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Letter to White House: Raids Have Huge Impact on Children

The National Council of La Raza and more than 100 other advocacy and education organizations have sent a letter to President Bush expressing "deep concern" over how workplace raids by immigration authorities have been conducted--and how they could negatively affect the children of undocumented workers who are rounded up in the raids. The May 7 letter notes that 3.1 million children who are U.S. citizens have at least one undocumented parent. A copy of the letter was also sent to Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Here's an excerpt: "In the aftermath of the raids, churches, schools, and social service agencies have scrambled to determine which workers have children, assess which children must be picked up from day care and school, find caregivers for the children, and provide basic health and nutrition services."

The letter argues that one way to take the needs of these children into account is to fix "the broken immigration system that separates them from their parents." The same sentiment was expressed at immigrant-rights rallies in Los Angeles and elsewhere on May 1.

The April issue of Rural Migration News tells about what it calls "the largest-ever workplace raid" conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement of six Swift plants in December.

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