• September 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 8

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Protecting Parental Rights in Immigration Enforcement

The Women's Refugee Commission released a new toolkit designed to assist families who are in immigration detention or facing deportation. The toolkit provides practical tips on how to protect parental rights while interacting with the immigration and child welfare systems. Refugee parents are likely to experience a number of challenges that may impact their ability to access essential services and programs at the time of apprehension, detention, and/or deportation, this guide aims to promote an understanding of the various stages and possible outcomes of child welfare proceedings.

Particular attention is given to the family court process, the role of the various professionals involved in a case, the requirements of a case plan, and the legal steps parents can take toward reunification. Chapters highlight key areas of concern for families, such as:

  • Arranging for the care and custody of children
  • Obtaining legal assistance
  • Participating in child welfare cases and court proceedings
  • Dealing with child support issues
  • Complying with a case plan
  • Regaining custody

Appendices offer contact information for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement helpline, State and Federal Offices, State-specific handbooks for parents with child welfare cases, links to agencies in Central America, State Bar Associations, and more. A glossary of immigration terms, sample court forms, and copies of passport applications are also included. 

Parental Rights: Toolkit & Educational Resources is available on the Women's Refugee Commission website:

http://womensrefugeecommission.org/programs/migrant-rights/parental-rights/toolkit-and-educational-resources

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