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Woman fighting federal government for custody of delinquent child

A Texas mother is at the center of strange fight with the federal government regarding her right to retain custody of her teenage son who has repeatedly run away from home. The child in question was detained near the Texas/Mexico border some time ago, and continues to be held in detention despite authorities admitting that he is not in need of deportation, nor has he been sentenced to any jail time.

Authorities have attempted to justify the continued detention of the child because of his admitted history of running away from home, drug use and association with criminal gangs. With these factors in mind, federal officials argue that it is in the best interests of the teen to remain in government custody, while the mother's representation maintains that this is violation of the mother's rights and the child should rightfully have been remanded to her custody once an immigration judge determined he was not to be deported.

The woman is seeking to be granted a formal hearing to determine her status as the child's custodian. Officials have pushed back, stating that agency resources do not afford for every parent who has lost a child to the custody of a resettlement office to be granted a hearing, claiming that such a policy would "overwhelm the [resources of the] system." Officials also commented that it is not the policy of the government to release adolescents who were considered to be a "threat to the community."

It is still yet to be seen how this peculiar case will play out, and what effects it may have on future custody cases. Regardless of how the relationship between you and your child may be strained, you deserve to fight for your right to be a parent. If you are facing a custody battle of any kind, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you understand the full scope of the fight you may be facing while ensuring that your other rights remain protected through this battle.

Source: Washington Post, "Locked up and in limbo: Mother takes immigration, child custody battle to court," Ann E. Marimow and Rachel Weiner, Nov. 08, 2016

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