What happens next for the families that have been reunited?
This group now faces the fight for political asylum.
What are the options for the parents who were separated from their children and were deported?
Telemundo interviews an immigration expert.
Dr. Alma Rosa Nieto, Immigration Attorney, spoke with Telemundo on important next steps for how to fight legal cases for reunified families and for deported parents:
1) What are the steps that these families must take to obtain a legal status in this country, taking into account that the Trump administration has dismissed victims of domestic and gang violence as qualifying causes?
“Many people are worried about the government’s lack of urgency in reuniting families, and in some cases, in forcing or intimidating them into signing deportations. They must remain firm in their decision to fight their case if they have a credible fear of returning to their countries of origin and are fighting for political asylum. The important thing is that asylum cases should not be generalized. For each individual case, the danger must be identified, detailing what would happen to that person if they were to return to their country of origin. Remember that two very important categories have been eliminated in our community: victims of domestic violence and fear of returning due to the problem of gangs in Central America. So if you are going to use those factors, it will be much harder to win an asylum case. They have to personalize their case; each case must be different and individualized to the person who asks for political asylum.”
***Individualized cases are strengthened by accompanying evidence. For example, photos of physical harm, hospital stay evidence, destruction of property in a home by gangs, letters from the hospital, churches, police reports, local newspaper accounts. Copies of these can be faxed to the officer in charge of the case (Latinarepublic’s note based on testimonials from detained immigrants fighting for asylum).
2) What about the parents who have already been deported? What options do these parents have to fight for the custody of their children?
“If the parents who have been deported have a relative living in the United States, they can give the family member in the US a power of attorney so they can recover the children and remove them from the child detention centers where they are being held.
There is also another option that few people use when they have been deported. They are usually afraid to go to the embassy, but under these circumstances, they have the option of asking for parole; a humanitarian permit proving that there is a need for them to come to the United States to fight a case in court for the custody of their children. There is a permit to legally re-enter the country to fight their case and then take their children back to their countries of origin.”
For the Telemundo interview in Spanish, click here.
The interview did not address the critical cases when parents have been deported and they have No relatives in the US to whom they could sign over a Power of attorney to recover the children from detention centers. In these urgent cases, the help of the consular offices from their countries of origin and the request of parole to return to the US with the intent of fighting in court for their children are challenging options available. In the event of asking for parole, struggling immigrant families in Central America would face the serious difficulties of coming up with the funds to travel to the US, hire a lawyer, stay somewhere and fight for their children. For these families, these are not small obstacles.
A couple of years ago, I interviewed Nora Sandigo, a humanitarian and nonprofit executive who through her foundation, acts as a guardian for children whose parents are facing deportation proceedings. The parents who sign powers of attorney to Nora, don’t want their children to end up in the shuffle of US foster care. They trust her with the care of their children when they are unable to look after them themselves. If the parents who have been deported to Central America would like Nora to pick up the children and become their custodian they should contact her organization (information in the website link below) and they would need to sign and notarize a power of attorney. They could also handle this process by going to the consular offices of the US in their countries. Here is a link to Nora’s heroic foundation: Nora Sandigo Children’s Foundation.