Judge orders temporary halt to deportations of reunited families
On July 16, a federal judge overseeing the reunification process of migrant children forcibly taken from their parents ruled that the Trump administration cannot immediately deport families once they are reunited. Instead, he ordered that recently reunited families must be given a week to file asylum requests from within the United States.
The ruling was in response to a motion filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The organization claimed that the U.S. government is under an obligation to allow detained families the right to consider asylum. It further claimed that parents could not properly consider asylum when their children were detained at a separate location until it was too late for them to file an application. The judge agreed and issued a temporary stay on deportations of reunited families. He also ordered that U.S. attorneys meet with the ACLU to arrange a notification system for charity groups that are coordinating the reunification of children with their parents.
So far, there have been numerous reported problems and delays with the reunification process, including families being left at bus stops for hours and reunification appointments being canceled over computer issues. In response, the judge has heavily criticized the government’s handling of the situation. The government has one week to file a response to the ACLU’s motion. A permanent decision regarding the deportations of reunited families will then be made.
Migrant families facing deportation may find relief by working with an attorney familiar with immigration law. An attorney could explain all legal options available for obtaining permanent residency in the United States. Legal counsel could also help prepare all necessary applications and represent a family’s interests during court hearings.
Source: Splinter, “Trump Administration Ordered to Halt Deportations of Recently Reunited Families“, Rafi Schwartz, July 16, 2018