Face of US changing; elections to look different

Posted: Nov 10, 2012 7:43 AMUpdated: Nov 10, 2012 11:57 AM 

The U.S., and its electorate, is gradually growing more diverse. (Source: CNN)

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – It’s not just the economy, stupid. It’s the demographics – the changing face of America.

The 2012 elections drove home trends that have been embedded in the fine print of birth and death rates, immigration statistics and census charts for years.

America is rapidly getting more diverse, and, more gradually, so is its electorate.

Nonwhites made up 28% of the electorate this year, compared with 20% in 2000. Much of that growth is coming from Hispanics.

The trend has worked to the advantage of President Barack Obama two elections in a row now and is not lost on Republicans poring over the details of Tuesday’s results.

Obama captured a commanding 80% of the growing ranks of nonwhite voters in 2012, just as he did in 2008. Republican Mitt Romney won 59% of non-Hispanic whites.

Romney couldn’t win even though he dominated among white men and outperformed 2008 nominee John McCain with that group. It’s an ever-shrinking slice of the electorate and of America writ large.

White men made up 34% of the electorate this year, down from 46% in 1972.

“The new electorate is a lagging indicator of the next America,” says Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center. “We are midpassage in a century-long journey from the middle of the last century, when we were nearly a 90% white nation, to the middle of this coming century, when we will be a majority minority nation.”

Another trend that will be shaping the future electorate is the stronger influence of single women. They vote differently from men and from women who are married. Fifty-four percent of single women call themselves Democrats; 36% of married women do.

With women marrying later and divorcing more, single women made up 23% of voters in the 2012 election, compared with 19% in 2000.

The changing electorate has huge implications for public policy and politics.

Suddenly, immigration overhaul seems a lot more important, for one thing.

Ask white voters about the proper role of government, for another, and 60% think it should do less. Ask Hispanics the same question, and 58% think the government should do more, as do 73% of blacks, exit polls show.

You can hear it in the voice of Alicia Perez, a 31-year-old immigration attorney who voted last week at a preschool in Ysleta, Texas.

“I trust the government to take care of us,” she said. “I don’t trust the Republican Party to take care of people.”

Sure, the election’s biggest issue, the economy, affects everyone. But the voters deciding who should tackle it were quite different from the makeup of the 1992 “It’s the economy, stupid” race that elected Democrat Bill Clinton as president.

Look no further than the battleground states of Campaign 2012 for political ramifications flowing from the country’s changing demographics.

New Western states have emerged as the Hispanic population there grows. In Nevada, for example, white voters made up 80% of the electorate in 2000; now they’re at 64%. The share of Hispanics in the state electorate has grown to 19%; Obama won 70% of their votes.

Obama won most of the battlegrounds with a message that was more in sync than Romney’s with minorities, women and younger voters, and by carefully targeting his grassroots mobilizing efforts to reach those groups.

In North Carolina, where Romney narrowly defeated Obama, 42% of black voters said they had been contacted on behalf of Obama, compared with just 26% of whites, exit polls showed. Obama got just 31% of the state’s white vote, but managed to keep it competitive by claiming 96% of black voters and 68% of Hispanics.

Young voters in the state, two-thirds of whom backed Obama, also were more often the target of Obama’s campaign than Romney’s: 35% said they were contacted by Obama, 11% by Romney. Among senior citizens, two-thirds of whom voted Republican, 33% were contacted by Obama, 34% by Romney.

Howard University sociologist Roderick Harrison, former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau, said Obama’s campaign strategists proved themselves to be “excellent demographers.”

“They have put together a coalition of populations that will eventually become the majority or are marching toward majority status in the population, and populations without whom it will be very difficult to win national elections and some statewide elections, particularly in states with large black and Hispanic populations,” Harrison said.

One way to see the trend is to look at the diversity of young voters. Among voters under 30 years old this year, only 58% are white. Among senior voters, 87% are white.

Brookings Institution demographer William H. Frey says policymakers and politicians need to prepare for a growing “cultural generation gap.”

“Both parties are getting the message that this is a new age and a new America,” says Frey. “Finally, the politics is catching up with the demography.”

Just as Republicans need to do a better job of attracting Hispanics, says Frey, Democrats need to do more to reach out to whites.

The face of Congress is changing more slowly than the electorate or the population, but changing it is.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California was happy to highlight the news that for the first time in history, more than half the members of her caucus next year will be women, black, Hispanic or Asian. She said it “reflects the great diversity and strength of our nation.”

