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Central Americans Targeted for Deportation

With the arrival of 2016, U.S. immigration agents initiated their first raids of the year, and we can expect there to be more. Their goal: to deport families, including women and children, who have crossed the United States’ southern border in the past two years.

In a statement, Jeh Johnson, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, said that raids in North Carolina, Georgia and Texas resulted in 121 people being rounded up.

Most of those people were Central American families who came into the U.S. through Mexico since May of 2014. Of those who were taken into custody, most were placed in family detention centers in Texas as they awaited deportation, NBC 5 News reported.

In his statement, Johnson said that these raids should come as no surprise. Further adding that for months, he’s publicly said that all individuals who are enforcement priorities, including unaccompanied children and families will be removed.

According to Johnson, those targeted in the raids exhausted all other legal remedies, including asylum and they had been issued final orders of removal by immigration courts.

Since the spring of 2014, more than 100,000 Central Americans have crossed into the U.S. during an immigration surge. The influx is linked to a rise in gang-related violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, however, some of the immigrants are seeking asylum due to domestic violence.

While U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not mention whether more raids were planned in the near future, since November 2014, ICE has made it clear that it will continue to conduct enforcement actions on a daily basis.

Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry advised Guatemalans who are staying in the United States not to open their doors unless immigration agents unless they have a signed warrant from a judge, and that all times they should carry the phone numbers of an immigration attorney, the nearest consulate, and their family members.

If you, or a member of your family is facing deportation or needs assistance from a Plano immigration lawyer, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm for experienced legal representation.