If there is one thing that is certain about U.S. immigration law, it’s that it’s always changing. When you arrived in Colorado, you may have had urgent circumstances that caused you to request asylum. That was the case for one mother and her 7-year-old child in another state. The mother said that she and her child had fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo in fear for their lives. She requested asylum, and officials found her story credible.
Perhaps that is similar to your own situation. What happened next, however, turned the woman’s life from bad to worse because, even though officials believed the woman’s story, they took her daughter away from her several days later. Since then, immigrant advocates have rallied in support, appealing to the federal government for her release.
Family separations are not always explained
The woman and her child dealt with separation for months. Their correspondences were restricted and did not include any in-person visits. Immigration officials did not say what prompted them to take the child away from her mother.
The ACLU steps in
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stepped up to the plate on behalf of the distraught mother by filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The lawsuit claims the mother had officially sought asylum and officials deemed her story credible, so there was no lawful reason to separate her from her child. The ACLU further asserted that the government took the child away to deter the mother from seeking residence in the United States.
Outcry leads to release
Four months after ripping the mother and daughter apart from each other, immigration authorities set the mother free. The mother is now on her way to Chicago so that she can rejoin her child.
Are you worried about asylum or family separation?
It can be extremely stressful to try to find solutions to your immigration problems. Fleeing your homeland and coming to the United States where customs, language and many other things are unfamiliar to you can be frightening. If you became separated from your loved ones because of an asylum situation or a problem that is visa-related, you may worry about the government sending you back to your country of origin while your family remains in the U.S.
Support is available
Just as many immigrant advocates gathered in support of the woman and her child, there are legal resources that can help you with all your immigration needs. You should contact a knowledgeable immigration attorney if you believe someone has violated your rights or if you are at risk of separation from your family.