BROOKLYN - Many American-born children in the borough have parents who are facing deportation, a situation that immigration groups are calling "disastrous."
Families in this situation are asking lawmakers for help. The New Sanctuary Movement and Families for Freedom sponsored a vigil in front of Sen. Chuck Schumer?s office on Saturday, asking him to support a piece of legislation that would allow immigration judges to consider the welfare of children whose parents are facing deportation.
The Child Citizen Protection Act was introduced by congressman Jose Serrano and recognizes that the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants are, in fact, legal citizens.
Parents and kids spoke out at the vigil. ?It?s not easy knowing your father can be deported at any time,? Elijah Salmon said. Salmon?s father, Roxroy, faces deportation. Roxroy Salmon came to Brooklyn from Jamaica more than 30 years ago. Back then, he committed a non-violent crime and was issued a deportation order, but the government didn?t follow through on that order until recently.
Currently, immigration judges are not allowed to consider an immigrant?s family ties to the U.S. when ruling on a deportation order.
The Child Citizen protection Act was introduced to the House of Representatives by a local congressman in 2006 and again in 2007. However, Brooklyn families say a dual pronged approach is essential when the well-being of children is at stake.
The act has strong support throughout the state. City Council passed Resolution 1250 in support of it just last month. The rally will continue on Thursday, when thousands across the country will call for an end to deportations.