According to multiple media outlets, the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, announced that it will soon begin deporting thousands of undocumented families in California and nationwide who crossed the southern U.S. border illegally over the last two years. Though the plan is still being finalized, raids could start as early as January and would be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
California lawful permanent residents may be subject to deportation and removal proceedings if they are convicted of certain types of criminal offenses. Other minor offenses may not trigger such proceedings, however.
Some immigrants who were deported after being detained in California, Arizona and Washington may have a chance to return to the United States. To have their cases reopened, the deported immigrants must have represented themselves during their deportation hearings and have a qualifying mental illness that was not discovered in a competency determination.
There are likely some California residents who are interested in the status of refuges who recently entered the U.S. seeking asylum. As of July 14, there were more than 2,170 of these immigrant refuges now possessing asylum claims that are valid according to officials in the federal government. Several human rights advocates have been vocal in protesting against the conditions these refugees are forced to endure inside the average federal detention center.
Changes by the Department of Homeland Security may give immigrants in California a better chance at presenting a deportation defense and obtaining asylum. The current detention policy has faced increasing criticism by activists and legislators concerned about the poor conditions at immigration detention centers and the associated costs. The change will provide asylum seekers with a better chance at quick release.
California immigrants may be interested to learn that a Supreme Court ruling on June 15 means that individuals whose attorneys mishandle their cases may have another chance on appeal. The ruling dealt with a man who was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico due to be deported after pleading guilty to an assault charge.
Deportation is an astonishing threat. When someone is deported, it likely means that they are being removed from a place where they want to be; and that comes with added complications, such as being forcefully separated from family or being thrust back into a situation where the individual's life is in danger. There may be legal reasons to justify deportation, but from a moral standpoint, deportation is not such a clear-cut issue.
The subject of immigration sadly tends to bring disturbing stories and depressing tales to the table. Confusing policies and negligent customs officials create this sort of stigma. However, the following story is one of the most disturbing and shocking immigration stories we have ever heard.
There are many people in this country who entered without proper authorization. Some people call them "illegal," others call them "undocumented" -- but no matter who you call them, they are still people. They have families and loved ones, jobs and passions. They may even be here with much of their family, or they may be fleeing a terrible or dangerous condition back home.
Immigration detention will remain a hot topic in California and, really, all across the country until definitive and actionable change takes place within the immigration system. Programs like Secure Communities terrorize people who do not have U.S. citizenship, even though they may be good, honest, hardworking people.