According to a recent ProPublica article, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents increasingly are cracking down on immigrant relatives who care for undocumented children when they enter the United States. During a two-month period this summer, ICE arrested over 400 adults whom they claim paid human smugglers to bring undocumented children into the country. Although some of the adults admit to paying “coyotes” to smuggle their young relatives into the U.S., other adults have simply been arrested as “collateral damage;” in other words, they just happen to be present in the household when ICE comes knocking or agree to take in undocumented teens who have traveled to the U.S on their own. ICE claims that this new approach is designed to deter young immigrants from entering the country illegally, with the promise of staying with an adult relative once they reach their destinations. For one man, however, the possibility of federal criminal charges, including conspiracy, fraud, and human smuggling, may very well endanger his ability to remain in the country. The man has been living and working in Missouri in 2001 and has Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which allows him to remain in the country legally, so long as he maintains a clear criminal record. Despite the potential risks, the man states that he could not refuse to take in his nephew once he arrived in the U.S. The nephew had lived in the U.S. under TPS as a child, but his family returned to El Salvador when he was six. After graduating from high school, he decided to reenter the U.S. due to fears about his safety from gang violence; he crossed the Texas-Mexico border and was almost immediately picked up by U.S. officials, who later turned him over to his uncle. The vast majority of juveniles who enter the country with no legal immigration status are turned over to a family member in the U.S. This procedure relieves states from having to provide care for these children, and allows them to maintain relatively normal lives as their asylum or other claims wind slowly through immigration courts. While the Obama administration instructed ICE not to go after relatives who came forward to claim these children, the Trump administration has elected to do the exact opposite, stating that smuggling is intolerable, even if it is to reunite a family or escape violence in a native country. As this post illustrates, relative of undocumented children seem to be a prime target of the federal government in terms of immigration enforcement. In these situations, legal representation is essential to fighting back against deportation charges brought by the federal government. The Oakland deportation defense attorneys of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. know how to help you through every step of your deportation proceedings. Take the first step today toward securing the future of your family in the United States, and call our office at (510) 756-4468 to set up a legal consultation with one of our highly skilled California immigration lawyers.