ICE held immigrant minors in hotels during the health crisis
The US’ law is quite robust and strict when it comes to unaccompanied immigrant minors. They are normally victims of human trafficking, kidnapping, gangs, abuse, domestic violence, inter alia.
That is why border forces have mandatory protocols that they must follow when foreign minors arrive in the US without legal documentation and without the accompaniment of their relatives or responsible sponsors.
Usually, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has the responsibility to protect borders and prevent illegal immigration. When ICE detains immigrant minors, it must transfer them to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). These two federal entities belong to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
However, the massive outbreak of COVID-19 in the North American territory considerably modified some deportation processes previously established in the US. For instance, express deportations are allowed during the health crisis, sometimes in less than 90 minutes.
This has generated anguish among immigrant communities and activists who claim that ICE is ignoring immigration processes to fulfill the Trump administration’s purpose of reducing immigration.
In fact, in July 2020, shocking news about ICE came to light. This agency was keeping immigrant minors in hotels before deporting them, without giving them the opportunity to appeal their immigration cases.
This news caused gigantic social chaos, mainly because hundreds of minors are facing deportation proceedings without accompaniment. Plus, they are going to countries and territories where their physical and psychological integrity might be at risk.
Multiple lawsuits and a federal judge’s verdict
In one of our most recent articles, we talk about one of the multiple lawsuits the Trump administration received for allowing border forces to keep minors in hotels, instead of transferring them to the ORR, as required by local law.
Thousands of immigrant rights advocates and activists argue that deporting unaccompanied minors amid an unprecedented health crisis does not protect the American population in any way, as the Trump administration ensures.
Finally, on Friday, September 4 2020, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to release minors who are currently detained in hotels as soon as possible, and border forces will no longer be able to detain immigrants (minors or adults) in these facilities as of September 15.
The judge declares that unaccompanied immigrant minors should have the possibility to request refuge in the US and ensures that the ORR has enough space to receive these children.
In addition to that, the judge states that the ORR employees are fully trained to offer care, protection, guidance and options to immigrant minors, unlike a border entity like ICE.
Do you need to request your legal documentation in the US? Contact us and follow the advice of our expert immigration attorneys.
A door of hope for immigrants
The fact that a judge ruled in favor of immigrant minors opens a door of hope for thousands of foreigners who yearn to seek refuge or political asylum in the US.
In fact, this news also shows that, despite the Trump administration’s intentions to reduce immigration, local law is quite clear when it comes to protecting human rights before any political ideal.
Now that regular processes are returning to normal, we recommend for you to start your immigration journey in the US as soon as possible, with the constant accompaniment of specialists.
If you have any questions about an immigration issue or relating to a case you may have currently in progress, then please don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE Phone Consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys.
Simply call Motion Law today at: (202) 918-1799.