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, whose caucus is far more white and male, said Republicans need to learn to “speak to all Americans – you know, not just to people who look like us and act like us.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 1 of the GOP’s most prominent black women, said the party needs to understand that “the changing demographics in the country really necessitate an even bigger tent for the Republican Party.”

“Clearly we are losing important segments of that electorate and what we have to do is to appeal to those people not as identity groups but understanding that if you can get the identity issue out of the way, then you can appeal on the broader issues that all Americans share a concern for,” she said.

All sides know the demographic trends are sure to become more pronounced in the future.

In the past year, minority babies outnumbered white newborns for the first time in U.S. history. By midcentury, Hispanics, blacks, Asians and multiracial people combined will become the majority of the U.S.

Since 2000, the Hispanic and Asian populations have grown by more than 40%, fueled by increased immigration of younger people as well as more births.

Currently, Hispanics are the largest minority group and make up 17% of the U.S. population, compared with 12% for blacks and 5% for Asians. Together minorities now make up more than 36% of the population.

Hispanics will make up roughly 30% of the U.S. by midcentury, while the African-American share is expected to remain unchanged at 12%. Asian-Americans will grow to roughly 8% of the U.S.

“The minorities will vote,” said demographer Frey. “The question is will their vote be split more across the two parties than it was this time?”

For both Republicans and Democrats, he said, the 2012 election is a wake-up call that will echo through the decades.

AP Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta, Associated Press News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius and writer Hope Yen contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





En Route to a Majority Minority Nation

Released: November 7, 2012

A Milestone En Route to a Majority Minority Nation

by Paul Taylor and D’Vera Cohn

The minority groups that carried President Obama to victory yesterday by giving him 80% of their votes are on track to become a majority of the nation’s population by 2050, according to projections by the Pew Research Center. They currently make up 37% of the population, and they cast a record 28% of the votes in the 2012 presidential election, according to the election exit polls.

By 2050, the Hispanic share of the U.S. population could be as high as 29%, up from 17% now. The black proportion of the population is projected to rise slightly to 13%, while the Asian share is projected to increase to 9% from its current 5%. Non-Hispanic whites, 63% of the current population, will decrease to half or slightly less than half of the population by 2050.

Post Election Analysis

Changing Face of America Helps Assure Obama Victory

Latinos in the 2012 Election

The forces behind this transformation are a mix of immigration, births and deaths. The United States is more than four decades into what has been, in absolute numbers, the biggest immigration wave in its history–more than 40 million arrivals. Unlike previous waves that were almost entirely from Europe, the modern influx has been dominated by Hispanic and Asian immigrants.

These immigrants, like those from previous centuries, tend to have higher shares of women of childbearing age and higher birth rates than the U.S.-born population. Most of the growth in the Latino population and much of the growth in the Asian population will be driven by births rather than immigration. At the same time, the native-born white population is aging, and births to white mothers have been declining.

The Pew Research population projection, first released in 2008, was based on the assumption that current trends would continue, including the immigration rates that had prevailed in recent decades. However, net immigration—especially unauthorized—has slowed since the Great Recession began in 2007. Under an alternative scenario that assumes immigration levels that are lower than those in the past (and somewhat lower than the current reduced levels), the same general trends are projected, but at a slower pace.

Under the lower-immigration scenario, whites would make up 52% of the total U.S. population in 2050, not 47%. And Hispanics would be 26% of the population, not 29%. However, immigrants and their descendants still would account for the vast majority of the nation’s population growth by mid-century.

The 28% representation of minorities in the 2012 electorate was an increase from 26% in 2008, according to the election exit polls. In 2008, voters from racial and ethnic minority groups also gave 80% of their votes to Obama.

Demographic change will come more slowly to the voting-eligible population than the overall population for a number of reasons. First, many immigrants are not eligible to vote because they are not citizens. Also, the nation’s race and ethnic minorities are younger than the white population, so many are not yet old enough to vote.

In 2011, according to Census Bureau population estimates, whites were 66% of those ages 18 and older, three percentage points higher than their share of the total population. Hispanics, the nation’s largest minority group, were 15% of the population ages 18 and older, two percentage points less than their share of the total population.

But the voting-age population will continue to grow more non-white every year. Among the 4.4 million 18-year-olds in 2011, for example, 56% were white, 21% were Hispanic, 15% were black and 4% were Asian.



