Guide from MA Attorney General for Families Impacted by Federal Immigration Policies

Passport and gavel

Following inquiries about the impact of federal immigration policies and executive orders on families, Attorney General Maura Healey issued a guide for parents in the event of sudden detention or deportation by federal immigration officials.

The AG’s guide, available in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and English, provides information to help parents who are concerned about their immigration status, along with their service providers and advocates, understand different options for care and custody of a child who remains in the US following parental detention or deportation.

“Executive orders and other actions by the federal government have caused anxiety and fear in immigrant communities,” AG Healey said. “We want to make sure that parents know their options and have the information they may need in the event of action by federal authorities.”

The guide outlines care and custody options, including caregiver authorization, temporary agent authorization, and guardianship of a minor. The guide offers a comparison of how these options differ, and outlines the process for setting up each of these arrangements. It also offers a checklist of documents that parents may want to ensure they have in a safe place and available to the child and his or her caregiver as needed, such as passports, medical records, contact information and more.

This follows an advisory the AG’s Office sent last year reminding local public school districts of their obligation under state and federal law to provide all students with equal access to primary and secondary education, guidance issued to health care providers and local public school districts on immigration enforcement and requests for information from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and an advisory issued to public and private colleges and universities on issues that may affect immigrant students.