The state of Connecticut is providing a guide for parents to come up with a plan that includes “standby parents” in the event that a mother father gets deported or is detained.
The governor on Wednesday released the “Family Preparedness Plan,” which includes steps people can take on their own – without the help of an attorney – to develop a child care plan. The guide is available in English and Spanish
“We want to make sure that people have a plan in place should immigration action separate their families,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement.
He said estimates are that around 22,000 U.S. citizens who are children of undocumented immigrant parents live in the state of Connecticut.
This is the English version of the guide.
This is the Spanish version of the guide.
“I strongly encourage anyone with these kinds of concerns to utilize this toolkit, fill out the forms, and have a plan in place,” Malloy said in a statement.
The guide from the state has been released at a time when immigration authorities have detaining people across the country, or attempting to.
Last week, Hartford officials condemned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who they said posed as police officers to try to detain an undocumented woman earlier this month.
An ICE spokesman for New England responded to what local officials said about that case.
"ICE agents and officers identify themselves as 'police' during an encounter because it is the universally recognized term for law enforcement and our personnel routinely interact with individuals from around the world. In the often dangerous law enforcement arena, being able to immediately identify yourself as 'law enforcement,' may be a life-or-death issue," the statement said.
In Texas, federal immigration agents rounded up around 26 undocumented people who are on probation when they showed up to perform community service.
Gov. Malloy's office said the toolkit is to help address “concerns parents have about what might happen to their children if they are deported or detained, and to ensure that the children, who might be United States citizens, will remain safe with a ‘standby guardian’ of their parents’ choosing."
It would also help prevent children from being placed in state care, according to state officials.
“If even just some of the children of undocumented immigrants are forced into state care as a result of being deprived of their parents or caretakers, the emotional toll on the children will be egregious,” Connecticut Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz said in a statement. “The most important thing for a parent to do right now is to identify whom they want to care for their children and to talk to their children to ensure them they will be taken care of well.”
State officials said that if undocumented parents are deported and the 22,000 children enter foster care, the cost to the state is estimated to be in excess of $630 million.
The plan, which is included above, also has information on where to find immigration legal assistance and guidance on how to avoid immigration scams.