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Her status doesnot give her rights as she would enjoy if she were a legal alien. However, if the man is so heartless, I would tell you to advise your friend to file an Emergency Petition for Temporary Custody and at the same time, file a Complaint for Custody.
If there is no Custody Order, she is really at his mercy; he can call the authorities, have her deported and keep her son here with him and she will not be able to do anything.
Yes, it's a little risky, but the Judges are more concerned with the welfare of the child rather than asking parents about their legal status here in the US. The reason I am telling you to have her file an Emergency Petition is because the Judges always hear these Petitions "ex parte" which means without notice to the other party because of the emergency nature of the situation. She should ask for sole physical custody of her son because of the wanton manner in which he treats his son and his complete disregard for his physical well-being. Once she has a Custody Order granting her sole physical custody, if the father even attempts to take the child, she can charge him with kidnapping.
She can also ask for child support and she will be in a better bargaining position. I am not advocating the use of children like pawns, but in this instance, your friend has no choice; if she does nothing, the father of her son can have her deported and she may never see her son again.
I would like you to do something else for your friend; I was looking for the section, but I just can't find it right now. I know there is a provision for illegal aliens who have minor children who are US Citizens by virtue of being born in the United States. I'll give you the website, but your best bet is getting on the telephone with the USCIS - US Citizenship and Immigration Service and asking them directly "What rights an illegal alien mother has through her minor son who is a US Citizen" In the meantime, here is the website (and please give the young lady my very best and tell her not to be disheartened, God will provide a way) It's a long website address:
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ANDREA, JD, LL.M., Taxation
Member, NY & PA Bar
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