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Los Angeles Goes Ahead with ID Cards for Immigrants

November 8, 2012



 Source: VOXXX -November 8, 2012


By Tony Castro

Los Angeles-based writer Tony Castro is the author of the critically-acclaimed “Chicano Power: The Emergence of Mexican America” and the best-selling “Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son.”

Los Angeles goes forward on ID cards for immigrants

Posted on November 7, 2012By Tony CastroImmigration

In a city that is almost half Hispanic, the ID cards for immigrants proposal is also another step toward easing some of the hardships facing illegal immigrants living in Los Angeles. (AP Photos)

On a day after President Barack Obama’s re-election renewed hope for immigration reform, the Los Angeles City Council advanced a plan for a photo identification card to help immigrants get access to banking and other services.

The plan would make Los Angeles the largest city in the country to offer identification cards to immigrants, regardless of their immigration status, allowing them more freedom, particularly in opening bank accounts.

In a city that is almost half Hispanic, the ID cards for immigrants proposal is also another step toward easing some of the hardships facing illegal immigrants living in Los Angeles.

Under the plan, a Universal City Services Card would combine a library card with a debit card function and would act as a photo ID.

400,000 people would benefit from the ID cards for immigrants proposal

An estimated 400,000 undocumented workers in Los Angeles would be among those assisted by the program, according to city officials.

“The federal government has failed on immigration and we have hundreds of thousands of people living in the shadows,” said City Councilman Richard Alarcon, who championed the proposal, which he believes would help move more undocumented immigrants in the city “out of the shadows… into the true light of day.’”

“We ask them to landscape our houses, take care of our kids, prepare our food for us in restaurants… and everybody knows it,” Alarcon said. “Yet we don’t want them to say who they are and what their address is.”

The ID cards for immigrants proposal could increase public safety

Alarcon said the card would also help card-holders avoid costly check-cashing shops as well as increase public safety by allowing residents to avoid carrying cash and becoming targets of muggers.

Officials believe that that more than 12 percent of Los Angeles residents do not have bank accounts, mostly because they cannot open a bank account without proper identificaton.

The Los Angeles plan would offer the ID cards for immigrants with a function that would work like a prepaid debit card for anyone who wants one.

On a 12-1 vote, the council approved putting out a request for proposals to banks or third-party vendors to manage the card program, while asking for a report back on the bids in 90 days.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has given his support to the program.

“It will be as strong an effort as San Francisco’s,” Villaraigosa said.

A handful of cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, already issue identification cards to anyone who can prove residency, regardless of immigration status. Oakland charges $15 for most residents, or $10 for low income residents and senior citizens.

“This card allows people who have been living in the shadows to be out in the light of day,” said City Councilman Ed Reyes. “Some say this is a federal issue and not our problem. Well, I’m sorry, I beg to differ.”

Some critics, though, complain that the ID card takes Los Angeles a step closer to becoming a sanctuary city for illegal immigration.

Last spring, Los Angeles police stopped impounding the vehicles of anyone caught driving without a license, a practice immigration advocates said too often penalized illegal immigrants who cannot get drivers licenses.

In October, the LAPD announced that it would stop handing over suspected illegal immigrants arrested for low-level offenses to federal immigration authorities for deportation.“It is clearly an accommodation,” Ira Mehlman of the anti-immigrantFederation for American Immigration Reform said of the ID card plan. “Los Angeles is making it easier for people who have violated federal immigration laws to live in the city.”

Juan Crow in Arizona

THE “NEW JUAN CROW”: ARIZONA ELECTIONS THREATEN TO DISENFRANCHISE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VOTERS, ESPECIALLY LATINO VOTERS THAT COULD UNSEAT ARPAIO – Uncounted Votes, Provisional Ballots in Maricopa, Pima Counties could impact Arpaio re-election and, possibly, other races in Arizona


We are alarmed by reports from Arizona that hundreds of thousands of provisional and early ballots  from areas with large Latino populations may not be counted.  Not counting Latino votes is skewing results in the race to unseat Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Unfortunately the use of provisional ballots and refusal to count them in Arizona points to the rise new way to disenfranchise Latino voters, the primary victims of the”New Juan Crow.”

“PresenteAction and its members and allies like Promise Arizona are concerned that Arizona eleciton officials allowed hundreds of thousands people to be forced to fill provisional ballots in the first place” said Arturo Carmona, Executive Director Presente Action. “It is sspecially disconcerting that Maricopa county officials keep changing the numbers of ballots that haven’t been counted. The county recorder is estimating that 300,000 votes (150k early voting, 150k provisional), according to representatives of Promise Arizona.”

