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James and Camille - A Family Reunited in time for Baby’s Birth

James and Camille are from Ghana and came to the United States nine years ago so that James could attend graduate school. After graduating with his Ph.D., James found work as a research fellow at a local university. At the time his work visa expired, Camille’s sister had just passed away, leaving behind four young children. While Camille’s and James’ visas had expired, they did not feel they could leave the United States so soon after her sister’s death, because they needed to care for their nieces and nephews.

About six months later, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents came to their house and took James into custody. Camille was eight months pregnant, and her doctor placed her on bed rest to treat complications of a high-risk pregnancy. James’ detention left Camille alone with their young children while she managed a difficult pregnancy by herself. Her doctor planned to deliver the baby by C-section earlier than expected because she worried the stress could hurt both the mother and baby. Because her sister had passed, Camille had no other family members for support.

James was in detention for a month, but ABLE secured his release on bond the week before the baby’s due date. He was able to be present for the birth of his child and help Camille during and after the birth of their baby.

“We are concerned about the stability of our family, because we may be separated from our children,” James said. “Our lives have been negatively impacted, financially and emotionally. Having a lawyer has allowed our family to be reunited.”

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Advocates for Basic Legal Equality

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.