As an Undocumented Immigrant, Parenting is Even Harder

I know how difficult it can be to be a parent as an undocumented immigrant. There is a constant imbalance of power and struggle. Let’s break this down further.

When you are parenting, there are countless issues that arise. As children get older, they start to question your authority and to test your boundaries. Sometimes, kids take it even further and start associating with friends whom you don’t approve of, taking drugs and alcohol or refusing to work or attend school. Other times, your kids may not want to help at home, constantly fights with siblings or insults you and your spouse. All of these can be classified as common teen dramas. Usually, parents try different disciplinary techniques, and if those fail, they enlist the help of their schools or authorities to help guide their children. Rules are laid down, guidelines set and consequences given for failure to abide by the home’s rules. However, when you are undocumented, these toxic behaviors take on a whole different meaning. Suddenly, an undocumented parent doesn’t have the same rights as a parent with status. If they try to enforce their rules against their child, the child may threaten to call immigration services or the police on the parent. The parent is in constant fear of being deported, and is, therefore, silenced against their will.  

Additionally, the parent often feels dependent on the goodwill of their child in order to get legal status. One common belief is that once a child turns 21 years old, an undocumented parent can gain lawful status without an issue. The truth is, the process is more complicated than that. If a parent has been here undocumented for many years, they would typically need to leave the country in order to gain residency. The problem with this is, that in order to return to the country quickly, one needs to qualify for a waiver for the time you are here undocumented. As of now, there is no waiver available if you have a US citizen child. The waivers are only available if you are married to a resident and citizen or have citizen parents. As a result, in order to fix your status inside the United States, you have to qualify for other options. 

The good news is, if you have a questionable, tense relationship with your child, you may qualify for a way to gain residency without having to leave the United States. You also don’t need your child’s help to do so! You regain your power and independence during this process. 

Of course, many requirements need to be met, and this is only meant as general information. Every case is different and needs to be analyzed carefully to determine which option would work best. For more information, call us at 630 504-0648 and avail of our FREE Case Evaluation!

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