While moving through the immigration process, it can be unsettling to know that there is a real risk of being detained. However, it is crucial to understand that you have rights and can seek help in many ways. It is advisable to have a strategy in place and contact a lawyer as soon as you can if you or a family member faces detention.
Keep your paperwork in a safe place
After detention, you never know what may happen. Gather and store any records that might be useful to your case, including but not limited to your passport, birth certificate, immigration papers, and any other relevant documentation, in a safe place.
You should also create duplicates of these documents and provide them to a trusted family member or friend in case you cannot access them.
Inform friends and family about your plan
Let your family, including those in your native country, know what steps they can take if you are detained. It is possible that you will not be able to get hold of a phone or be transferred to another place multiple times.
Inform your family about how they can locate a detainee and what they can do if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is withholding information. At the same time, you may also want to memorize the contact information of your family members in case of an emergency.
Create a child care plan
You will want to ensure that your child is in safe hands during your absence. A child care plan entails determining who will care for your child when you are unable to. You should also inform your child about your decision.
If your child has any medical concerns, write down any special instructions and medications. Finally, create a signed caregiver’s authorization document to allow your emergency contacts to pick up your child from school and make other school-related choices on your behalf.
Work with a trusted lawyer
There are millions of people in the United States residing with at least one undocumented relative. If you or someone you care about lacks the proper documentation or is uncertain of their immigration status, a lawyer can guide you through the proper legal actions. A lawyer may also help you prepare for the worst by arranging for legal guardianship of your children and working to seek immigration relief.