Erika Pinheiro, a lawyer for the families and the litigation and policy director of Al Otro Lado claims that 24 migrant parents who were deported from the US-Mexico Border immigration hustle without their children, on their return are being detained by the US government.
As reported by the lawyer, among the 24 detainees, 19 are being held by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and 5 are detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
It has been reported that the lawyer with the families, who were on their way back to US to reunite with their children and were seeking asylum, were detained by the US government on arrival. These families are being detained in different detention centers at the US-Mexico border vicinity.
As per the new figures released by Customs Border Protection (CBP), 36,000 families along the southern US-Mexico border have been apprehended by border agents.
Going by the present CBP records, till now a total of 130,000 families have been apprehended over the last five months, setting new records in the ongoing US-Mexico border crisis.
In response to the stated numbers, CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said “We are currently facing a humanitarian and national security crisis along our southwest border” and “the vast increases in families and children coming across our border, in larger groups and in more remote areas, presents a unique challenge to our operations and facilities, and those of our partners, including the NGOS who work to assist these individuals and families throughout their immigration proceedings.”
Initially there were reports, soon after the incident, which suggested that the families were being released but in reality the situation worsened.
As per the norms of ICE, it does have the ability to let every single person release immediately. If ICE has them detained it’s because ICE made the decision to detain them knowingly exactly who they are and what they’ve been through.
Going by the lawyer’s statement, US sponsors have been lined up to host all of these families. However, as per the government none of these sponsors have been contacted by the government.
“While the Trump administration claims to be doing everything it can to reunify families, ICE is detaining parents at this very moment who should be released and reunited with their kids immediately,” Pinheiro said.
Such issues amidst US-Mexico border crisis are complicating the immigration process and credibility.