Since March 15, most immigration courts have been closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), but court hearings for the thousands of children in United States government custody who crossed the border into the U.S. without an adult are still subject to deportation. Hearing for minors younger than 4 years old through 17 years of age are to determine:
• whether or not they’re granted asylum
• if they can legally stay within the U.S.
• if they will be deported to their house international locations
The Government Workplace for Immigration Overview that oversees the federal immigration courts said in a press release that it’s:
“present operational standing is basically in keeping with that of most federal courts throughout the nation, which have continued to obtain and course of filings and to carry vital hearings, whereas deferring others as acceptable.”
Most of the hearings have occurred and the shelter and by using videoconferencing with a TV and webcam to comply with social distancing guidelines.
Chicago immigration attorney Mario Godoy said the minor immigrant children are entitled to due-process,
Unaccompanied minor children in federal immigration custody are separated from their families and being held in a foreign country. Without caregivers and access to an attorney, many are deported without due-process. During the coronavirus pandemic, we know these children are more at risk for exposure to the virus. We know that at least 42 children in centers run by the Heartland Alliance have tested positive for COVID-19, primarily at a single facility on Chicago’s South Side.
Many of these children could be released to the custody of a relative in the United States.
Removal proceedings are frightening and stressful for anyone, and in particular for children. It’s important that anyone who is facing deportation have access to the advice of an attorney experienced in immigration law, which they are legally entitled to receive.
The experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Chicago offer assistance in deportation cases and other immigration matters to undocumented people including spouses, same-sex couples, fiancés, parents and children. We can also advise immigrants looking to secure status as permanent residents through the process of applying for a green card or citizenship. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-6369.