Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 15.43 B. Initial Contacts With Immigration Authorities

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As with adults,[526] there are many situations in which a juvenile may come in contact with the immigration authorities, and the timing and circumstances of this contact may determine how soon the noncitizen juvenile may be subject to removal proceeding, the applicable grounds of removal, and the available forms of relief. 


In many cases, the case of a minor will be tied to the case of the adult (usually parent) guardian of the minor, because it is the adult who is directly subject to removal and is seeking relief.  If the parent is allowed to remain in the United States, the minor child will be allowed to stay,[527] and vice versa.[528]


In some cases, however, the noncitizen juvenile may have entered or been found in the United States without a legal guardian.  In other cases, a noncitizen juvenile may have parents living in the United States, but be independently subject to a ground of removal, such as where the juvenile has been found to be a drug addict, or the DHS has reason to believe s/he has engaged in drug trafficking.


                Where the DHS apprehends a juvenile noncitizen, the agency is required to give the juvenile a Form I-770, Notice of Rights and Disposition, which must be explained to the juvenile in language s/he can understand if the juvenile is under 14 years old.[529]  This form explains the removal process, rights of appeal, and provides a list of free legal services.

[526] See § § 15.11-15.20, supra. 

[527] See, e.g., 22 C.F.R. § 42.53(a) (spouse and children get same visa priority date as beneficiary); INA § 208(b)(3), 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(3) (spouse and children accompanying asylum applicant).

[528] See § 15.46, infra, for discussion of de facto deportation of children upon deportation of parents.

[529] 8 C.F.R. § 236.3(h).