Immigration and children

Published: Monday, July 1, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

As an educator who has seen the devastating effects of our broken immigration system on children, I feel the need to speak up.

When a child is separated from a family member because of our dysfunctional immigration system, the remaining family members often aren’t able to provide the economic and emotional support necessary for the child to succeed.

Children who have lost a family member to deportation often come to school unkempt, hungry and tired. Most of the time, these children don’t bring a snack, homework or other things they need to be well-prepared for school. Many become shy and sensitive, and are not able to build relationships with peers.

I think now of a 7-year-old student I had two years ago. His mother had been deported. He had ability and was a hard worker, yet he really struggled academically. It
seemed like the more time went by, the more he fell behind.

He still had his father, his grandparents, and three siblings here, but he really missed his mom. He was so lost without her.

Everyone knows that parents play a key role in their child’s education and his or her well-being. The love and attention that a parent provides is difficult, if not impossible, to replace.

Our immigration system needs reformed in a comprehensive way, so children remain with their families and are able to excel.

The time is now for Congress to act.

Diana Escobedo

Second-grade bilingual teacher, Cary School District 26

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