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Judge Finds US in Contempt After Deporting Immigrants as “Rapid Removal” Programs Continue


In February, a federal judge found the US government in contempt after authorities deported five immigrants who were in a program for abused and neglected children. In this particular program, young immigrants can apply to be covered until age 21 and can eventually also obtain a green card. However, US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of Homeland Security explicitly violated a 2018 preliminary injunction that required them to notify the minors’ attorneys before any enforcement action was taken against them. Regardless, the agencies deported them without doing so, and one of them was assaulted once they reached Guatemala. As one attorney put it in, ICE “literally sent these kids back into the lion’s den.”

As a result of the violations, the court ordered the two agencies to return the immigrants to the United States by February 29 and to pay $500 for each day after that each one remains out of the country. Still, the one that has returned is currently in ICE’s custody, which has already indicated that it plans to send him back to Guatemala in another two weeks; i.e. as soon as it is legally possible. While his application to the program was approved, due to the limits that the current administration has placed on the total number of green cards that can be issued each year, he will likely have to wait another two years before he can obtain a green card. Still, immigration attorneys can of course still fight to block his deportation when the time comes.

Administration Is Doing Whatever It Takes to Deport Within Days

It also appears that this is not an anomaly: Instead of allowing immigrants access to U.S. courts, the government appears to be quickly sending them to Guatemala to pursue asylum claims there, and in order to push people out of the country within days, the administration is reportedly doing whatever it takes to fast-track these deportation proceedings. The administration admits that most immigrants are now placed in programs designed for rapid removal, arguing that asylum claims are, for the most part, meritless.

Mystery Surrounding Who Is Subjected to Policies & Programs & Why

Still, there is no transparency whatsoever in how the government is applying its “pathways for removal” policies in individual cases. What is known is that the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the rule barring anyone from seeking asylum if, after July 15, they traveled through another country on their way and failed to apply for relief there to be implemented while it is simultaneously being challenged in court.

If You Need Help, Contact an Immigration Attorney

Experienced immigration lawyer Rashad Hauter of Hauter Law Firm, PC helps individuals and families address their immigration legal needs. For any assistance with citizenship, green cards, or any other family-based needs, contact our North Carolina immigration lawyers today for a free consultation.



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