Take Action – Path to citizenship for immigrants protects children

Nationwide, an estimated 4.5 million children who are U.S. citizens live in families where one or more of their parents are undocumented. As Nebraska children’s, family, and health advocates highlighted in a recent press conference (see below), these children will grow up to be our future family members, neighbors and co-workers – and their health and well-being as children today directly affects their health and well-being as adults, ultimately shaping the health of our communities.

Now is the time to fix our immigration system by passing laws that include a clear, direct process for citizenship for aspiring Americans.  Laws like this will ensure our families can stay together, which means healthier children and stronger communities for our future.

Watch President Obama speak Tuesday and call for serious immigration reform that includes a process for citizenship:

The U.S. Senate began debating its immigration bill this week, and Nebraska’s U.S. senators need to hear from you.

We urge you to call Sen. Johanns and Sen. Fischer to ask them to support an updated immigration system that includes a path to citizenship for a brighter future for Nebraska’s children and a stronger foundation for us all.  Call toll-free at 888-891-3271

Right now, our outdated immigration system has damaging effects for many U.S. citizen children. Last week, Human Impact Partners released a new report Family Unity, Family Health: How Family-Focused Immigration Reform Will Mean Better Health for Children and Families detailing how the strain put on families by our outdated immigration system has harmful effects for children’s emotional and behavioral health and education.

The report found children are often plunged into poverty when a parent who brings in an income is detained or deported.  Children are more likely to suffer physical, mental and behavioral health problems and not do as well in school when separated from their parents or when living with the daily fear of separation.

Local health officials and children’s and education advocates spoke last week about the dangers our current, antiquated immigration system poses to children by breaking apart families.

Lizeth Cuandon – A young Nebraska DREAM student
Carolyn Rooker – Executive Director, Voices For Children in Nebraska
Andrea Skolkin – CEO, OneWorld Community Health Centers
John Cavanaugh – Executive Director, Building Bright Futures

Call Nebraska’s senators and tell them a new immigration system with a process for citizenship will heal these broken families and protect our young people.  It reflects Nebraska’s decent values and will make our communities thrive.

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