Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Congressman Serrano Reintroduces the Child Citizen Protection Act

May 18, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano reintroduced the "Child Citizen Protection Act,” legislation that restores discretion to immigration judges in cases where the best interest and well-being of a child that is a United States citizen will be impacted by the deportation of their immigrant parents or other family relatives. This legislation will help protect children, who are particularly vulnerable, from unwarranted and damaging separation from their parents or caregivers.

“Citizen children should not have to suffer the impact of a federal immigration system that is flawed and too rigid. Currently, the law does not allow judges presiding over immigration cases to use their discretion in deportation and removal cases where a child's well-being will be adversely impacted. A judge often has no choice but to order permanent removal of undocumented parents from the United States.

"The impact of these decisions are severe- forcing citizen children to end up in de facto deportation in order to remain with their parents, or requiring them to find another responsible caregiver in the United States to help take care of them.  Than can sometimes include through the foster care system.

"That is wrong. These are children who are U.S. citizens and we have a responsibility to act in their best interest. This legislation would change this rule and trust judges' capacity to make the right decision, allowing them to use their judgement in this type of immigration cases. Despite the current political climate, I am hopeful that at least some of my colleagues across the aisle will join me in supporting this common sense fix, which only helps protect children from undue and potentially life-changing stress and hardship,” said Congressman Serrano.