VID: Meet the Woman Caring for Over 800 Kids Hurt By Immigration Laws

|

"Immigration Orphans: How US Policy is Hurting American Kids," produced by Amanda Winkler. About 8 minutes. Original release date was May 18, 2015 and original writeup is below.

Brandi, an 8-year-old American child, vividly remembers the morning her father—an illegal Mexican immigrant—was forcibly taken from their Miami home by federal immigration officials. She had been getting ready for school when ICE officials entered the house with guns, demanding her father's arrest. She has not seen her father since.Nora comforts Brandi

Her story is heartbreaking but it is not unique: more than 100,000 American children are affected by parental deportations each year. These deportations can have devastating consequences for children; apart from the emotional and psychological effects of losing a parent, these children often end up in a financially perilous situation or are even placed in foster care. The byproduct of a broken immigration system, these childrens' stories have often gone unnoticed.

Except by Nora Sandigo.

A Nicaraguan immigrant and current Miami resident, Sandigo has devoted the past six years to helping children like Brandi. She is the legal guardian of over 800 American children who have lost at least one parent to deportation. 

"It's a blessing and a huge honor knowing that I can serve with what I have. Its not as much as I would wish because I don't  have the means and I'm just one person, but I'm really happy to be able to do something for these kids," says Sandigo.

Parents who fear deportation sign a contract with Nora, granting her "power of attorney" of their children in case they are deported. This enables Nora to oversee their daily needs, such as doctors appointments and school meetings. It also means that should deportation occur, she can take care of the child until they get placed in a home with family or friends. For illegal immigrant parents, this is a huge relief. Often times their worse fear is that their child will be put up for adoption and they will have to fight to regain custody rights. Nora with a child who has been affected by deportation.

And the children aren't the only ones who pay for the current immigration situation—taxpayers do too. It costs taxpayers approximately $26,000 a year for every child in foster care. In 2011, the US government spent at least $133 million to place these "immigration orphans" into foster care. In more recent years, this number is estimated to be closer to $600 million. 

For the most part, though, Nora provides for the childrens' everyday needs. 

"Every day we deliver emergency supplies to different homes in Miami and we visit the kids and bring them urgent things such as milk, Corn Flakes, things they need everyday, we also give them school supplies, clothes. In some cases we need to take them in an emergency because they need to go to the doctor, the parents or parent who is still there, who wasn't deported, doesn't have transportation. So we're looking out after all of these details," says Sandigo. 

President Obama's executive stay on deportations is still in effect. However, even if it survives legal battles brought forth by Republicans, it will expire in 2016 when he leaves office. In order to provide lasting relief to these American children, Congress needs to enact a more comprehensive and humane immigration policy.

If you would like to contact or donate to Nora, click here. 

Approximately 8 minutes.

Produced by Amanda Winkler. Shot by Winkler and Joshua Swain. Narration by Alexis Garcia. 

Subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel for daily content.

NEXT: Charles Paul Freund on Game of Thrones and Historical Views of Sexual Violence

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. You know who else cared for over 800 kids?

    1. Jeffrey Epstein?

    2. Boko Haram? ISIS?

    3. 8 year old Mohammed?

    4. 100 Octo moms?

    5. Josh Duggar?

    6. Mr. Drummond?

      1. Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Rufus?

        1. Where else but in America can two kids go from living in the streets to a fancy penthouse!

          I’m sure Mr. Drummond would be seen as a patronizing racist white patriarch today.

          That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

          1. Oh yeah – no way that show would fly today. It would be fun to try, though. The collective head explosions would make the earth tilt in its orbit.

  2. On a serious note, holy crap, busting up families like this is sad.

    1. In what way are families being “busted up”? The normal thing when parents move is that they take their kids with them. It is their choice to leave their kids in the US alone when they have to move.

      1. Huh?

        “Brandi, an 8-year-old American child, vividly remembers the morning her father?an illegal Mexican immigrant?was forcibly taken from their Miami home by federal immigration officials. She had been getting ready for school when ICE officials entered the house with guns, demanding her father’s arrest. She has not seen her father since.Nora comforts Brandi”

  3. CPS does this daily and for Native Americans it is genocide – see SD and the Lakota. No one cares.
    Mandatory minimums for crimes other than immigration deport parents to prison, No one cares.
    Children could be reunites with their economic refugee parents, but that wouldn’t make for good tv.
    Does this person file “child support” suits? Does it matter if “the deadbeat dad” is south of the border? Consider all the citizens defacto denied visitation and jailed when they can’t pay.
    Based on that where does she get the approx. two and one half million dollars to pay for the children whom she is responsible for? How can she even take care of them legally?

