The coming months could see a surge of Caribbean families being deported, especially children, thanks to a fast-track being led by the Obama Administration.
According to immigration advocates and attorneys, this is an unprecedented change in strategy, which is mainly fueled by the recent wave of unaccompanied Central American children. Some of these children’s cases are being held as far out as Texas and New Mexico, where they are being dealt with by immigration judges.
The administration has added new beds in Karnes City, Texas, the equivalent of which is designed to house over 532 adults and children. A similar situation is occurring in Pennsylvania, although on a smaller scale.
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeb Johnson, warned: “Our borders are not open to illegal immigrants.”
Before this recent change, immigrant families were released while their slow-moving cases were gradually processed through the previous system. However, Washington has called for a fast-track which has involved expanding facilities so that more families can be housed while they are waiting to be deported.
Immigration judges in New York are dealing with hundreds of cases that involve families from Spanish, French and English-speaking Caribbean countries. According to many attorneys, entire families are now being fast-tracked to the top of the list for deportation, so their cases can quickly be resolved.
According to a Caribbean consular representative, the Administration seems to have determined that families, not just adults, must be quickly deported if they are in the US illegally.
The current strategy seems to align with President Obama’s pledge to fast-track deportations of youths back to Central American countries. Over 50,000 children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have recently been involved in a mass exodus across the southwestern US border, generally thought to be fleeing violence in their homelands.
This seemingly unsympathetic move by the Obama Administration has already come under close scrutiny and criticism from opposing sides.
Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who has a strong voice in the immigration movement, has been a strong opposer of Obama’s fast-track policy. He said: “We should not take shortcuts and circumvent due process at this critical time when children are fleeing violence and asking for our help.
Vice President Joseph Biden has recognized the problem, although he has not personally urged the Administration to make allowances for those in need of asylum. However, he did say: “There’s an awful lot of kids who need help.”
If you are concerned about the latest news from the Obama Administration, or are in need of immigration services, contact VisaPlace to book a consultation today. We will be happy to help.
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