I’m 15-years-old and I’m abused at home and controlled (I’m also home schooled.) I want to go to the police and have them give me a foster home or maybe move in with a family member. The only thing stopping me is the fact that my mom is an illegal immigrant. Could she be deported if I decide to go through with this? After all she does not do any abusive things to me, my dad is the one that runs the family. Please answer. Thanks.
This is a difficult situation. Technically, any non-citizen who does not have proper permission to be in the United States is deportable. However, because there are so many undocumented immigrants, the government cannot deport all of them at once. During the past several years, the focus on deportation proceedings has been on people who have committed crimes, have lied about their status, or used false documents. Because you are not accusing your mother of abuse, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may not be interested in her status. There is no guarantee, however, and these decisions are left largely to the discretion of the ICE officers.
Your mother may have another option. The United States has special visas that are available for victims or witnesses of certain crimes: the U-Visa and the T-Visa. The purpose is to encourage undocumented immigrants to come forward and help law enforcement identify and prosecute criminals. Domestic violence is one of the covered crimes. If your mother were to cooperate with the police on the prosecution of your abuser, she may qualify. Your local police, prosecutor’s office or court would have to certify that she is helping in the prosecution of a criminal, and then ICE would consider her application. If she is granted this special visa, she would have it for four years, at which point she could apply for permanent residency (a Green Card), and five year after that, she could apply for citizenship. This process still has no guarantees: your mother must be certified by local law enforcement, and her application must also be accepted by ICE. If you decide to move forward with one of these visas, you may find assistance through a local immigrant rights organization, domestic violence support organization, or even the police. A local legal aid office may also be able to help you.