Suppose a family arrives at a US airport on an international flight (without preclearance). Suppose that, for some reason, the parents are not admitted and are instead sent back to their home country. Suppose the children are US citizens and very young (under 5, say). What would happen to the children?
Since the children are citizens, they cannot be deported. However, in this hypothetical scenario, they are too young to be simply left on their own in the airport. Assume the parents want to take their children with them and there are no relatives available to take them instead. Would the children be sent back with their parents?
My understanding is that the airline on which the family arrived is obliged to return the parents to their home country. But, as far as I know, the airline would not be obliged to return the children. This raises the question of whether the children can accompany their parents or whether the parents would be forced to abandon their children.