Is Anybody Looking Out for Best Interests of Children?

When U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detain and subsequently deport undocumented workers, what happens to the children of those workers, many of whom were born in the U.S. and, by law, are U.S. citizens? A special panel at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14 titled "America’s Children and U.S. Immigration Enforcement: Is Anybody Looking Out For the Best Interests Of The Children?" discusses this important issue.

A new report, “Severing a lifeline: The Neglect of Citizen Children in America’s Immigration Enforcement Policy” takes a detailed look at the impact of immigration law and enforcement policy upon citizen children. The study’s authors contend that immigration laws are out of step with the way children are treated in other areas of U.S. law and, at best, marginalize, and at worst totally ignore, the children’s status as citizens.

Join a stimulating and in-depth discussion of these issues Tuesday, April 14, 2009, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center.

The panelists will discus whether children's interests are being neglected in the pursuit of immigration control. They will address questions such as which laws should apply to these children, and how -- or whether -- the U.S. enforcement approach should be changed to minimize harm to citizen children of undocumented parents.

Speakers include:
Katherine Fennelly, Professor, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Moderator
Joseph Dierkes, Retired Immigration Judge, Executive Office of Immigration Review, U.S. Dept of Justice
James Kremer, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney, co-author, Severing a Lifeline: The Neglect of Citizen Children in America’s Immigration Enforcement Policy
Representative Carlos Mariani, Minnesota House of Representatives, Chair, House K-12 Education Policy and Oversight Committee
Esther Wattenberg, Professor, School of Social Work and Policy and Program Coordinator in Child Welfare, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota

Sponsors:
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
University of Minnesota: Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs ; Human Rights Center, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, Immigration History Research Center, Human Rights Program; The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, School of Social Work
Midwest Coalition for Human Rights
Family and Children’s Service
League of Women Voters of Minnesota
Jewish Community Action
Catholic Charities of St. Paul/Mpls - Office for Social Justice
Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network