  4. OT but more timely than a reposted article

    Dems are clutching pearls because they have just discovered that millions of Americans are “under insured” with Obamacare.

    They had no idea that 10s upon 10s of millions of Americans couldn’t suddenly find the extra money to pay 5K to 10K a year in premiums and then pay 4K to 8K deductible. No mention that people would still be on the hook for 20% to 30% of their health care costs if they get sick, much less if they are too sick to keep working.

    Dems discover that health insurance is not the same exact thing as Health Care.

    NEWS FLASH: Center for American Progress (therwise known as ObamaPac) blames it on businesses. Employeers are meanies.

    Insurance Companies say the focus on deductibles and cost sharing are misplaced. Blame high health care costs the reason for high deductibles.

    http://goo.gl/7Y4xpR

    I sure hope Tony shows up so he can explain how this could possibly have happened ?

    Many of us refer to the Repubs as the Stupid Party and in many ways they are. However they were smart enough that none of them sold their vote for this. If even one had voted for the ACA it would now be referred to as a BI-Partisan Billl by the MSM. Don’t doubt it.

    1. Doesn’t matter, as soon as the piece of shit starts falling apart it will be called bi-partisan or better yet, a republican plan that democrats reluctantly participated in.

      1. No, the failure will be blamed on Republicans because they didn’t “make a bi-partison effort to iron out the kinks.”

        That narrative began with the first attempt to defund/kill Obamacare nearly two years ago.

        And Tony was pimping the narrative then. The sum of his argument was “what’s the proposed solution?” Because you can’t just excise a cancerous tumor, you have to propose something to fill the void or your position is “unrealistic.”

  5. If even one had voted for the ACA it would now be referred to as a BI-Partisan Billl by the MSM. Don’t doubt it.

    They already do that. Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts! Heritage Foundation!

  6. I am so sick of republicans saying they are pro-life and not caring about what happens to children after they are born.

    10 Things You Can’t Do and Still Call Yourself “Pro-Life”

    6. You cannot hold anti-immigrant sentiments or support oppressive immigration policies

    To live in one of the richest countries in the world, and to live in a nation which consumes copious amounts of the worlds resources, it doesn’t show a value to life when one wants to continue consuming but simultaneously build fences to keep our poorer neighbors out. The worldview of “this is mine, leave it alone” is incompatible with a pro-life ethos.

    1. I am so sick of republicans saying they are pro-life and not caring about what happens to children after they are born.

      You came to the right place. Everyone here cares a great deal about what you think.

      1. You came to the right place. Everyone here cares a great deal about what you think feel.

        FIFY

      2. You came to the right place. Everyone here cares a great deal about what you think.

        Thank you. More people need to call republicans out on their hypocrisy.

        Republicans: What About Children Outside the Womb?

        Can you be pro-life and vote to cut funding that supports the life of a child? Paul Ryan’s cut-at-all-costs budget and philosophy, which 100 percent of the pro-life Republicans voted for, would gut the funding that supports at-risk babies and children: food stamps, temporary assistance to needy families, day care, Head Start, early childhood education, children’s health care.

        1. Your complete inability to recognize sarcasm is not surprising.

          1. I laffed.

    2. That is some derp for the ages

    3. So anti-abortion must mean pro immigration ?

      Welcome to Reason. Many here will welcome the comic relief it all your future post are like this one.

      Tony and ButtPlug have nothing on you.

      I predict that we may soon have a contest to see who can post the most stupid statements.

      So far you have proven up to the challenge.

    4. block head

      Is there room in your pea brain to understand that if the US were not consuming “copious amounts” of resources that we buy from those whom you feel are oppressed that they might actually have starved to death rather than just not have as much material goods as we do ?

      1. block head

        Is there room in your pea brain to understand that if the US were not consuming “copious amounts” of resources that we buy from those whom you feel are oppressed that they might actually have starved to death rather than just not have as much material goods as we do ?

        I see I touched a nerve. You must be a republican. I know you are afraid of brown people taking over but being a christian you are obligated to follow the teachings of christ.

        Jesus said when we feed the hungry, we are feeding him

        Christian heritage runs through Judaism. We are an immigrant people. Even our religion began somewhere else. Our spiritual ancestors, Abraham and Sarah, were told by God to pick up what they had and start traveling. Moses, Miriam, and Aaron led a nation out of Egypt, into the desert and ultimately to new lands. Even Jesus spent part of his childhood as a foreigner in a foreign land. As Exodus says, we know how it feels to be foreigners in a foreign land. If you don’t think being foreigners in a foreign land is still our story, ask the Native Americans. At best, turning away immigrants makes us hypocrites; at worst, it makes us betrayers of our ancestors and our God.

