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February 2014

The Silent Crisis: Children Hurt by Current Immigration Enforcement Policies

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Infectious Disease, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Division of Neonatal Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(2):103-104. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4350

“My father went into that house and never came out. Now my mother went into that house. If she doesn’t come out, who will take care of me? Will you take care of me?” 4-year-old Jessie asked a woman she had just met that morning, who had accompanied her mother to an office building.

Jessie’s father, Edy, with his request for political asylum from Guatemala denied, was arrested in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Burlington, Massachusetts, in late 2012. He was deported 2 weeks later, after 20 years in the United States. He had worked for the same family business for 15 years, paying taxes, making Social Security and Medicare contributions, and paying a lawyer $15 000 over the years for promises of adjusting his immigration status.

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