LS Doc 0

Doctors Support Child Citizen Protection Act

15 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
15 people have signed. Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

Dear Members of the House of Representatives, We, the undersigned pediatric health professionals, express our firm support of the Child Citizen Protection Act, H.R. 182, sponsored by Representative Serrano (NY-16). We call on Congress to enact this important piece of legislation that could keep children united with their families. The Child Citizen Protection Act seeks to return judicial discretion to immigration judges so they can take into account the well-being of a U.S. citizen child when determining if their non-citizen parent should be forcibly deported. If enacted, this legislation could have a significant impact on the well-being of families across the nation. In 1996, mandatory deportation for many non-citizens -- lawful permanent residents included -- became a part of U.S. immigration law and judges were stripped of any and all discretion to rule in the best interest of a child whose family is involved in immigration proceedings. This policy has denied many families the opportunity to plead their cases and has proven detrimental to the well-being of thousands of children, including children who are U.S. citizens. Since 1996, over 1.6 million spouses and children have been left behind to cope after a family member has been forcibly deported. Ten percent of all families in the United States include at least one non-citizen parent and a U.S. citizen child. We recognize that parental involvement is critical to the development of children, as a close parent-child relationship increases the likelihood of a child's academic success, physical health, and emotional well-being. The Child Citizen Protection Act would have the potential to keep families together and allow children to grow and develop into thoughtful and contributing adult citizens. This legislation would also positively impact U.S. communities overall. By restoring judicial discretion, the Child Citizen Protection Act would protect the economic contributions of non-citizens, as well as the future contributions of their children, as they are able to be nurtured by their parents in a stable and unified family environment. As pediatric health professionals, we believe that the well-being of children should be taken into account during immigration and deportation proceedings. We urge all members of Congress to cosponsor and support the Child Citizen Protection Act to restore judicial discretion to protect family unity and the well-being of the nation's children. Respectfully,


Dr. Lavanya Sithanandam is a pediatrician in Takoma Park, Md. She immigrated to this country at the age of 4. She is on the board of directors of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a social justice and advocacy organization.

Share for Success