenly unavailable to care for their child. Circumstances include hospitalization or immigration detention.

[pdf] Attorney Guide to Representing Immigrant Victim Parents Who Are at Risk of Detention/Deportation, in detention, or Have Been Deported (+)

Toolkit of materials for representing immigrant victim parents in detention or deported. This tool kit was created with the expectation that an increase in the number of family law assistance for immigrant parents will emerge and also in the hopes that family law attorneys nationwide will be equipped to handle these specific cases and can volunteer their services.This tool kit can also be adapted and used in contested custody cases and abuse and neglect cases involving immigrant victims since many of the same issues arise.

[pdf] Sample Trial Brief in Support of Defendant (+)

A sample trial brief written in the context of a termination of parental rights proceeding. This brief can be easily adapted for use in child abuse and neglect proceedings or child custody cases when similar issues are raised. We encourage you to add the facts of your case and local state family law and to use this brief as a tool to inform judges about the law that should be applied in cases of undocumented, detained and even deported immigrant parents.

[pdf] The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare (+)

While children of immigrants have a lot at stake in the discussions surrounding U.S. immigration policy, their interests remain largely ignored in the debate. For instance, little consideration is given to the impact of immigration enforcement on the 5.5 million children, the vast majority of whom are native-born U.S. citizens, living with at least one undocumented parent. Similarly overlooked are the significant challenges experienced by public child welfare agencies that encounter children separated from their parents due to immigration enforcement measures.
The U.S. child welfare system is based on the notion of ensuring the safety and best interest of the child; however, this principle is often compromised in the face of conflicting federal immigration policies and practices. This policy brief examines the intersection of immigration enforcement and child welfare and the difficulties facing immigrant families caught between the two systems. Recommendations are provided to prioritize keeping children with their families and out of the public child welfare system whenever possible and to ensure that separated families who do encounter the child welfare system receive appropriate care and due process.