New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and State Child Welfare Commissioner Joette Katz have announced the release of New Haven’s emergency guide to help immigrant families prepare for the threat of deportation.
New Haven is the first city in Connecticut to release such a guide. Harp says the city used an emergency guide that the state released in the spring to help draft this booklet.
She says it took months to verify local legal resources families could use, such as finding immigration lawyers. She says the release is timely now as a Connecticut mother of U.S. citizens faces deportation, despite not having a criminal record.
“These family preparedness suggestions are meant to keep families calm in the face of such uncertainty and they are meant to stabilize the community across the board.”
Harp says the guide even has a checklist of things like “Yes, I have an attorney” and “Yes, I know who will take care of my children.”
Commissioner Katz says parents who don’t have immigration papers should appoint a legal guardian and get their children passports. Otherwise, their children – and thousands of others in the state – could be under her care at the Department of Children and Families.
“Imagine 22,000 children are at risk if in fact their parents are deported for no reason other than their status.”
Katz says her agency cares for about 4,000 children right now. If every undocumented parent were to be deported, that would mean five times more children would enter state care.
The guide is available in English at New Haven City Hall and will be available online. Harp says a Spanish version will be released soon.