U.S. policy is tearing children from parents and making a mockery of a sacred institution, the family. Every day, more than 300 American children have a father or mother deported, or sent to a miserable pre-detention facility for months or years at the cost of about $60,000 annually, charged to taxpayers.
Of the roughly 400,000 mostly Latina/o immigrants deported each year, only slightly more than half have committed a crime, and about 100,000 leave a citizen child behind them. Virtually all leave partners, parents, other children, other family, or jobs behind.
Our presidents have said that deportation should mainly be a tool for fighting crime and that we should not be separating families, and Obama has indeed shifted focus towards criminal deportations. It is not enough, however. We need a just and humane immigration system, and respect for families should be a central guiding principle as we shape it.