As we have repeatedly mentioned in recent blog posts, it appears that prior immigration enforcement policies put into place during the Obama administration are no longer in effect. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents increasingly are leaving no stone unturned in order to arrest as many undocumented immigrants as possible, with no regard to their personal and family situations, or their whereabouts. As a result, ICE agents have made arrests as parents take their U.S.-born children to school, attend church services, and appear for unrelated court hearings or immigration appointments. As many undocumented parents fear leaving their U.S. citizen children behind, we strongly encourage these parents to make plans for their children in case of an unexpected deportation. First, you should be sure to update your child’s emergency contact list with his or her school. In addition to parents and guardians, a student’s list should contain multiple emergency contacts, including back-up contacts, in the event that parents or guardians are detained. Many school districts are receiving policy guidance on how to handle situations where they suspect that a parent has been detained, as well as their expected level of interaction with ICE agents should they appear at the school. Aside from updating the school contact list for each student, families should make a family plan that gives specific instructions to each family member if deportation of a parent or student were to occur. The plan should cover as many different situations as possible, particularly when there are American-born children who may be left behind. Families also should take steps to gather all of the necessary documents needed in case of an unexpected deportation. These documents include original copies of birth certificates, passports, and matricula consular cards. Having these documents handy can help in an emergency situation. All members of the family should know their rights when it comes to immigration enforcement. Children and parents alike should know that if ICE agents knock at their door, they have no obligation to even answer the door. They also do not have to answer questions, even through the door, or disclose their immigration status. If an individual is detained, he or she has the right to speak with their nearest consulate. Parents should register their U.S.-born children as citizens in their home countries, just in case the parents are deported and they do not wish to leave their children behind. Finally, parents should speak to an experienced immigration lawyer about any path to citizenship or legal status that they might have, which could help them avoid the deportation process altogether. The deportation defense lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. have handled countless deportation defense claims on behalf of individuals who have been detained and charged with removal. We know how devastating it can be for individuals to face potentially being forced to return to a country where they previously were persecuted, where they no longer have family or a home, or where they will experience significant violence and unrest. We care about you and your family, we want to help you remain in the country, and we are here to help you learn how to make a better life for yourself in the United States. Call our office today to set up your legal consultation.