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Will parents sign away other options for remaining in the U.S.?

Immigration Services

The issue of immigration continues to be a source of confusion and chaos for many here in Kentucky and elsewhere. For this reason, it probably wouldn't surprise anyone to know that those struggling to remain in the country now have another potential roadblock to staying in the country.

Government officials separated many children from their families as they attempted to enter the country, and many of their parents are now under final orders of removal. They may choose whether to take their children with them and must sign a new form to do it.

What does the new form do?

The government designed the new form in accordance with a class action lawsuit that allows parents to be reunited with their children before deportation. Parents have the option of leaving their children here in the U.S. or not. The form clearly states that it is only for parents who have final deportation orders. It stipulates that parents should read the form in question in a language they can understand. The first problem is that many of those affected may not speak either English or Spanish.

The second, and perhaps most disturbing, issue surrounds rumors that agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement are offering the form to people who may still have options available to them that would allow them to legally remain in the country. Supposedly, agents are telling people who are not yet subject to final removal orders that, if they voluntarily agree to leave the country, they may reunite with their children beforehand if they so choose.

If unsure, don't sign the form without seeking legal advice

No one should feel pressured to sign such a form. If there is any confusion regarding whether it applies to a particular situation, you should have the opportunity to understand its implications. It may turn out that you still have legal avenues to pursue in order to remain in the country, and voluntarily signing this form eliminates those possibilities. If you find yourself in this position, you may want to consult with an immigration law attorney before taking action.

Not knowing where your children are can be a frightening and terrible position to be in, but signing away the potential to remain in the country may not be in your best interests or the interests of your children. You came to this country for a reason, and you should have the right to explore every viable opportunity to remain here.

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