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Immigration Law

Report: Refugee Moms, Kids Targeted by DHS Enforcement Actions Show Disturbing Due Process Concerns

CLINIC and CARA Pro Bono Family Detention Project, June 15, 2016- "The stories of Central American mothers who were picked up for deportation in the latest round of federal enforcement actions shows a pattern of targeted scrutiny towards individuals who have viable asylum claims, states CLINIC and its partners in the CARA Pro Bono Family Detention project in a new report.  Among the findings of the Update on Recent ICE Enforcement Actions Targeting Central American Families Report, released June 15, are details of various deportation enforcement actions against this vulnerable population.  The report is located here.  In confirming plans for a month-long enforcement push beginning in May, administration officials stated the targets would be people who have exhausted their chances for legal protection.  CARA's report, based upon interviews with women who have been processed through the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, shows otherwise.  For example, the report discusses the case of Yesenia* a domestic violence survivor from Guatemala who never received notice of her court hearing because the address ICE had on file for her did not even include a street name.  Yesenia never had an attorney.  The first time Yesenia learned that the immigration court had ordered her removed in absentia (in her absence) was when ICE arrested her at her home in South Carolina with her 6-year-old son.  Yesenia’s story is one of many outlined in the report, which shows the inadequate access to counsel in addition to other mistreatment.

*The name of this mother has been changed to a pseudonym to protect confidentiality.  

The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project is a partnership of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), the American Immigration Council (Council), Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), that provides legal representation and undertakes advocacy on behalf of mothers and children held in federal family detention centers. 

Press inquiries, please contact:

AILA: Belle Woods, bwoods@aila.org202-507-7675
Council: Wendy Feliz, wfeliz@immcouncil.org202-507-7524
RAICES: Mohammad Abdollahi, mo@raicestexas.org210-544-7811
CLINIC: Patricia Zapor, pzapor@cliniclegal.org301-565-4830"