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“Ineligible” parents try to get kids back amid chaos

There are still hundreds of immigrant parents who still need to be reunited with an estimated 650 children well after the deadline set by federal judge has passed. Some have even been deemed “ineligible” to get their children back. One reason for this is that officials believe they were smuggling children for profit. Other reasons include the child had been traveling with relative other than the parent; or they are the parent has a criminal record or has been caught trying to enter the country before by ICE. Some are given no reason at all.

Some “ineligible” parents remain in detention despite having been confirmed as parents by DNA testing, while others now have been returned to their country of origin and continue fight to reunite with their children.

Some given to sponsors

According to one news article, the government says it has discharged 444 children in appropriate circumstances, including to individuals other than their parents – typically, it is a relative because the parent is not eligible for reunification. This is a further complicated because the government holding some parents after giving the children to sponsors.

No reason given

According to NBC, at least 10 ineligible mothers and fathers remain in the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas. According to the detainees, no reason has been given for if they are to be united with their children or why they were not reunited. This lack of information is a recurring theme for other parents as well.

Help is available

There are a number of legal services available to “ineligible” parents and their families. While the ACLU is extremely active, there are other lawyers whom helping immigrant families amid these chaotic circumstances. It is understandably hard to keep up, or to remain hopeful, but getting the legal help you need will likely increase the chances of getting parents and children reunited.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber