While the definition of a sanctuary city may vary, in general, a sanctuary city is one that limits the amount of support local law officials have to give to assist federal immigration authorities in detaining and arresting illegal immigrants. The debate over the legality of sanctuary cities has hit an all-time high with recent executive orders put forth by the current administration. Nevertheless, sanctuary cities can serve an important feature to make law-abiding immigrants feel safe and be able to make a home for themselves and their families in the United States. Despite the sanctuary city designation, many residents in these areas may still fear the enforcement of anti-immigration laws and fear being deported back to their home countries.

When it comes to family law, illegal immigrants and natural-born American citizens are treated the same under the law. Custody, child support and paternity issues are all handled the same regardless of the citizenship status of one or both of the parents. For example, a mother filing for sole custody, can do so, even if she is an undocumented immigrant from another country, assuming her child was born in the United States. The mother’s legal status should not be considered as a means to deny her rights to her child. Likewise, that mother will go through the same steps and legislative processes that any mother applying for legal custody would. In addition, receiving spousal support and child support is unaffected based on one’s immigration status. Therefore, in a sanctuary city, the judicial system is much less likely to look for a minor offense to use to deport a resident and instead is focused on upholding the law for all of the city’s residents.

An experienced family law attorney will know how to navigate the judicial process with care for their undocumented clients. If you have a family law matter and would benefit from a free consultation with a trusted family law attorney, contact the knowledgeable team at Wilson Brown, PLLC. Our staff of friendly lawyers are well versed in family law matters and are happy to assist you with your family law questions, regardless of your immigration status. Give us a call today at (210) 787-4637.