The United States is a symbol of safety to many who suffer oppression and persecution in other countries. However, obtaining legal status while waiting for the right time to return home may not be a straightforward process. Providing the necessary documentation and evidence of refugee eligibility may be difficult for those who have fled their homeland in haste. In the case of those escaping the violence in Central America, the sheer volume of children and families crossing the border has created circumstances that may lead to deportation.
While the threatening conditions in El Salvador and neighboring countries would seem to make these immigrants eligible for asylum, the courts were unable to handle the number of cases. This led to postponed court dates, and some immigrants did not make their hearings. Complying with requirements without adequate legal assistance may have been a contributing factor in many denials.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is now planning raids targeted at this immigrant population and any others who judges slated for removal from the country since Jan. 1, 2014. If the Department of Homeland Security approves the operation, officials will actively seek out all those who were denied refugee status and deport them.
Both the presidential debates and recent violence have increased national attention on immigration policies. Citizens and immigrants alike are anxious to learn how the national and state laws will be affected by new political leaders. Immigrants who are currently experiencing issues due to lack of representation or difficulty fulfilling U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requirements may benefit from the advice of an immigration attorney.
Source: Washington Post, “U.S. plans raids to deport families who surged across border,” Jerry Markon and David Nakamura, Dec. 23, 2015