        1. I’ll bet you support the immigration policy of Israel. Diversity for thee, but not for me.

        2. I didn’t know Thinkprogress work on week-ends.

          I hope they pay their workers a living wage!

          1. I love how the new trolls assume that the commentariat of Reason is just like that of the Federalist, NR, WND, RedState, et al and don’t try to modify their gotcha speeches accordingly…

            1. Yup.

    5. We don’t “consume copious amounts of the world’s resources”, we are one of the most productive societies on the planet. So, no reason to feel guilty.

  7. From WORLD POLICEMAN to WORLD NANNY! I would like more articles on corrupt Mexican Government policies. I am fascinated by things that would motivate people to boogie their homes. You know, THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM!

    1. Hurt by our laws, really?

      1. Of course Mexico is hurt by our laws. But for The War No Drugs, Mexico would be a thriving Libertopia.
        /Reason

        1. Of course not, but some tens of thousands of corpses not piling up on the streets would be a good start.

          1. Ah, the old “it’s all America’s fault” trope so beloved among Proggies and some folks at Reason . There is nothing besides corruption and ineptitude that prevents the Mexican government from stopping the corpses piling up in the street.

            1. Those corpses are directly connected to the drug war – are you denying that?

              1. There is certainly a war among drug gangs in Mexico that there might not be if GlaxoSmithKline or some such could legally sell some currently illegal substances.

                That notwithstanding, the Mexican government is too corrupt and inept to stop the mass killing of its citizens, irrespective of drug laws in the USA.

  8. Immigration Orphans: How US Policy is Hurting American Kids

    American? Really?

    1. Yes, they are American.

  9. “While I was committing a crime, I had a kid, and now that I’m being punished for it, my kid must suffer! It’s all the fault of horrible country I snuck into!!”

    1. Well, when the “crime” is living where a government says you’re not allowed to…….yes.

      If the government takes away my kid because I have a joint in the house, almost everyone here would say that that is an injustice. If we believe in individual sovereignty and the NAP, I don’t see the distinction. The fact that it’s “our” country makes a difference?

      1. I am not a doctrinaire libertarian. Rights can conflict. Illegal immigration conflicts with the NAP in a welfare state, because tax money is extracted by force and then used to support illegals and their children.

        But people are more than bundles of rights and economic units. They have culture, beliefs, etc. For decades we’ve been importing poor Latin Americans from shitty countries that promote “socialism” more than liberty, and it’s changing our electorate for the worse. These immigrants tend to vote Democratic, not Libertarian or even Republican. So they are empowering the most anti-liberty party. I think it’s stupid and suicidal for libertarians to promote massive immigration of anti-libertarians. Don’t let the “free movement” principle destroy all the other principles.

        This is also idiotic from a purely economic perspective. The US does not lack in low-skilled labor. Economic and technical advances make it increasingly hard for our low-skilled workers to find work. So why import millions more? The law of supply applies to labor, too. We get lower wages at the bottom, more Democrat voters, more welfare expenditures, more poverty and crime. That’s great for the Democratic Party, but it sucks for everyone else.

        1. But middle class white women can get nannies for $5 a day!

          1. (To paraphrase an article here at Reason)

      2. I think you misunderstand how a libertarian world functions. Sure, the government wouldn’t keep people out, but that doesn’t mean that anybody could just stroll in from anywhere and settle on what now is “the US”. Roads would be private, neighborhoods would be private, so would necessary legal insurance, professional associations, etc. You’d be responsible for making sure that you have resources to care for your kids and to support yourself.

        Right now, we have a welfare state and massive public investments in infrastructure. That means we can’t treat the US and immigration as if we were already living in a libertarian world.

        Or, if you like, you can also think of the US like a gigantic private corporation in which every citizen owns a share; that corporation may be poorly run, but it holds massive assets: land, infrastructure, etc., probably amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars per citizen. Why should the existing shareholders just give out new shares to anybody who wants one?

    2. Yeah, that is really stupid argument. Families are wrecked all the time because drugz – you support that, too?

      1. I don’t support the drug war, but I don’t support people bringing children into any such risky situation.

        1. What situation? The parents have to leave the country; the natural thing to do would be for them to take their kids with them in order to raise them. It is the parents’ choice to leave the country and leave their kids behind by themselves.

      2. Families are wrecked all the time because drugz – you support that, too?

        Families are also wecked all the time by bank robbers, extortionists, rapist, murderers, counterfitters and all types of other criminal activity.

        You support that ?

  10. Thanks for sharing this. Very informative to all people. We are expecting more from you. From Top essay writing service

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.