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Children suffer when separated from deported parent

New York immigrants that are deported are not the only ones that suffer because of the decision-making of immigration authorities.  The children of individuals deported may suffer even more because they often end up being separated from their parents.

The father of one immigration child was charged by authorities with illegal entry and is currently serving a five-year prison term.  It appears likely that he will be deported once his sentence has ended.  The child who is an undocumented immigrant recalls feeling that she had nowhere to turn.

Others in the family were traumatized by this incident as well.  Another daughter ended up in a juvenile facility after running into problems with the law.

Mental health researchers have expressed concerns about what forced separations can mean for these families.  These families may face adverse economic circumstances, strains in family relationships and mental health consequences.

Between July 2010 and December 2012, there were more than 200,000 parents deported who have reported leaving their children behind.  While not all of these children will suffer serious emotional problems, deportations in this manner will certainly not make the lives of children easier.

Obviously there are concerns that Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers are not taking into account what is best for these children.  In one particular incident a child recalls seeing her mother arrested by officials while her and her siblings were being escorted to school.  No officer stayed behind with the children.  The children ended up temporarily staying with relatives while the mother's deportation case was ongoing.

Family based immigration is a complicated area for attorneys to practice. This involves preference areas, specific rules, appeals and motions, etc.  Attorneys can guide clients throughout the entire process to make certain family concerns are addressed and that families stay together.

Source: New America Media, "After Parents' Deportation, U.S. Children Face Mental Struggles," Anthony Advincula, Feb. 18, 2014

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