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What Happens to My Kids if I Get Deported?

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What Happens to Children if Parents Are Deported?

One of the biggest fears for non-U.S. citizens is what will happen to their children if they are deported. Sadly, many immigrant parents make the mistake of believing that they will not be deported if they have a child born in the United States.

However, even if individuals are parents to a U.S.-born child, this does not mean they cannot be deported. In other instances, immigrant parents who face deportation also worry about what will happen to the children they brought to the United States.

Immigration issues can be challenging, but the stakes are even more significant if children are involved. If you are a parent facing removal, you must hire a skilled Newark immigration attorney to protect your family and assist you with your legal issues.

What is the ICE Detained Parents Directive?

The ICE Detained Parents Directive outlines government policies regarding parents of minor children arrested or detained for immigration proceedings. The directive ensures that parents who have been detained can still have visitation with their child as well as participate in any court child welfare proceedings.

However, unlike other court cases in the U.S., where the government is obligated to provide legal counsel to individuals who cannot afford one on their own, there is no such obligation in immigration cases. As a result, individuals must obtain their own legal representation.

Parents of U.S.-born children who are being deported have several legal options available, which include:

Leave the Country With the Children

In a majority of deportation cases, immigrant parents of U.S.-born children decide to take their children with them. However, if a parent has been deemed unfit and the child previously removed from their care, leaving the country with the child may not be an option.

Children Remain in the U.S. With a Guardian

Another option for parents who are being deported is to allow their children to remain in the U.S. with a guardian. However, any parent who wishes to pursue this option should carefully consider whom they trust and then transfer their physical and legal custody rights to the guardian.

Foster Care

The last option involves placing children in foster care. If the immigrant parent decides to leave the country and not take their children and does not make prior arrangements for them to be in the care of a guardian, the child will most likely be placed in foster care.

It is important to note that immigrant parents may have their parental rights terminated if their child is not in their custody for at least 15 months out of the past 22 months. Therefore, any parent facing removal proceedings must hire a well-trained deportation defense lawyer in New Jersey who can help them understand their rights and legal options.

What Legal Options Do Immigrant Parents Have Who Are Facing Deportation?

Understandably, immigrants with U.S.-born children would feel overwhelmed and frightened about what could happen to their children if they were deported. However, several legal options may be available to help individuals facing deportation remain in the country.

Prosecutorial Discretion

Prosecutorial discretion is a government policy that allows USCIS the authority to decide whether or not to pursue immigration legal issues. In the past, ICE focused many of its investigations on individuals who had committed criminal offenses.

However, with government policy changes recently, immigration officials have not used prosecutorial discretion as much as in the past.

Cancellation of Removal

Another option for parents facing deportation is to apply for “Cancellation of Removal.” However, there are restrictions on who may be eligible to apply. The eligibility requirements the applicant must meet include:

  • The individual has shown good moral character.
  • The individual has lived in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 years.
  • The individual has not participated in any crimes or broken the law.
  • The individual can prove that deportation may cause “ “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to their relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Lawful Permanent Residency for Parents of U.S. Citizens

Once a U.S.-born child turns 21, they may petition to act as a sponsor and petition for their parent(s) to obtain a green card. In many cases, parents can obtain permanent residency using this method. However, specific legal stipulations, such as whether the parent(s) are considered “inadmissible” and whether the child can demonstrate that they make enough money to act as a sponsor, must be addressed.

A Highly Trained Immigration Lawyer Who Can Help With Deportation Issues

The threat of being deported and leaving behind your children can be frightening. Conversely, in many instances, the risks of returning to your country of origin with your children can be equally alarming.

Therefore, any parent of under-age children facing the possibility of being deported must hire an experienced attorney who understands U.S. immigration law and what can be done to protect the family.

Our law firm is dedicated to helping families in need resolve their complex immigration legal issues so they can pursue the American dream. We strive to help families have the peace of mind to move forward.

If you would like to learn about our immigration legal services, contact the Law Office of Elsy Segovia, P.C., at (973) 313-5794 to schedule a consultation. A qualified legal team member will be happy to review your case and determine the available legal options.

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