Thursday, April 23, 2009

US Immigrant Children in Limbo

Today, the New York Time continues it's series on the illegal immigrant experience with a piece entitled "After Losing Freedom, Some Immigrants Face Loss of Custody of Their Children". The focus is on the children of detained immigrants, who face the consequences of their parents' incarceration. In crackdowns against illegal immigration, these children are unwillingly thrust into the court system, separated from their parents and effectively in limbo while the courts decide their fate. Oftentimes, their is a heated custody battle, as the courts deem the child or children will be better cared for through fostering or adoption. Christopher Huck, a Washington state immigration lawyer, says, "The struggle in these cases is there's no winner."

The implications for this are powerful. In societies where placement of the child in a stranger's home is seen as anathema to accepted cultural practices, this separation from caregiver, family, and community can be devastating.

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