From Governor Dan Malloy:
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has released a toolkit developed by his office, several Connecticut state agencies, and relevant stakeholders to provide a user-friendly, step-by-step guide for parents who want to have a plan in place for a friend of family member to care for their children in the event that they are detained or deported.
The Family Preparedness Plan–available in English and Spanish–includes information on steps people can take on their own–without the help of an attorney–to develop a child care plan, and includes important forms and documents that families can fill out and store in a safe place where they can be accessed if needed. The plan also includes information on where to find immigration legal assistance, and guidance on how to avoid immigration scams.
The toolkit can be downloaded online as a PDF document through the Governor’s website by visiting portal.ct.gov/FamilyPreparedness.
It is being electronically distributed to a number of partnering organizations throughout Connecticut, including town governments, school districts, libraries, legal services organizations, and the United Way 2-1-1. Other groups are encouraged to download it and share it with interested parties who may find it useful.
The Governor explained that the toolkit is needed to help address concerns of parents worried about what might happen to their children if they are deported or detained, and to ensure that these children–who themselves may be United States citizens–will remain safe with a “standby guardian” of their parents’ choosing. Having parents designate a standby guardian also prevents these children from being placed in state care. There is no cost to fill out any of the forms contained in this toolkit, and they may be completed without the involvement of attorneys or any court.
“We want to make sure that people have a plan in place should immigration action separate their families,” Governor Malloy said. “It is estimated that there are around 22,000 U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrant parents living in Connecticut. I strongly encourage anyone with these kinds of concerns to utilize this toolkit, fill out the forms, and have a plan in place.”
If undocumented parents are deported and these 22,000 children enter foster care, the cost to the state is estimated to exceed $630 million.
“If even just some of the children of undocumented immigrants are forced into state care as a result of being deprived of their parents or caretakers, the emotional toll on the children will be egregious,” Connecticut Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz said. “The most important thing for a parent to do right now is to identify whom they want to care for their children and to talk to their children to ensure them they will be taken care of well.”
“I appreciate the Governor’s commitment to talking directly about this issue, because the simple steps in the Family Preparedness Plan can make a big difference for families who are living with a lot of fear and uncertainty,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. “I’m proud of Connecticut, and I also want to make clear that Hartford’s programs and services remain open to all residents regardless of their immigration status, from our city offices, schools, and libraries, to our safety and social services.”
**VISIT portal.ct.gov/FamilyPreparedness TO DOWNLOAD THE FAMILY PREPAREDNESS PLAN**