Immigrant families who have crossed the border into California illegally may be interested to learn that federal immigration authorities made an announcement on May 13 regarding family detention. According to the press release, the Obama administration announced that deterrence could no longer be used as a factor when determining whether to detain an immigrant family.
Additionally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement stated that it intends to introduce new actions that would better allow authorities to increase transparency and access to resources for immigrant families. Additionally, ICE officials intend to begin reviewing cases where families have been detained for a period of more than 90 days to make a decision on whether or not they should remain in custody.
While the need for transparency and access to resources, including access to pro bono attorneys, has always been needed, the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association noted that the announcement did not mean much to those going through the process. As a response, a number of immigrant rights groups reportedly sent letters to President Barack Obama asking that he end family detention in order to replace the system with a more dignified and humane system.
Immigration policies can be difficult to navigate, especially for those who do not have the resources to stay up to date with changes in the law. Those who are facing deportation or are attempting to apply for green cards may wish to discuss their unique situation with an immigration attorney. Not only may the attorney potentially help the family go through the process of applying for residency, they may also represent the family should they be detained or are potentially facing deportation if they entered the country illegally.
Source: AJC.com, “U.S. immigration authorities overhauling family detention“, Jeremy Redmon, May 14, 2015