With important races races in Arizona hinging on only a few thousand votes, or less, as in the case of the Congressional race in Pima County, counting the provisional in an expeditious manner is the only way to guarantee of the electoral system in Arizona, a state renowned for its anti-Latino policies. Voter turnout in AZ in 2008 was 2 million, 1.5 million in Maricopa alone; yet, officials are reporting that only 1.5 million votes were cast state-wide. This  means 1 out of 4 Arizona votes are unaccounted for.

This situation raises many serious questions, especially when we consider that there was all-time high of 3.1 million registered voters in AZ this year. Local reports from voters and from Promise Arizona and other groups indicate that many of the voters given provisional ballots are in Latino-heavy districts, districts that could tilt the direction of important and still undecided races.

In the case of Sheriff Arpaio’s re-election, the county recorder hasn’t yet declared a winner, only the media is projecting a winner.

PresenteAction joins the call of Promise Arizona and its allies for immediate and  full disclosure and  transparent counting of all votes in Maricopa and Pima counties and across Arizona.



Dear Mr. President

Thank you for giving children the promise of a brilliant future and a place in our nation!

There has been a lot written on the struggle that Dreamers are faced with, but little about the sincere, genuine and real story of what it is like to be a child without a nation.

What a gift to give a child — our young –a dream and a nation to believe in!

Great President’s are defined in critical moments, because their values and principles can hurt a nation or build a nation. President Obama, we at eLatinaVoices commend your action on making it possible for children, ripped by immigration, to stay and contribute to our future.

We will remember this moment as one that defines our nation and your Presidency. With courage, conviction and strength you have taken a step to build a nation united for the common good of all.

Dreamers will contribute and devote their lives to a nation struggling to find hope in the American Dream. A Dream that all of us believe in.

Mr President we will remember!


Arpaio – nonfeasance in public office

Press Release – October 23, 2012

eLatinaVoices, an online community committed to advocacy for children, will hold a press conference on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. at the Arizona State Capitol, Rose Garden to denounce Sheriff Joe Arpaio for not protecting children, causing irreparable harm to child victims and mismanagement of the office of Sheriff. We will endorse Paul Penzone for Sheriff.

IMMEDIATE: For information contact: Olga Aros, eLatinaVoices, 623.845.6382, oraworldwide@cox.net

“I will continue with what I have always done!” Sheriff Arpaio does not get it! His lack of performance has hurt children and cities, cost taxpayers millions of dollars and because he decided not to investigate 432 sex crimes, children and families suffered. Arpaio has not paid attention to how the jails under his leadership function. As a result, you had inmates that lost their lives while in custody. The misappropriation of jail funds is a story…all by itself. His attitude and vindictiveness against appointed and elected officials is not the type of leadership needed today. He is no longer fit for the job of Sheriff.

7 cities contract with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement services. These cities paid MCSO millions of taxpayer dollars, but were not informed about the uninvestigated crimes that placed children in their cities in danger. Where was Sheriff Joe, while these crimes went uninvestigated. He was posturing for the media, seeking publicity and playing politics.
A broad look at Arizona child abuse statistics tell the story of how children are treated in Arizona. Arizona Child Protective Services as of October 2012 had more than 13,000 child abuse and neglect reports. CPS has 60 days to investigate, but the limited staff and backlog will not allow CPS to complete this requirement. City of Phoenix has made progress investigating over 2,500 child sex crimes cases, but continue to receive as many as 500 a month. In combination with what the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has neglected…we know our children are not safe!

As voters, we have an opportunity on November 6 to change things for the better in Maricopa County for our children. Changing leadership in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is necessary, we cannot take another four years of the same.

Today, we ask the citizenry in Maricopa County to support a new Sheriff…Paul Penzone, who brings 21 years of law enforcement experience and has the energy to focus on rebuilding the trust in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, he has been an executive with ChildHelp, working on preventing child abuse and educating the community on how to safeguard children. eLatinaVoices endorses Paul Penzone for Sheriff in Maricopa County and asks residents in Maricopa County to do so too.

About eLatina Voices
eLatinaVoices, formed on September 30, 2010, is the largest online community of active Latinas in Arizona. The member organization is committed to advocating for and taking collective action on issues that impact the well-being of children, families and the Latino community. eLatinaVoices facilitates civic engagement and is focused on connecting active members to share ideas, work with elected officials and use their influential, collective voices to create change and improve the lives of young Latinos and women.

