Hispanic Groups Protest Immigration Raids

More than 100 Hispanic organizations sent a letter to the White House denoucing raids targeting illegal immigrants and blaming the enforcement actions for a “humanitarian crisis” in the immigrant community.

The groups called on Congress to approve immigration reforms that addressed the realities of the U.S. labor market.

Approximately 3.1 million children born in the United States have at least one parent who is in the country illegally, according to estimates, while some 1.8 million other youngsters live in this country “without papers.”

In the letter, the organizations called on the federal government to take into account the negative impact of the raids on U.S.-born children, who are separated from their parents.

“Workplace raids leave a long-lasting impact, not only on the local economy, but on the children who are separated from their parents as a result of a raid,” the letter released Monday said.

After a raid, churches, schools and social service agencies find themselves scrambling to figure out where the parents are and provide for the needs of minors who are practically abandoned, the organizations said.

The letter noted the problems caused by a recent raid in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where a dehydrated baby had to be hospitalized because her mother was detained and could not feed her.

“Our children deserve better, and it is up to the Administration and Congress to deliver to them a sound immigration policy that does not result in parents being separated from their children,” the organizations said.

Among the more than 100 signatories from across the United States were the National Council of La Raza, Casa Maryland, Phoenix-based Emigrantes sin Fronteras, the Latino Economic Development Corporation and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota.