U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich joined 14 other Democratic Senators in asking two federal departments for information on the treatment of children whose parents were deported.
The 15 Senators, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, asked for information from the federal Department of Homeland Security and the Health and Human Services Department on what happens to children, who are U.S. citizens, whose parents are deported.
“These children are United States citizens, and the deportation of their parents leaves them vulnerable in myriad ways,” the senators wrote. “Abruptly separating from parents is a highly destabilizing, traumatic experience for children, and one that carries long term consequences such as feelings of loss and grief, economic hardship, and increased risk of neglect and abuse.”
They also requested to know how many children since January 2015 have been placed into the child welfare system because their parents have been deported, how much their foster care costs taxpayers and what policies are in place to ensure care for children whose parents have been arrested pending deportation.
The senators also asked if DHS would seek a funding increase for support of social services as a result of increased foster care.
The letter was addressed to DHS Secretary John Kelly and HHS Secretary Tom Price.