On Thursday, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34) introduced legislation to address the rising number of children in foster care as a result of immigration enforcement. The "Help Separated Families Act of 2012" intends to keep children of detained or deported parents united with their families.

A 2011 investigation by Colorlines.com found that there are currently at least 5,100 children in foster care whose parents have been detained or deported.

"This is a great step forward in addressing the human impact of immigration and child welfare policies. Kids and families are waiting for systemic action to prevent tragic separations," said Rinku Sen, executive director of the Applied Research Center, Colorlines.com’s publisher.