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Court Holds That ICE Continues to Violate Flores Settlement by Deporting Children

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In spite of a recent decision made by a federal district court judge that deportation orders under the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program do not change the government’s obligation to make efforts to unite immigrant children with relatives in the United States while their immigration cases are underway under the 1997 Flores settlement agreement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is still doing everything it can to deport immigrant children during the coronavirus pandemic, even if they have family here in the United States.

If these young children seeking asylum are forced to return to their home country, they will be persecuted due to their identity, race, or refusal to join a gang. They were already sent to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols program and reentered the United States without their parents.  The US government is now arguing that because these children were already deported, the obligation to unite them with family does not apply, and, instead, they should be deported.

The policy is not only illegal, but also does not comport with the agency’s insistence that it would only be focusing on “public safety risks” and immigrants with criminal records, delaying enforcement actions for everyone else due to the pandemic. The policy also appears to be ICE’s first insistence on deporting children who have a parent in the United States that they should be reunited, where they do not have any relatives in their home country to go home to, and they are extremely young.

Refuge Granted to a Total of Two People Since March

Very few immigrant children are currently in custody, as most border officials are currently expelling unauthorized immigrants, including children, under an emergency public health order, all while asylum claims processing and immigration court hearings have been put on hold. In fact, under the administration’s current border rules, the country has reportedly granted refuge to only two individuals since March.

Citizenship Processes Paused While Deportation Remains Active Due to Upcoming Election?

Numerous reports have indicated that a number of these practices, including interfering with and suspending immigrant applications, the issuance of all green cards, visas, and citizenship for immigrants, has to do with the upcoming election. Just the delay over citizenship ceremonies has left more than 100,000 future citizens in limbo; citizens who would otherwise have made it through the naturalization process and become eligible to vote in the 2020 election.

While pausing every program available that could lead to naturalization, at the same time, the administration continues to actively deport a number of people each day, reportedly quickly spreading the coronavirus around the globe through these deportation policies.

If You Need Assistance, Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Right Away

If you have any questions about immigration legal issues, contact experienced North Carolina immigration lawyer Rashad Hauter of Hauter Law Firm, PC. Our office helps families address their immigration legal needs and fight to achieve the end goals that they seek.

Resources:

nytimes.com/2020/05/17/us/immigration-agency-uscis-budget.html

newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-trump-administrations-deportation-policy-is-spreading-the-coronavirus

cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-judge-finds-government-is-violating-protections-for-migrant-children-during-pandemic/

cbsnews.com/news/ice-seeking-deport-migrant-chidren-coronavirus-pandemic-advocates/

https://www.hauterlaw.com/federal-judges-find-that-us-citizenship-and-immigration-services-regularly-illegally-denying-h-1b-petitions-in-series-of-four-decisions/

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