In 2010, almost 400,000 immigrants were held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention. “Many of these individuals are parents and primary caregivers of U.S. citizen children and have no criminal record,” writes NASW’s International Committee in a recent Human Rights Update issued by NASW. “Social workers are often responsible for ensuring the welfare of the children who must live without one or both parents due to immigration enforcement. As immigration enforcement increases and comprehensive immigration reform remains on the distant horizon, social workers must actively promote policies that are designed to keep family units together and preserve the quality of life for all children growing up in America.”
Last year, the Obama administration set new records for detaining and deporting immigrants who were inside the country illegally. The government plans to best those numbers in 2011, removing more than 400,000 people. In partnership with American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, FRONTLINE correspondent Maria Hinojosa takes a penetrating look at Obama’s vastly expanded immigration net, explores the controversial Secure Communities enforcement program and goes inside the hidden world of immigration detention in Lost in Detention, airing Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings).