Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
One Practice. One Focus. One Passion: Immigration Law.

Non-profits scramble to help reunite families

California residents might be interested in learning about non-profit organizations that are trying to reunite migrant children with their parents. The current situation of large numbers of children from Guatemala, Venezuela and Honduras arriving at the border because they are fleeing poverty and gang violence in their countries has been much in the news lately.

However, some of the children are making the long and dangerous trek simply because their parents have been living in the United States for years, and they miss them and want to be with them. That was the case with a 16-year-old girl who lived with her aging grandparents in Guatemala after her parents left for the U.S. before she turned 2. After the girl arrived, a Miami-based non-profit helped her parents to fill out the 16 pages of paperwork required by the federal government. The teen is now with her farm worker parents and her three younger siblings who were born in the U.S.

Another non-profit, which operates in Arizona and Texas, recently helped reunite two sisters, aged 12 and 17, from Honduras with their mother. The 12-year-old was fleeing abuse and gang violence, and the 17-year-old became pregnant and gave birth after a gang member raped her. Those two non-profits, as well as numerous others, report they have been swamped by calls for help. Many of the organizations say they have more work than they can handle in reuniting these children with family members in the U.S.

Although U.S. immigration policy favors reuniting families, the laws are complex. A family immigration attorney could answer questions and explain the law to a client living here who wanted to sponsor a family member to come to the U.S.

Source: NBC News, "Miami Non-Profits Work Overtime to Reunite Border Kids, Parents", CARMEN SESIN , July 30, 2014

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