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Immigration Law Update

A new change in the law will prevent Mexican and foreign parents from leaving the country if they owe child support

On April 21st, the Diario Oficial de la Federacion, a bulletin from the Federal Government, published a new paragraph in Article 48 of the immigration law, which will prevent both Mexicans and foreigners who do not pay their child support from leaving the country.

This article says, “Those people who owe money for child support for longer than 60 days have not complied with the obligations set forth by the civil legislation regarding child support, and may also be subject to other corresponding laws. For foreigners, the INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración) will look at their immigration status and will resolve cases according to law.” The origin of this law is based on children and adolescents’ rights to necessary protection and care established in Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of Children.

Jorge Zabaleta Pellat, a special lawyer for immigration cases, explained that the law is applied independently of the immigration status of the person who has not paid their support, be that a temporary or a permanent resident. But, to clarify, this law can only be enforced with a court order. “They cannot stop you, and you can enter and leave the country if there is no court order,” he said.

In the case of foreigners who have not paid their child support, the judge will notify INM, who notifies the airlines and an alert will tell the airline an additional review of documentation is required by INM. However, this doesn’t mean that the debtor will be detained, as explained by Zabaleta Pellat.

“This is not detention. It only means that one will not be able to leave the country until the debt is paid.” It is important that foreigners who have Mexican children educate themselves to comply with their parental and legal obligations.

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