This week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made an announcement
that the agency will cease detaining migrant mothers and children who
are able to show a credible fear of returning to their home countries.
The Obama administration has been the target of criticism, as many have
disagreed with its controversial family detention policy. Amid pressure
from immigrants’ rights groups, the ICE announced the changes after
releasing hundreds of women and children from detention.
With the recent policy shift, the ICE will not be detaining mothers with
children (absent a threat to public safety or national security) providing
there is a positive finding of a credible fear and they can provide a
verifiable residential address, said ICE spokesman Richard Rocha in a
statement on Monday.
The women and children who are not detained will be released on their own
recognizance, or they will be assigned a supervising officer to ensure
that they report to their immigration hearings.
Nearly 200 mothers and children were released from detention over the weekend,
and many of them were released with electronic ankle bracelets to track
them until they attend their court dates.
The announcement came weeks after Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson
announced that the ICE was going to scale back long-term detentions of
migrant families as a part of the agency’s changes to detention policies.
The U.S. currently has three family detention centers, two of which are
located here in Texas. They will remain open for people caught at the
border and for those who fail to pass their credible fear interviews.
There are around 2,000 families in detention today, with most of them in
the 2,400-bed facility in Dilley, Texas, the ICE said in a statement on Monday.
Last summer, the number of Central American migrants crossing the Southwest
border surged to crisis levels. To address the influx, the Obama administration
responded by detaining migrant families.
Amid lawsuits and complaints of abuse and mistreatment by detainees, immigrants’
rights groups have heavily criticized the Obama administration for detaining
women and children.
Immigrants’ rights advocates against family detention are thrilled
that the administration has accepted that their treatment of women and
children is wrong.
If you or a family member needs assistance with an
immigration matter, contact
The Zendeh Del Law Firm to speak with an experienced Plano immigration attorney!