Attorneys Push for Sponsorship Changes for Immigrant Teens

One attorney in Texas who recently secured the release of an immigrant boy from federal custody is trying to use the victory to remove teenage migrants who don’t have family in the U.S. from government shelters so they can live with sponsors.

The attorney was able to persuade a judge to allow Byron Xol, 8, to live with Holly and Matthew Sewell. The couple didn’t know Byron before he entered the U.S. In an 11-month period, Byron had been in four different federal facilities for children.

Although Byron was allowed to temporarily live with the Sewells, many other teenagers who came to the U.S. without parents are still living in federal custody without family, relatives, or guardians here to be their foster parents. Even worse, they also face the danger of being deported when they turn 18.

Once the teenagers in federal custody turn 18, they are removed from federal facilities and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Once in ICE custody, the teens are placed in an adult detention facility to begin expedited removal proceedings.

Immigrant teenagers only have one year to claim asylum after they enter the United States. Unfortunately, most aren’t even aware of this unless they have an attorney to help them figure it out.

Speaking about how the ruling in the case can help other teens in federal custody, Byron’s lawyer said, “This ruling can go a long way in placing children in the hands of American families who can not only care for them, but see they get their immigration status adjusted so they can remain here.”

Are you trying to sponsor an immigrant child or teenager for foster care? Do you need help getting a loved one released from federal custody? If so, call (602) 353-7795 to request your consultation with our skilled immigration lawyers in Phoenix.

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