Broken Immigration System Is Leaving Thousands Of Children Fatherless

Immigrant families rally at a Florida detention center. Credit: Florida Immigrant Coalition

On Father’s Day, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) reminded Americans that the immigration bill making its way through Congress is paramount to millions of mixed-status families.

“I want to say it’s Father’s Day. A study just came out this week in Illinois, 56,000 children were left without a mom or a dad, some without parents in the last six years,” Gutierrez said on Sunday’s This Week. “It’s something we have to end. It’s a tragedy, what’s happening to American immigrant families. ”

If the current rate continues at roughly 1,100 undocumented immigrants deported daily, experts say 152,000 children will have a parent detained or deported. Other studies show a parent’s immigration status can impact children’s mental health, physical health, and school grades, making another case for a path to citizenship for fathers and mothers.