In January, we reported an operation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to apprehend and deport undocumented immigrants across the United States. The January raids represented a large-scale effort to deport families fleeing violence in Central America. In our January blog, we outlined our recommendations for how to respond to a raid, or in the event of contact with ICE agents.
Sadly, ICE announced on Thursday its plan to begin another month-long series of raids in May and June in response to a renewed surge of women and children fleeing violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. These raids, like those in January, will also be aimed at Central American mothers and children who recently entered the United States and have orders of deportation. Minors who entered the country without a guardian and since turned eighteen will also be encompassed by the raid.
The Obama Administration argues that these raids are well within its authority pursuant to a recent memorandum on “priorities for enforcement.” The priorities enforcement memo includes immigrants who entered the country after January 1, 2014.
Despite government authority to enforce its guidance, raids are not the appropriate response to this unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Central American women and children are fleeing unescapable and unimaginable violence in their home countries. The threat of deportation will not stop them from leaving their countries to save their own lives and those of their children. We must find a more humane and rational response that both honors our country’s immigration laws and respects people’s lives; aggressive raids on the most vulnerable people among us does neither.
We will stay up-to-date and informed on this crisis, and will update our blog and website with any changes.
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Effective March 25, 2020, in response to “Stay at Home” orders Joseph & Hall PC is closed to the public and is now conducting nearly all of its operations remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis through April 18th.
We continue to have a limited number of staff in our office to perform basic operations such as assembling and filing petitions, receiving and distributing mail and issuing checks. We are grateful to be in a business that is conducive to remote work and for all of your patience and support. Our lawyers and paralegals are here to answer the array of questions that continue to arise daily and will keep you informed during these rapidly changing times. We will hold telephonic or video meetings rather than in-person meetings. These meetings can be done by SKYPE or Zoom Conference call so that you can continue to interact with your legal team, face-to-face.
We remain committed to delivering outstanding client services. We do have one important request – please do not come into the office in person for your health and safety and that of our employees. Please mail or email all documents to our office. Also, you can make any required payments online at https://vpspay.com/p/3 or make them over the phone by calling 303-297-9171 or by mail. Please stay healthy!