In this article, I argue that states have a long-term public policy interest in applying the best interests of the child standard that they use for domestic child welfare determinations in immigration cases that involve deportable non-citizen parents. But I also recognise that the interests of existing citizens in effective immigration regulation and enforcement need to be taken into consideration. The burden lies with parents who entered and continued to reside without authorisation in a country to show that their right to remain is of benefit to existing citizens. This means that unauthorised immigrant parents should only be given conditional permission to stay in their children’s country of long-term residence to raise them. Otherwise deportable parents should not be immediately legalised outright. Rather, they should be held to account for discharging their duty to their children in the same manner as immigrants whose residence is conditional for other reasons.
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(Mendelson Strom and Wishnie2009: 3). ice routinely distinguishes between highest-risk national security threats medium risk criminal aliens and low risk “ordinary status violators” in the implementation of its enforcement mandate.