Can Nonimmigrant Children be Removed From the United States?

If you’re an immigrant who committed a crime or is in the country illegally, chances are you will be deported by ICE. But what about your children? Do they have a similar fate as you do?

In a sense, yes. Those who are under 18 years old can be deported for the same reasons as adults. Children can be placed in detention centers just as adults are. However, there are special protections for those minors who are facing deportation.

After being arrested, the ICE agent must determine whether the child is an “unaccompanied minor” – i.e. does not have a parent or guardian in the United States. For example, let’s say a family was trying to cross the border from Mexico. The boy was successful in making over the border but his parents were stopped from entering. ICE takes the boy into custody as an unaccompanied minor.

If a parent or guardian is found, ICE will the place the minor into removal proceedings. And just like an adult, an immigration bond can be taken out for the child.

However, if the child is considered an unaccompanied minor, the rules change. The child is then transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement where the child will be cared for until an alternative placement is found. The child will receive housing and education services while he/she is awaiting removal proceedings unless a family member comes forward. Even if a family member is fine, the child still faces removal procedures.

Immigration Court also has special rules for minors. For example, both the child and the parents are facing deportation. The court will generally “join”  the cases together and they will be heard at the same time. The child also receives certain privileges such as:

  • A tour of the courtroom prior to the hearing, to familiarize the minor with the court.
  • A child can bring a toy or another comfort item. They can also sit with an adult rather than in the witness stand.
  • The child’s presence can be waived altogether.
  • There can be more breaks for the minor.

What happens during a minor’s removal proceedings? Check out next week’s blog to learn more.

If you have a loved one in an ICE detention center, you’re going to need an immigration bond. Contact Freedom Federal Bonding Agency now for more information.

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