This past weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) engaged in concerted, nationwide enforcement operations to take into custody and return at a greater rate adults who entered this country illegally with children, the US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said.
"If these families are deported - and majority would be women and children, they would be returned to places they fled to escape being killed, raped or tortured", says Fair Immigration Reform Movement spokesperson Kica Matos.
Past year about 100,000 families from Central America illegally crossed this nation's southern border.
Gutierrez and fellow Latino and immigrant rights groups will gather for a news conference on Friday to further denounce and call on the Obama administration to end the raids.
"When we got to the airplane, there were 20, 25 police waiting for four families", Urias continues.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Immigration agents over the weekend conducted the first raids targeting the deportation of families who flocked across the United States' southern border over the past two years, a senior government official said Monday.
According to the Los Angeles Times, final deportation orders authorize federal agents to arrest and detain immigrants, but not to enter their homes without a court document. The lawyers who won stays of deportation said their clients didn't understand the process and weren't aware they could appeal their orders of deportation. Lawyers advised the migrants to simply not open the door if approached by immigration agents. "And we call upon elected officials, faith leaders and people of good conscious to reflect on our country's values and provide real assistance to those seeking refuge and to block any local cooperation with ICE". In the spring and summer of 2014, a surge of thousands of Central American migrants crossing the border ignited a fierce debate over illegal immigration.
Johnson declared that recent border crossers who have entered the U.S. illegally since May 2014 are an enforcement priority, along with convicted criminals and threats to public safety.
But Susanna Saul, an attorney with the immigration and family law group Her Justice that serves low-income women, says most had no access to legal advice during the asylum process. Most of the families have fled from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Others from the CARA family detention pro project said they're scrambling to file legal motions for other families, including a mother who survived "extreme" domestic violence but never had the opportunity to present her claim for asylum. On Wednesday, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairwoman Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., said the raids, conducted by DHS' Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, does not represent what the USA represents.
The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry issued a statement in Spanish on Saturday, Jan. 2 with a list of warnings for immigrants in the U.S.
"Americans want order and legality in immigration, not deportations and families forcibly split apart or exiled". On social media, panicked immigrants posted unconfirmed reports of raids at East Boston's Maverick Square, in Chelsea, and at Logan International Airport, but Kyes said there were no raids.
"The (board) is reviewing them because clearly they believe they are worthy of appeal because something could have gone wrong", she said.
Many immigrants are unaware that they can turn officials away, he and other advocates said.
"But, we must enforce the law consistent with our priorities".
Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutiérrez is calling for a halt, saying the raids are a "cruel reminder of a discredited policy", Politico reports, adding that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will talk about the issue Thursday.
"I can assure you that politics did not factor in these kind of enforcement decisions", the spokesperson said.