Should Immigrants in the United States Illegally Who Are Parents of US Citizen Minors Be Deported?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
New America Media, a national collaboration of ethnic news organizations, in an Apr. 4, 2007 editor's note to the article titled "Reluctant Ex-Pats: U.S. Born Kids Face Deportation As Well," stated:

"When parents are deported, their U.S.-born children have two 'choices' -- leave with their parents or stay in foster care to continue availing of educational opportunities here."

Apr. 4, 2007 - New America Media 

Jeffrey S. Passel, PhD, Senior Research Associate at the Pew Hispanic Center, in a Mar. 7, 2006 Pew Hispanic Center report titled "The Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population in the U.S. Estimates Based on the March 2005 Current Population Survey," wrote:

"Unauthorized families with children come in many combinations of legal and illegal statuses, both among the parents and their offspring. Of the 14.6 million people in unauthorized families in the March 2005 estimates, there were approximately 4.9 million children. Of these, about 3.1 million children, or 64% of all the children in unauthorized families, were American citizens because they were born in the United States... Out of the total of 6.6 million unauthorized families, a significant share can be classified as being of 'mixed status' —in other words, families in which at least one parent is unauthorized and at least one child was born in the United States. There were 1.5 million unauthorized families in which all the children were born in the United States. These families represent about one-quarter of all unauthorized families and more than half of unauthorized families with children. Another 460,000 families, or 7% of unauthorized families, had both U.S. citizen children and children who were unauthorized. Taken together, these mixed status families represent about one-third of all unauthorized families and five out of six unauthorized families with children."

Mar. 7, 2006 - Jeffrey S. Passel, PhD 

PRO (yes)

Andy Selepak, writer at Accuracy in Media, in a June 5, 2007 article entitled "$6 Billion a Year for Mexican 'Anchor Babies?'," available at, wrote:

"These families knew exactly what they were doing when they came to the U.S. and had a child born on U.S. soil. And we know and understand exactly what they're doing. For illegal immigrants, having a child born in the U.S. becomes the Golden Ticket to staying here in this country... Having a child born in the U.S. does not prevent the illegal alien mother or father from being deported. But this rarely occurs, especially for the illegal alien mother. The real solution is for the illegal alien parents to return to their native countries with their children."

June 5, 2007 - Andy Selepak 

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in a May 20, 2007 Washington Post article titled "Poster Child, In Tomasa Mendez, the Immigration Debate Now Has a Very Public Face," stated:

"You should look back to the decision the parents made in coming to the country without legal status. Our job is to enforce the laws."

[Editor's Note: Tomasa Mendez's father, Hector Mendez, was arrested and deported after a factory raid on Mar. 16, 2007]

May 20, 2007 - US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) 

You Don't Speak For Me, a U.S.-based Hispanic group against illegal immigration, in a Feb. 9, 2007 press release titled "Mexican Legislators Will Travel to Chicago to Visit Elvira Arellano," offered the following:

"Elvira Arellano [immigrant in the United States illegally and mother of U.S. citizen child] is also a testament to the unwillingness of the United States government to uphold the rule of law and enforce its own immigration laws. This failure has undermined our sovereignty while harming the interests of countless Americans... Children are not human shield... It was his mother who put the boy in a difficult position when she knowingly broke multiple laws in this country. Whenever parents are held accountable for breaking the law their children are inevitably harmed. We all regret when that happens, but no justice system in the world can allow parents to hide behind their kids."

Feb. 9, 2007 - You Don't Speak For Me 

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in a Aug. 21, 2007 American Family News Network article titled "Feds Deport Illegal Alien Who Sought Sanctuary in Chicago Church," stated:

"Unfortunately parents make bad choices that impact their children -- and this is not any different... She [immigrant deportee Elvira Arellano] defied the laws of the United States government... This is a choice that she made, and that choice impacts her son [U.S. citizen minor Saul Arellano]... [T]he fact is that she put herself in this position. She violated U.S. laws, sought sanctuary in a church, and our government decided not to do anything until she left the church -- and thank goodness they did."

