It is devastating to lose a child, especially a child who dies while serving her country. Unfortunately, there are so many men and women in Charleston who have given their lives while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though it may not be readily apparent, a number of these soldiers are the children of immigrants or immigrants themselves. Should they die in combat, would there parents be able to remain in the U.S.?
It often depends on the situation, but officials with U.S. Customs and Immigration Services has made an exception to cancel one mother's deportation to Mexico in a situation in which it would normally otherwise deport her. The mother had been held in immigration detention after she was released from a criminal detention facility for a drug conviction. Even though she was scheduled to be deported, ICE agreed to cancel the deportation.
Officials recognized that the woman's daughter had been a nurse with an Army Ranger division serving in Afghanistan. The 25-year-old, however, was killed during service. Officials wanted to allow the mother to be closer to her daughter's grave, giving her a one year stay. After that she will need to apply to remain in the U.S.
Although this did not happen in South Carolina, there are, unfortunately, situations in which immigrants being held in detention and facing deportation. Some are able to work with their lawyers to have their deportations cancelled or stayed. This mother was fortunate that ICE chose not to deport her, as the department is not always known for making exceptions.
Source: NBC, "Immigrant Mother of Fallen Soldier Can Stay in U.S.," Sherene Tagharobi and Christina London, July 23, 2014