National Council of La Raza hides behind children to oppose immigration enforcement (raids, trauma, identity theft)
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The extremist-funding National Council of La Raza ("The Race") has worked with the Urban Institute (info) to release a report entitled "Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America's Children" . Reading it is to be transported into another universe.
It makes the claim that immigration raids result in harm to the children of the detained persons, but that's not all: they downplay the crime of identity theft and they appear to want anyone who's a parent to not just be released, but to be released from custody as early in the day as possible. And, while I didn't read every page, it doesn't appear that they ever point out that the persons responsible for this situation are the parents themselves: if they hadn't come here illegally or had children while here they would not have put their children in this situation. They also don't appear to discuss that there are hundreds of thousands of persons in jails and prisons whose actions have resulted in similar situations. However, if you don't believe in our immigration laws, everything in the report makes sense.
The overall goal of this effort is to hide behind children in order to tie the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement with so much red tape that they're unable to do their job. If NCLR really cared about the welfare of children, they'd work to discourage illegal immigration rather than strenuously encouraging it as they do now.
As ICE spokesman Tim Counts says:
"This report takes the bizarre position that ICE is somehow responsible for family disruption caused by parents who make poor decisions... Everyone understands that parents are responsible for their actions and the resulting impact on their families."
The cover features a weeping child from the Michael Bianco raid; not mentioned is that almost everyone agrees that was a sweatshop. From Page 4:
After the arrest or disappearance of their parents, children experienced feelings of abandonment and showed symptoms of emotional trauma, psychological duress, and mental health problems. Many lacked stability in child care and supervision. Families continued hiding and feared arrest if they ventured outside, increasing social isolation over time. Immigrant communities faced the fear of future raids, backlash from nonimmigrants, and the stigma of being labeled "illegal." The combination of fear, isolation, and economic hardship induced mental health problems such as depression, separation anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thoughts.
Is it any surprise that they'd put "illegal" in quotes? From their recommendations for Congress:
Congress should revise the rules concerning release, deportation, and banishment of noncitizens charged with nonviolent offenses such as identity theft, so that arrested parents can be reunited with their children in cases where children face hardship.
I'm sure those citizens who are charged with identity theft wish the NCLR was on their side.
From the section where they try to tie ICE's hands:
ICE should consider how the show of force and treatment of arrestees affect children psychologically – including older children who may witness enforcement activities – and plan operations accordingly.
And, perhaps the looniest idea:
ICE should develop a consistent policy for release of parents arrested in enforcement operations. Single parents and primary caregivers of young children should be released early enough in the day so that school children and children in child care do not experience disruptions in care; they should not be held overnight. Parents should be released quickly even when there are two parents in the home because the second parent often cannot function alone.
Other advice for various agencies and non-profits follows; they want to build up a network designed to deal with the aftermath of raids but which in effect would serve as a massive support group for illegal activity.
Once again: if the NCLR wants to prevent such situations, they can start by supporting our immigration laws and discouraging illegal immigration. The fact that they don't do that shows that what they really want is no immigration enforcement at all. Note that Senator Chris Dodd wants to give this group millions of dollars; contact him and let him know what you think.
 PDF available here: nclr.org/content/publications/detail/49166/ Press release here: nclr.org/content/news/detail/49170/