Yoshikawa Op-Ed Makes Real-Life ImpactBy newseditor
Less than a month after Professor Hiro Yoshikawa and New York University Professor Carola Suarez-Orozco penned the New York Times op-ed “Deporting Parents Hurts Kids,” Brooklyn mother Sara Martinez was saved from deportation. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reversed its position and the Obama administration is now implementing its new guidelines on deportation, taking into account family and community ties, in an in-depth review of all current pending cases.
In the op-ed, Yoshikawa and Suarez-Orozco reflected on Martinez’ case and called upon the United States to not be in the “business of causing untold hardship by separating children from the love and care of their hard-working parents.”
In the course of six months over 2011, ICE removed 46,486 undocumented parents, who have at least one American citizen child, they wrote. In contrast, over the course of the entire 10 years from 1998 to 2007, the government had removed about 100,000 undocumented parents. The end result is often children who suffer “psychological and economic disruptions.”
Following the publication of the piece, Congresswoman Nydia Velazques took the Martinez case to John Morton, director of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As a result of the the ICE’s reversal of the case and new guidelines, 16,000 cases will be reviewed.
“I am honored to play a small role in bringing attention to the over 4.5 million citizen children of undocumented parents. The undocumented are often viewed as victims, lawbreakers, and laborers but not as parents who are dedicated to their children’s learning and development,” Yoshikawa said. “This is a positive outcome not just for Sara Martinez but for the parents of U.S. citizens that will be reviewed nationwide.”