Giving Compass' Take:

• Lisa Hamilton, President and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, discusses why there needs to be a system in place to better support children who are separated from their parents after ICE raids.

• How can donors help states such as Mississippi create systems for alerting the proper agencies to assist immigrant children? 

• Read more about policy recommendations to support child immigrants. 

Authorities said they detained more than 600 allegedly undocumented immigrants in raids in several cities in Mississippi this week. In some instances, children returned from school with no one to care for them or were not picked up from child care centers. Mississippi Child Protective Services said it was not notified of the operations in advance. Below is a statement from Lisa Hamilton, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a national philanthropy focused on children’s well-being.

“We must put the well-being of children at the center of policies and actions in this country. Our children are our future, and they trust us as adults to make caring for them our highest priority. That’s why it is exceptionally dispiriting that immigration enforcement operations separating children from their working parents in Mississippi this week neglected the well-being of those children and their families.

“The situation was made worse by the failure of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to provide advance notice to the agencies responsible for the safety and security of kids who suddenly lacked access to their parents. We know that keeping families together leads to the best outcomes for children. We also know that the work undertaken by public systems in the states, including Mississippi, to protect all children who are separated from their families for any reason is difficult, even under ordinary circumstances.

“Our 2017 Race for Results report underscored the risks faced by kids, families and all of us as a nation if we fail to provide children in immigrant families with the stability, support and opportunities that will enable them to thrive."

Read the full article about the harm in separating families at The Annie E. Casey Foundation.