Immigration lawyers explain what happens to migrant children in America

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)- Immigration lawyers explain the process of why migrant children can end up in temporary places in Chattanooga.

“The situation in Central America and Mexico is horrible for a lot of these children. I represent people that have had their children, because they couldn’t come up with the money that was asked from the gang members, hung from trees,” said Varela Firm Immigration Lawyer Regina Varela.

Immigration lawyers said migrant children are brought into American and placed in cities like Chattanooga as a temporary situation until they can be placed with a family member or guardian.

“So the shelter is just there to make sure that they are safe,” said Olsen Law Firm Immigration Lawyer Terry Olson.

“This is not something that they’re just coming, so they can get a new pair of Nike tennis shoes or an iPhone. This is something that they’re chasing these children and they’re having to flee for their lives,” said Varela.

This comes as migrant children could be housed through the Baptiste Group. Olson said nonprofits like this are approved because they provide meals and education.

“A shelter we actually provide education in food services and also recreation. Overall those minors will be about maybe after two months altogether,” said Olson.

During that 60-day timeline, permanent living locations with family are inspected by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

“There’s different category of sponsors. If it is a parent that’s one category. Movement from the nonprofit is going to be pretty quick, but then If it’s a cousin or aunt or uncle there’s more proof that’s needed,” said Varela.

Migrant Children entering Hamilton County School system sparked a debate at the county school board meeting on Monday.

As it turns out Hamilton county schools Spokesperson Cody Patterson said there are no plans for these children to attend Hamilton County Schools.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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