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Raids, raids and more raids

Spring is here, summer is around the corner and ICE is in full action. Its mandate? To arrest and remove all those who are in violation of the law. Make no…

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Spring is here, summer is around the corner and ICE is in full action.
Its mandate? To arrest and remove all those who are in violation of the
law. Make no mistake: ICE means business.

Post 9/11 we've
witnessed adjudications being pushed aside for lack of funding (or so
we've been told) and instead more money has been pumped into
enforcement. Under the post 9/11 breakup of INS, the creation of the
Department of Homeland Security and the merging of the former INS with
Customs and Border Protection (BCBP), there is no 'nice guy" mentality
left even though many of the agents are still, generically speaking
"nice guys". Indeed, in this post 9/11 world if an individual is in the
U.S. illegally, the ICE agent, no matter how sorry he or she may feel
for that individual, has little to no discretion. This is in direct
contrast to the old days when INS Investigators who worked within the
same agency as INS adjudications—all under the umbrella of the old U.S.
Department of Justice-- and came across heart wrenching situations of
would be deportees could turn to their colleagues and attempt to work
out an equitable solution. Not so any more. Under the new DHS system,
there is one remedy and one remedy only: removal from the U.S. unless
that particular individual who is seized has a legitimate argument to
remain in the U.S. such as a green card application pending, is a long
term resident, etc.

The system becomes further convoluted
after a raid. ICE agents raid locally and take people into custody.
They are then turned over to the deportation section of ICE which makes
a determination as to which detention center the individual will be
sent to, possibly in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and only if you are
lucky, in York, PA. You see, it is cheaper to house a detainee outside
of Pennsylvania and to deport him from a location closer to the Mexican
border than from a northern state like PA.

Unlike in York,
conditions are deplorable in many of the other facilities. Individuals
who truly have bona fide immigration cases are often choosing to give
up and leave the country rather than fight for their right to remain in
the U.S.

What can be done? Tune in next week for a summary of your rights during an immigration raid.

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