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
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.