The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it is considering separating children and parents who are caught crossing the border between Mexico and the United States. DHS officials believe that doing so will help deter illegal immigration from Mexico. Implementing this policy would involve detaining the parent and placing the child either in government custody or with any relatives living in the U.S. Not only would this deter the flow of Mexican immigrants, but the administration hopes to deter Central American immigrants entering the U.S. via the Mexican border. Currently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains women and their children in one of three detention centers in Texas or Pennsylvania for a limited period of time before they are released pending their immigration court proceedings. Trump already has taken other steps to end this “catch and release” policy that has informally been in place in the past. However, immigration lawyers and advocates maintain that splitting up families would traumatize children and overtax an already overburdened immigration court system. This is due in large part to the huge numbers of undocumented women and children entering the U.S. from Central America; ICE detained almost 54,000 children and their guardians between October 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017, a statistic that almost doubled over the same time period just one year prior. Just last year, however, a United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that child immigrants detained with their parents in family detention centers should be released quickly. In response, the Obama administration developed a policy of releasing families with children from detention after 21 days. Splitting up families, as the Trump administration suggests, may be even more devastating and unsafe for children than detaining them for a period of time. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., has the experience that you need when you are facing deportation charges. We know how to gather the facts that are relevant to your case, assess your options, and determine whether you have any legal defenses that may enable you to avoid deportation and remain in the U.S. Contact the Oakland immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we potentially can help you and your family through this difficult situation.