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Families make plans in case of deportation

Those living illegally in Minnesota or throughout America face the possibility of being removed from the country by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. This may mean that they are separated from their children. In Camden, New Jersey, 50 immigrants recently gathered with law students and other volunteers to fill out forms giving custody rights to family or friends if they are deported. Such meetings have also taken place elsewhere in the country since Donald Trump was elected president.

In some cases, parents are making plans for a temporary separation until the child can return home. However, if the child is a United States citizen, he or she is not required to leave the country. One mother wants her child to stay in the country if she is deported because she believes her daughter can have a better future here. That would mean planning for an extended or permanent separation from a child.

In addition to finding caretakers for their children, illegal immigrants are also determining what to do with their assets. Some may own their own homes, own cars or have bank accounts. For those designated to be caretakers, the biggest problem may be providing emotional support to younger children who are now separated from their parents.

In the event of a parental relocation, that parent may still be able to have a relationship with his or her child. As long as the parent is fit to be in the child's life, a court will generally allow it to happen. This may mean that a parent talks to a child by phone, writes letters or gets visitation for extended periods of time throughout the year. Child custody arrangements may be modified if circumstances change to ensure that the best interests of the child are preserved.

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