Children who come to the U.S. border alone or who get separated from their families go into a sort of foster care system for immigrant children. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tries to place them with families who are connected to the children, or if necessary, find a family willing to care for them. Either way the custodial families have made a promise about what they will do on behalf of the children. The Legal Orientation Program for Unaccompanied Children (LOPC) helps educate the custodians about those responsibilities. Specifically, the LOPC educates custodians on:

  • The immigration court process and how it works
  • The importance of the children’s attendance at removal hearings and consequences of failure to appear
  • The forms of immigration relief available to children in removal proceedings
  • The custodians’ responsibility to protect the children from mistreatment, exploitation, and human trafficking

Custodial families can get more information about the LOPC or other resources from the Vera Institute of Justice by calling 212.334.1300 or emailing it at contactvera@vera.org. If you or a loved one is facing removal proceedings, and if you have hearings in immigration court, please don’t go alone! Our office is here to help! We are Landerholm Immigration, APC, and we our expert removal defense attorneys can help you navigate the often confusing and stressful US immigration system. Give us a call at (510) 756-4468 and see what we can do for you!