Sending Office: Honorable Lucille Roybal-Allard
Request for Cosponsor(s)
Earlier this week, President Trump
tweeted that ICE will begin aggressive interior enforcement actions, ripping children from their families across the country. In light of this harmful rhetoric, we invite you to become an original cosponsor of a bill we intend to reintroduce,
the Help Separated Families Act of 2019. The Help Separated Families Act aims to limit the trauma faced by a growing number of children who are torn from their families and placed in the child welfare system following a parent’s detention or
removal by immigration authorities by supporting family unity and reunification and upholding parental rights.
When a child enters the child welfare system, reunification efforts with their families are often complicated by a lack of coordination between the federal immigration system and state child welfare systems. It is considered a child welfare best practice
to place children who are separated from their parents with other relatives, yet many child welfare agencies refuse to place children with otherwise qualified family member sponsors solely because the relatives are undocumented. In addition, child welfare
agencies may be reluctant to reunify children with a parent or relative outside of the U.S. following a parent’s removal, which can result in the inappropriate termination of parental rights. As a result, children are needlessly separated from their families.
The Help Separated Families Act of 2019 aims to keep children of detained or deported parents united with their families. Specifically, our bill:
- Ensures 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;
- Requires that child welfare agencies accept foreign documentation as sufficient identification for the purposes of a child welfare placement background check; and
- Prohibits 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 Help Separated Families Act of 2019 will help prevent the needless, and sometimes permanent, separation of children from their families as a result of immigration enforcement actions. If you are interested in signing on as a cosponsor
of this important legislation, please contact Victoria Rivas with Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s staff at
LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD NORMA J. TORRES
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0