By utilizing social media, eLatinaVoices increases the exchange of information among Latinas to create an informed, active, engaged and mobilized community that addresses public policy issues, promotes equal education, encourages civic participation, and protects the rights of children and women a focuses on economic equality and justice in all of society. The women of eLatinaVoices are committed to advocacy and the community they serve.

Latinos are in Center Stage

Latino voters take center stage in both presidential campaigns

By Karen Tumulty, Published: April 17 – Washington Post/Politics

With the GOP presidential nomination no longer in doubt, President Obama and Mitt Romney this week are urgently turning their focus to Hispanic voters — a group whose alienation from Republicans threatens GOP prospects for winning the White House and has given the Obama campaign an early opportunity to lock in the support of a key constituency.

Sensing a chance to exploit the disconnect, the Obama reelection campaign is accelerating its efforts to reignite the intensity that brought out Latino voters in record numbers four years ago.

The Republican nominee-to-be and his party are looking to repair relations by dispatching organizers to critical states and by reminding Hispanics that the administration has not lived up to its promises on immigration reform.

At a private fundraiser Sunday night in Palm Beach, Fla., Romney told supporters that “we have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party” and warned that a big win of that group by Obama “spells doom for us.”

His comments were overheard and reported by journalists for NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

For the Obama team, the new push begins Wednesday, when the campaign announces its first round of Spanish-language television and radio ads. The initial spots — to be aired in Colorado, Nevada and Florida — will feature Latino Obama volunteers promoting the president’s education policies.

In one, Daniella Urbina, a Harvard University graduate raised by her mother and grandmother, says: “Financial aid is very important to the Latino community. I was the first in the family that was going to go to college. I think President Obama understands us.”

In coming weeks, Obama’s campaign will intensify its Latino phone-banking operation and send canvassers door to door to find even relatively small pockets of Hispanic voters in states such as New Hampshire.

Its Web site features a Spanish-language calculator on which voters can compare their tax rate with Romney’s. And the president has become a regular presence on Spanish-language media, having done 15 interviews since his inauguration on the Univision Network alone.

The stakes for both sides are heightened by the math and the map. Hispanics are the nation’s largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority, accounting for more than 16 percent of the population. They also make up crucial voting blocs in two-thirds of the swing states where the presidential election is likely to be decided.

The urgency is being felt most intensely in the battleground states.“The key to this thing is what percentage of Hispanic votes we get in Florida or Virginia or Ohio or Colorado or Nevada or New Mexico,” said Al Cardenas, the former Florida GOP chairman who is advising the Romney campaign on how to reach out to Hispanics. “He needs to get close to 40 percent in six states.”

On Monday, the Republican National Committee announced that it has appointed state directors to drum up Hispanic support in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia and North Carolina.

“In order to win their hearts and minds and votes, we’re going to have to share our own vision for a better tomorrow,” Cardenas said, “and we’re going to have to do it in a way where the community feels they are part of us.”

Ethnic Studies to be Eliminated in Universities?


Arizona Official Considering Banning Ethnic Studies In Universities Too

By Alex Seitz-Wald on Apr 2, 2012 at 11:30 am

Two years ago, Arizona outlawed the teaching of some ethnic studies courses in K-12 schools, and now it may expand the prohibition to universities too. Just weeks after the state passed its infamous immigration law, it also passed a law aimed at scuttling Tucson’s Mexican-American studies program, which critics claimed taught kids to resent white people. The argument, at the time, was that teaching subjects like critical race theory to kids in high school amounted to indoctrination because they were not old enough to question the teaching critically, like university students.

But now, Arizona’s chief education official sees university-level Mexican-American sudies programs as a danger too:

Arizona’s superintendent of schools, John Huppenthal, says Tucson’s suspended Mexican American studies curricula teaches students to resent Anglos, and that the university program that educated the public school teachers is to blame.

I think that’s where this toxic thing starts from, the universities,” Arizona Superintendent of Schools John Huppenthal said in an interview with Fox News Latino. “To me, the pervasive problem was the lack of balance going on in these classes,” Huppenthal said.

Not surprisingly, a long list of Latino groups and education activists have protested the move, as they did when the state shut down Tucson’s program, decrying the imposition on free speech. “What we’re trying to do is expose children to a much broader perspective, so that we’re not indoctrinating,” said Augustine Romero, the former director of Tucson’s Mexican American Studies Department.

