|You might favor this bill if:
► You believe children of detained or deported parents should have a chance to reunify with their parents or live in the permanent care of other relatives. Detained or deported parents should then have the opportunity to coordinate the travel of their children back to their home country.
|You might oppose this bill if:
► You believe that parents who are detained or deported should not get the ability to reunify with their children or get a chance to arrange for their child's foster care. These are harsh consequences for being undocumented and breaking the law.
The Help Separated Families Act would ensure that immigration status does not disqualify a parent, legal guardian, or relative from being a "foster parent" for a foster child and allows a State, county, or city to delay filing for termination of parental rights in foster care cases in which an otherwise fit and willing parent has been detained, deported, or is in an immigration proceeding.
According to Rep. Roybal-Allard's press release, the bill would specifically:
• Ensure that the immigration status of a parent, legal guardian, or relative caregiver is not by itself grounds for disqualification from being a placement for a child;
• Require that child welfare agencies accept foreign documentation as sufficient identification for the purposes of a child welfare placement background check; and
• Prohibit child welfare agencies from filing for termination of parental rights in cases when a fit and willing parent or relative has been deported, detained, or is otherwise involved in an immigration proceeding, unless certain conditions have been met.
The legislation has been introduced in the wake of the latest policy scandal where a growing number of children are separated from their families and placed in the child welfare system following a parent’s detention or removal by immigration authorities. Although the Trump administration had introduced a "zero-tolerance" enforcement of the law, previous cases of child separation in the event of their parent's deportation happened under the Obama administration as well.
The bill ensures any case manager is capable of speaking the native language of the child and the child's family, or at least having an interpreter present at all times at no cost.
It gives the parents the choice to have their children go back to their countries with them, giving them ample time to coordinate and collect all relevant vital documents such as birth certificate, health, and educational records, and other information.
The measure makes certain that privacy and confidentiality of records are not shared with other governmental organizations or agencies.
Sponsored by: Rep. Roybal-Allard, Lucille [D-CA-40].
Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 22 Dem.