For immigrant families living in a time of increased enforcement, deportation can be a pervasive fear. While planning for an unanticipated emergency is challenging, there are tools that immigrant families can use to protect their children from an uncertain outcome if a parent or guardian were to be detained or deported.
This week at the BBA, Nancy J. Kelly (GBLS), Emily Leung (Massachusetts Law Reform Institute), William C. Newman (ACLU) and Jamie Sabino (Massachusetts Law Reform Institute) came to speak to attorneys about helping their clients prepare.
The first step, they said, is for families to have conversations that include their children about what would happen in the event of an immigration-related emergency. It helps to get families and alternative caregivers on the same page about a childcare plan in advance, either informally or through a written legal agreement. They also advised families to prepare important documents ahead of time and keep them in a safe location known to all members of the family.
“Know Your Rights” trainings are also a good resource for families, they said. The attorneys also provided a list of free legal services providers that might be able to help families in a dire situation.