August 24, 2015
With controversy swirling over holding Mexican nationals who have illegally crossed the border into the U.S., officials have requested that a federal immigration judge delay their immediate release and change her ruling. Despite the challenges, the government claims that they are in compliance with a ban on securing juveniles in immigrant holding facilities.
The request comes on the heels of U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee’s order to release any children and their mothers as soon as possible as long as the women do not pose a threat or flight risk. However, the Justice Department asked for a stay in the decision on August 6, 2015, as they intend to transition the centers into processing facilities. They claim that the practices in question have been stopped. The federal government further expressed concern that children and mothers might be separated unnecessarily and that the release of the immigrants would slow down the process for anyone seeking asylum.
The federal government is also concerned that limited consequences would encourage more undocumented immigrants to cross the border. They were given 90 days to implement the changes, which they claim is not enough time to enact them. A spokeswoman with Homeland Security confirmed that they have already taken steps to remedy the situation. For example, many of the women have been released after fittings with electronic ankle bracelets.
A Denver immigration lawyer observed that the government is using the detention facilities ineffectively to hold families, despite the fact that the facilities aren’t legal. Renovated facilities outside of San Antonio now hold an estimated total of 1,400 women and children after hitting their peak of more than 2,000 last June. Many of the women are requesting asylum from domestic violence or gangs in Mexico.
With immigration laws in an extremely flux position, anyone whose case is pending before the courts could benefit from the help of a savvy immigration attorney to keep abreast of continued changes and upcoming relevant legal decisions. Contact an immigration law firm for help with your case.