Colorlines report on families affected by deportation

This video is from a Colorlines special report, Torn Apart by Deportation.

Harsh immigration policy, compounded by systemic inequities built into the criminal justice system, might not be thwarting terrorists or making our country a whole lot safer. But the laws are doing a great job of breaking up another entity: families of color.

In an era of increased enforcement over immigration reform, this is a huge problem for so many immigrant families. You can read more from the report in three articles dedicated to the issue here.

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  • cattrack2

    I think this is a difficult question. As much as your heart goes out to any family separated by deportation, and as screwed up as the ICS bureaucracy is, its equally important that we set strong penalties for crime. In matters of public safety I don’t know that what’s in the interest of an individual family can be the over riding concern of the population at large.
    The community I grew up in has been ravaged by crime. Much of it drug crime. And many of the recent gangs are simply the distribution arms of international cartels. Drug crimes are not victimless crimes. Penalties need to be high to discourage crime.

  • Channing

    Obviously crimes need to be punished — but read the articles at and you’ll see that this is a situation where the punishment is unjust. THis isn’t some big-time drug mogul getting busted — this is a person with a family that he’s supporting, spontaneously getting deported by SOME GUYS IN A VAN, for a drug possession crime he ALREADY SERVED TIME FOR, years ago. This means two people, a legal resident and a citizen, committing the same crime, will get two totally different punishments. That’s not just.
    To say nothing of the fact that he’s getting deported to a country he has no ties to other than birth, where he’s been ostracized and made unemployable due to his deportee status, or the toll on his family, now that his wife is raising their son alone, with one person’s wages, in New York City. That’s not just punishment for getting caught holding a dimebag ten years ago, especially not after serving time for it. An unjust criminal justice system benefits nobody.

  • bradley

    You will never solve the underlying problem by punishing the crime without trying to understand its causes. Drug prohibition leads to drug crime.