Jul 15, 2010 -
Congressman Jared Polis
Remarks at Ad-Hoc Hearing on Impact of Arizona Immigration Law S.B. 1070 on Children (Press Conference)
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I want to welcome all of you to Capitol Hill. I know that many Members of Congress need to hear these stories, stories of kids and families that are torn apart by our immigration system. In my district in Colorado there are thousands of kids who go to school every day to learn like other Americans, who want to go to college, graduate high school, play on the sports team, who come home from school not knowing if their mother or father have been taken by the very authorities that should be protecting them.
And yet millions of American kids live in fear, fear that our immigration system is separating them from those that take care of them and do such a good job of preparing them to face the challenges of their generation. More than 100,000 children were affected by parental deportation between 1997 and 2007, even more from parental detention. The deportation and detention of a parent has a terrible impact on U.S. citizens and children. It leads to housing instability, food insufficiency, changes in a child’s behavior and decline in their academic performance.
We need to stop separating families, and we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. That involves securing our borders; cracking down on employers who hire immigrants illegally; and requiring those who came here illegally to pass background checks, learn our language, and pay taxes. The time for playing politics with this issue is over.
We should not have an immigration system that my constituents live in fear of. Our immigration system should be an asset to this country, something that all Americans can be proud of; and is a credit to our values as America is an immigrant nation; and builds American human capital for the future. I call upon my colleagues to listen to the stories of children and families who were affected. I call upon them to pass comprehensive immigration reform now. Thank you.