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Deported father fights for child custody

Minnesota residents may be interested to know about an unusual child custody case where a Mexican father has lost custody of his children in the United States because of immigration issues. In this case, the mother and the children are United States citizens and the father is a Mexican citizen. The mother previously lost custody and was placed in jail for reasons that are not immediately clear. Subsequently, the father lost custody because he was deported to Mexico by Federal Immigration Officials due to his commission of traffic violations. The children ended up in foster care.

Now, the father has filed to obtain child custody of his three sons in the U.S. However, child welfare officials object to the petition on the grounds that the parents are not fit for custody and their parental rights should be terminated.

The petition of the father has been challenged on various grounds whereby the defendants have alleged that the father's home in Mexico lacks basic amenities like running water. In fact, a home study that the father's home has basic amenities as well as satellite television and a nice play area for the kids, and is close to a school. They also alleged that the petitioner and his wife abused and neglected their children, which were denied by the father. He pointed out that if he and his wife had abused the children, Social Services would have taken custody of the child at that time.

The people who challenged the father's petition for custody alleged that he had not made arrangements for his children before he was deported to Mexico. The father defended himself by saying that he was having a hard time financially because he couldn't work due to a back injury and it took a long time to find a job after he returned to Mexico. Additionally, the father alleged that after he was deported, Social Services didn't inform him that his wife had lost custody of the children so he was unaware that he should try to gain custody. These types of challenges face many Minnesota families, particularly those who are separated by an international boundary.

The decision in this child custody case is pending. People involved in such a complicated child custody battle should understand the rights to which they are entitled. It is a good idea to consult a legal professional to help them understand and safeguard their rights and their children's rights.

Source: Winston-Salem Journal, "Deported man tries to win back custody of sons in Alleghany" Michael Hewlett, Nov. 20, 2012

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