Child custody issues abound for deported individuals

Many Los Angeles residents may not be aware of the tumultuous child custody situation that deported people face. If only one of the two parents is deported, the one that remains in the U.S. almost always keeps the kids; if there is only one parent around and they get deported, the children usually go into foster care, where their best interests may not be fulfilled.

There is another messy situation that is playing its way out in North Carolina, where a man will soon be deported and lose custody rights to his children. At the same time though, the mother of the kids has been jailed and officials are trying to strip her of parental rights to the couple’s three children.

The father, knowing he will be deported at the end of December, is trying to get custody of the kids in his native country of Mexico. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is fighting him tooth and nail to retain the children, alleging that the man will not have the proper facilities to take care of the kids, all of which are under the age of 5. To the contrary, the man says, he has satellite television, play space for his kids, good facilities and appliances, and there is even a school very close to his home.

These sorts of situations are all too common for deported individuals, and the issue is often unfair to the deportee. They are denied the ability to be with their kids, and a common misconception is that abuse or neglect is the reason for this lack of custody. To the contrary, deportation complications make it difficult for parents to even have a chance at gaining custody of their children.

That is why it is important to consult an immigration lawyer when deportation is a possibility. Not only could that legal help spare you deportation; but even if the worst is a reality, your lawyer can help you in your quest to retain custody of your kids.

Source: Winston-Salem Journal, “Deported man tries to win back custody of sons in Alleghany,” Michael Hewlett, Nov. 19, 2012

  • To learn more about the complications caused by deportation and how you can defend yourself, please visit our Los Angeles removal defense page.