[Editor's Note: Elvira Arellano was arrested and deported on Aug. 19, 2007]

Aug. 21, 2007 - Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) 

Stephany Gabbard, Registered Nurse and Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, and Frosty Wooldridge, MA, Writer and freelance journalist, in a July 6, 2004 article titled "Anchor Babies: Born in the USA, the Abuse Of The 14th Amendment," retrieved from Woolridge's website, stated:

"Our patients are 99 percent pregnant illegal alien women who have broken United States immigration law to birth an American citizen child. This will be their families, entry ticket into the United States... Pregnant Third World women have discovered that the only thing they have to do is cross the U.S.--Mexico border... Our politicians and elites wink at this blatant law breaking and do nothing. The colonization of our country continues with the cooperation of our government. That means your senator and representative aid this illegal baby invasion. None dare call it treason. Most Americans mistakenly trust their politicians to do the right thing... In addition, the happy family is entitled to welfare benefits. And, illegal alien parents who have children born in the U.S. are seldom deported. That's why their children are called 'anchor babies' - they anchor their families securely in the USA. It doesn't have to be this way."

July 6, 2004 - Stephany Gabbard, RN 
Frosty Wooldridge, MA 

CON (no)

Richard M. Daley, JD, City Mayor of Chicago, in a Mar. 25, 2007 City Council of Chicago resolution with 45 votes in favor and zero against it, resolved:

"[T]hat the Mayor and City Council of Chicago call on the President of the United States to issue and executive order to cease and desist in the execution of all raids and deportations that do not relate to our national security or to criminal activity until comprehensive immigration reform is completed and to suspend immediately all deportations of parents with U.S. citizen children and to specifically release those now held in custody in the Chicago Metropolitan area on their own recognizance."

Mar. 25, 2007 - Richard M. Daley, JD 

Families for Freedom, an immigration advocacy group based in New York, in a June 26, 2007 report titled "Deportation 101: From Raids to Deportation," offered the following:

"Every year, nearly 200,000 non-citizens —many with kids who are U.S. citizens— are deported and torn away from their families even when a judge thinks they deserve to stay in the U.S. to help raise and support those families. In 1996, our immigration system made deportation a mandatory punishment for many non-citizens... judges do not have a say in deciding if deportation is fair... Families must choose between splitting up, resulting in more single parent households and psychological and financial hardship, or forcing their U.S. citizen children into deportation with them. These American children may have to start over in a country with a new language, fewer resources and an uncertain future. America’s immigration laws force American children to lose their parent, or their country. Mandatory deportation is a life sentence of exile. Such a severe 'one size fits all' punishment cannot be the basis of our immigration system."

June 26, 2007 - Families For Freedom 

Jose Serrano, U.S. Representative (D-NY), in Feb. 16, 2007, introduced the 2007 Child Citizen Protection Act H.R. 1176, which contained the following:

"To Provide Discretionary Authority to an Immigration Judge to Determine that an Alien Parent of a United States Citizen Child Should not Be Ordered Removed, Deported, or Excluded from the United States... In the case of an alien subject to removal, deportation, or exclusion who is the parent of a child who is a citizen of the United States, the immigration judge may exercise discretion to decline to order the alien removed, deported or excluded from the United States if the judge determines that such removal, deportation, or exclusion is clearly against the best interests of the child, except that this subparagraph shall not apply to any alien who the judge determines."

Feb. 16, 2007 - 2007 Child Citizen Protection Act H.R. 1176 (33KB)  

IndyBay, also known as the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center, in its Feb. 28, 2007 "Events" website section titled "Conference Call for Child Citizen Protection Act," stated:

"Deportation destroys families and leaves U.S. citizen children without parents. Over 1 in 10 families are mixed status: at least 1 parent is a non-citizen, and 1 child a citizen. We now have a vehicle to help protect our U.S. citizen children from the devastating effects of deportation: The Child Citizen Protection Act... would allow an immigration judge to consider the best interest of U.S. citizen children before deporting their parent."

Feb. 28, 2007 - IndyBay 

Richard Nadler, President of America's Majority Foundation, an organization "founded to increase the constituency for conservative causes," in an Oct. 2, 2007 The Wall Street Journal article titled "Immigration Losers," wrote:

"One-half of U.S. population growth this decade occurred among Latinos... Immigration policies that induce mass fear among illegal residents will induce mass anger among the legal residents who share their heritage... Were the border hermetically sealed today, the children of Latino citizens will yet vote... These young Americans share the same citizenship status as those seeking their parents' removal. It is folly to believe they will not remember who sought to deport their parents when they eventually go to the polls. The pending catastrophe is not inevitable. Republicans have campaigned effectively among Hispanics on the basis of entrepreneurship, school choice, tax cuts and right-to-life. To retain their Hispanic gains, Republicans need to repudiate only the immoral, uneconomical goal of mass deportation."

Oct. 2, 2007 - Richard Nadler