A federal judge has ordered that the United States government must free migrant children from family detention by July 17 due to COVID conditions. Children held in 3 immigration jails in Texas and Pennsylvania that are operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must either be released with their parents or sent to family sponsors. Some of the children have been detained since last year.
ICE has been detaining 184 children at the three family detention centers covered in the order since May. In June, many of the parents refused to designate a sponsor when ICE officials asked them who could take their children if the adults remained detained.
More than 2,500 people in ICE custody have tested positive for COVID-19.
The judicial order forces ICE to follow existing laws established in the Flores agreement which limits how long minors can be held in ICE custody. ICE has been reluctant to free migrant children held in family detention centers “because in order to do it in a humane way, they have to release the child with a parent,” said Holly Cooper, co-director of the University of California, Davis Immigration Law Clinic:
“What we’re hoping is that ICE will do the humane thing and not separate any child from their parents because that’s what the children want. That’s what our class members want. That’s what the advocates want. That’s what the parents want.”
Non-citizens who face the threat of deportation may be able to show that the U.S. government was wrong to place them into removal proceedings. In immigration court, the presiding judge may ask the non-citizen to address the Notice to Appear by admitting or denying factual accusations and conceding or contesting any charges of removability.
If you or a loved one faces the threat of deportation, it is important to remember that you are not alone. A skilled Illinois deportation defense lawyer can help you seek to resolve the threat of deportation. To get started on your defense, call 855-554-6369 to schedule a consultation with one of the experienced immigration attorneys today. En Español.