Children of parents facing deportation may go to foster care

Parents will do just about anything to give their children a better chance at life. For some people this meant moving to the United States, even if they were undocumented. In fact, Kentucky residents may be surprised to hear that, according to one report, around five million children in the nation have a parent who is an undocumented immigrant. However, what happens when that child’s parent faces deportation and removal?

According to some professionals, unless certain preventative measures are taken, it is possible that, if an undocumented immigrant with a child is deported, their child will be placed in foster care. After that, it is difficult for a parent who has been deported to their home country to reunite with their child. This is the case when there is no lawfully documented plan for guardianship of the child. In fact, according to a 2011 study, around 5,000 youths in foster care had parents who were deported.

Occasionally a child might be detained with his or her parent. However, this is at the choice of the immigration agent. Also, if the child is a U.S. citizen, he or she will not be detained with his or her parent. Without a lawful guardian, these children end up in foster care and, per local child protection laws, the parents must meet certain requirements to recover custody over their child, which could prove to be very difficult to achieve if the parent is detained or deported.

The Trump administration has taken a harder stance on this topic than the Obama administration did. It remains to be seen how the laws regarding parent deportation will change, but one thing is for certain that families, whether they are documented or not, do not want to be torn apart. Therefore, parents facing deportation and removal may want to make sure they seek the help needed to protect their rights and the rights of their children.

Source: npr, “When Immigration Detention Means Losing Your Kids,” Emma Jacobs, Dec. 8, 2017