New law allows immigrant parents to designate temporary guardians for children

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GERMANTOWN, Md. – In Maryland, a new law has gone into effect for immigrant parents who may be concerned about being deported.

As thousands of children were separated from their parents, this law allows parents to choose a guardian to look after them. A new law is in place that will help those facing immigration status issues to designate someone to care for their children in case they are deported. Del. Carlo Sanchez, MD District, 47b, said: “Dreamers are at the danger of losing their status; people that have temporary protective status.” Casa Senior Manager of Legal Services, Nicholas Katt, stated, “This is incredibly important, during this time, because we’re seeing immigrant communities and families under increasing attacks.”

State officials are saying it’s still a growing problem that needs to be fixed and emergency guardianship is a small step in the right direction; and one of their priorities – to protect the children. “These children automatically become wards of the state because there’s no one here who could make a legal decision for those children,” Sanchez said.

Immigrant families who are worried will now be able to find a guardian, submit documents to the courts and, should something happen, guardians would be able to temporarily care for the children. “You don’t have to worry about it because they fill out the paperwork at home, leave it with the person they’ve designated as a guardian, and then if something does happen, that guardian goes with all the paperwork and file it in the court,” Sanchez explained.

Standby guardianship status will last for 6 months. Forms can be found at: www.courts.state.md.us

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