Immigration Status

Immigration Status & Child Welfare 

  • Immigrant Caregivers – ABA Center on Children and the Law (2017) – Policy Report

Nothing in federal law prohibits individuals with undocumented immigration status from becoming either licensed or unlicensed foster care providers. However, failure to obtain full licensure may disadvantage caregivers by, for example, precluding receipt of full foster care maintenance payments. In contrast, many states have implemented licensing standards that either expressly prohibit approval of undocumented caregivers or create barriers to approval. Section II of this report discusses the challenges that various state licensing standards may pose for undocumented caregivers as well as the ways in which they may overcome these challenges.

  • Refuting Fear – Males (2017) – Research

Similarly, in 2017, President Donald Trump is blaming people of color—specifically immigrants from Muslim-majority countries and Mexico—for causing increased crime, drug-related death, and “American carnage” (Johnson, 2015; Lee, 2015; Trump, 2017).The President has also stated that “sanctuary cities” in particular “breed crime,” and that California is therefore “out of control” (Lee, 2017; Memoli, 2017). However, California’s crime trends in the all-minority population era have proven to be more positive than the nation overall. This is especially apparent in California’s largest cities, many of which have established local policies, or must adhere to state policy, limiting cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

This report researched, as of 2011, the number of children living in foster care who are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents, concluding, among other things, that families are more likely to be separated where local police aggressively participate in immigration enforcement. Also, the researchers examine how most child welfare departments lack systemic policies to keep families united when parents are detained or deported. Published by Applied Research Center, now Race Forward.


Immigration Status & Forced Separation

  • Separating Families is Inhumane (2018) –  Webpage

Ms. L v. ICE (American Civil Liberties Union Lawsuit)

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Separated Children and the Child Welfare System (2018) – Report

This report is co-sponsored by the ABA Center on Children and The Law, The Women’s Refugee Commission, and The Center on Immigration and Child Welfare.  It describes recent changes to federal immigration enforcement, forced family separations at the border, and implications for the child welfare system.

  • Background on Separation of Families and Prosecution of Migrants at the Southwest Border -ABA Commission on Immigration (2018) – Policy Report

This document describes the timeline of the federal actions and includes legal framework disapproving the practice of separation of families at the border. 

  • Letter to the U.S. Attorney General & Sec’y of DHS from the American Bar Association (2018) – Pdf

This letter from the president of the American Bar Association to the Attorney General of the U.S. and the Secretary of DHS expressing opposition to actions by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security that have resulted in a drastic increase in the separation of children from their parents when arriving at the southern border.