California residents who immigrated to the United States may be interested to learn that approximately 125,000 families and an additional 115,000 children have been apprehended after attempting to relocate from Central America since 2014. According to a report that was released on June 15, it appears that many of these families and children were not given a fair chance to claim asylum.
Although some individuals were apprehended at the border, many were taken into custody while they were at work, at home or at school. The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project stated that 40 of these cases involved incidences where the officials engaged in behavior that was considered to be aggressive and inappropriate. While the focus was on individuals who had exhausted all of their legal options, at least 21 of the cases involved individuals who had not had their case heard in immigration court.
CARA reported that many of the individuals being detained did not ever receive court appearance notices, causing them to miss court dates. Additionally, many were taken into custody in humiliating ways. It was reported that one 8-year-old boy was on board a school bus when it was announced by ICE agents that he was being taken into custody.
When people are seeking asylum due to violence or persecution in their home countries but have not have their cases heard in court, an immigration attorney may assist with getting the cases on the calendar. Additionally, legal counsel may work with clients throughout the case so that they understand the process and what rights they are entitled to under immigration laws and procedures.
Source: Vice.com, “Immigration Raids Are Targeting People with Valid Asylum Claims, According to a New Report“, Ted Hesson, June 16, 2016