Pennsylvania residents who have navigated the immigration process in the United States understand how challenging such situations can be. Many have been able to reach out for support as they become productive members of society in their new homelands. Others, however, have arrived at the border, fleeing imminent danger and violence, seeking asylum and hoping the U.S. government will protect them.

One such person fled to the United States alongside her 7-year-old daughter. She says they ran away from the Democratic Republic of Congo in fear for their lives. The woman assumed that all she had to do was explain to officials why she and her daughter had come, and the appropriate authorities would help keep her and her child safe.

Immigrant advocates are now working to secure the woman’s release, or at least convince the government to reunite her with her daughter, who was taken from her several days after their arrival in the country. That was more than three months ago, and they have not seen each other since although they’ve been permitted to speak by phone a few times. The young mother says she remembers hearing her daughter scream from another room, begging officials to let her stay with her mother.

There are specific steps to take when seeking asylum. Every situation is unique, and each situation is determined by its own merits. Many immigrant advocates are calling for reform, saying children should not be able to be kept in detention centers indefinitely, especially without their parents. An experienced Pennsylvania attorney can provide guidance and support for any immigrant currently experiencing legal status problems.

Source: aclu.org, “A Mother and Child Fled the Congo, Only to Be Cruelly Separated by the US Government“, Jenny Samuels, Feb. 26, 2018