Rutgers Clinic Helps Immigrant Parents Make Emergency Plans for their Children

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The Rutgers Law School Child Advocacy Clinic, in conjunction with other attorneys and immigrant rights organizations in New Jersey has created a “Power of Attorney” document to help parents who are at risk of deportation.

The “Power of Attorney” allows parents to execute a legal document that designates who will care for their children in the event they are separated from their children through detention or deportation.

“The purpose of the Power of Attorney document is to help parents plan for an emergency so that it is clear what the parent or parents wanted to happen with their children should they suddenly be detained or deported.  We also created a memo of Commonly Asked Questions to try to answer as many questions about the document and what it means to create a Power of Attorney,” said Professor Randi Mandelbaum, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic. Mandelbaum drafted these documents along with attorneys from Lowenstein Sandler, Rutgers Law School, Seton Hall Law School, and American Friends Service Committee. 

These documents are available for free through the Rutgers Law School website and also will be distributed by legal services offices and community agencies across the State, including the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice and Make the Road NJ.

The document does not require the parent to hire an attorney or appear in front of a judge, though it should be witnessed by two people and notarized.  The Power of Attorney must be renewed every six months and ideally should be signed by both parents of a child. A separate Power of Attorney document needs to be completed for each child in a family.

“Our goal was to emphasize the importance of parents making plans for their children in the event that they suddenly can no longer care for them and to encourage parents to delegate someone they trust and with whom the child is comfortable,” said Ariela Herzog, staff attorney in the Child Advocacy Clinic.

The documents can be found on the Rutgers Law School website at:

under the Child Advocacy Clinic tab.

Rutgers Law School professors and attorneys have been responding to numerous inquiries about changes in immigration policy under the Trump Administration.   The Immigrant Rights Clinic, International Human Rights Clinic, and Child Advocacy Clinic in Newark have been educating clients, Rutgers students, staff and faculty about recent executive orders and policy changes under the current administration.  They also have been doing numerous “Know Your Rights” presentations to various immigrants groups across the state.  

For more information about the Child Advocacy Clinic at Rutgers Law School, please call 973-353-3196. For information about the Immigrant Rights Clinic, please call 973-353-5292.