The Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that cares for unaccompanied minors who cross the border, has begun providing information to ICE to initiate removal proceedings for those individuals who do not qualify to sponsor children in HHS custody. Since the “Zero Tolerance” policy of the Trump Administration, HHS has increased scrutiny of potential sponsors to whom unaccompanied minors would be released from custody. Fingerprints and biometric information of potential sponsors are routinely collected and, under the new cooperation with ICE, provided to ICE once the person is disapproved as a sponsor. Historically HHS has refused efforts to collaborate with ICE to place potential sponsors into removal proceedings as it would likely drastically reduce the number of sponsors who would come forward and let children languish in HHS custody for a significantly longer period of time. However, under this new protocol, anyone who is deemed to not be an appropriate sponsor, they are no longer considered “potential sponsors” and their information may be sent to ICE without violating previous policies of not collaborating with ICE.
While getting children out of HHS custody and into homes of family members is essential to their well-being, it should not mean that a sponsor may face deportation. If you have questions about being a sponsor for an unaccompanied minor and how your status may be impacted, please set up a consultation with us.
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Effective March 25, 2020, in response to “Stay at Home” orders Joseph & Hall PC is closed to the public and is now conducting nearly all of its operations remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis through April 18th.
We continue to have a limited number of staff in our office to perform basic operations such as assembling and filing petitions, receiving and distributing mail and issuing checks. We are grateful to be in a business that is conducive to remote work and for all of your patience and support. Our lawyers and paralegals are here to answer the array of questions that continue to arise daily and will keep you informed during these rapidly changing times. We will hold telephonic or video meetings rather than in-person meetings. These meetings can be done by SKYPE or Zoom Conference call so that you can continue to interact with your legal team, face-to-face.
We remain committed to delivering outstanding client services. We do have one important request – please do not come into the office in person for your health and safety and that of our employees. Please mail or email all documents to our office. Also, you can make any required payments online at https://vpspay.com/p/3 or make them over the phone by calling 303-297-9171 or by mail. Please stay healthy!