The ethnic studies law, which bans schools from offering courses designed for a specific ethnicity, had far-ranging consequences, including banning books like Shakespeare’s The Tempest and other seemingly anodyne works of literature.

And while many call the state prohibitions unprecedented, Devon Peña, the former director of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies said, “There is a precedent, and it’s called McCarthyism.” “It’s just a witch hunt of a different color. Now, instead of going after the reds, they’re going after the browns.”

ICE quietly reveals they’ve deported over 46,000 undocumented parents. But where are the children?

 | March 30, 2012 | 6 Comments

LatinaLista — The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department of Homeland Security has not had a good last couple of weeks. No matter which way they turned they were getting hammered for not being transparent enough either in their count of undocumented immigrants who escaped capture or their practices treating undocumented immigrants in detention.

Screen shot 2012 03 30 at 4.19.49 PM 231x300 ICE quietly reveals theyve deported over 46,000 undocumented parents. But where are the children?

It might be because they realized if they were truly transparent then they could really come under fire, like what happened today — four days after they released the reportDeportation of Parents of U.S.-Born Citizens: Fiscal Year 2011 Report to Congress Second Semi-Annual Report.

According to the report, during the reporting period from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011, ICE removed 46,486 undocumented parents who claimed to have at least one US citizen child.

This is the separation of families so often cited as a sign of the nation’s broken immigration system.

Critics would argue that it’s a sign that our system is working but when any system lacks a moral component and has no hesitation in separating a parent from their child, a US-born child, then the system is beyond broken.

Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus addressed the revelations in this report by issuing a press release:

Washington D.C.: Chairman Charles A. Gonzalez (TX 20), Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL 4), Chair of the CHC Immigration Task Force and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA 34) released the following statements in response to an Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Report regarding the annual deportation of parents of U.S. citizens. The Fiscal Year 2011 Second Semi-Annual Deportation of Parents of U.S.-Born Citizens Report reveals that more than 46,000 parents of U.S. children were deported in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2011.

“To force hardship on American families is contrary with the ideals and standards of our country. Those who commit violent crimes should be a priority for deportation, but it’s misguided to deport parents who are simply living in the United States as a part of a mixed-status family. Some of those deported were here to raise their American children and to work for American employers, as they comprise a labor pool that is vital to many American businesses,” said CHC Chairman Charles Gonzalez. “I urge ICE to use its policy of prosecutorial discretion to prioritize deportation proceedings and then deport individuals that pose a danger to our communities, which is the wisest use of limited resources and in our economic best interest.”

“Thousands of federal employees go to work each morning with the job of taking parents away from their U.S. citizen children and breaking up peaceful, productive American families. It is a tragedy. The President’s policy of sparing long-time residents from deportation so that we can concentrate our resources on removing serious criminals needs to be fully implemented and followed. We are putting our future at risk every day that we delay serious reform and continue shoveling more good people into deportation and their children into foster care,” said Rep. Gutierrez.

“This report is the latest example of the terrible human toll our broken immigration system is taking on families. Tearing families apart like this is inhumane and completely unacceptable,” said Rep. Roybal-Allard. “We can’t continue to claim to value families while deporting parents in the tens of thousands. This must stop,” Roybal-Allard added.
These deportations have real social and economic costs. According to a 2011 report by the Applied Research Center, more than 5,000 children living in foster care have parents who were detained or deported from the United States.

ICE is in the process of implementing a new prosecutorial discretion policy which takes into account family ties in making deportation decisions.

“I believe it is critical that the new guidelines are interpreted as generously as possible by agency officials to prevent even more families from being torn apart,” said Rep. Roybal-Allard.

Deporting these parents may have followed the “spirit of the law” but it did so in gross contrast to the spirit of what the citizens of this country believe why our forefathers founded this nation.

Forcefully separating a parent from his or her child with a penalty for seeing each other again — either the family giving up life in the US to return to a poorer quality of life in the parent’s native country or forcing the parent to risk their life to return to the US illegally or bar him/her outright for ten years — is not a policy for a democratic nation that prides itself for upholding principles the world over that fly in the face of dictatorships, communism and oppressive regimes.

A policy that separates parent from their children does not provide much separation between the United States and all those countries that we would rather distance ourselves from because of their disregard to human right, democratic principles and the basic tenets of what is right and what is wrong.