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Women and children among those detained in recent ICE raids

In our last blog post, we reported on the rumored impending raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to find undocumented Central American immigrates. This past weekend, ICE raids commenced in three states and ended with 121 people being taken into custody where they are awaiting deportation back to their violence-ravaged home countries.

The most troubling aspect of these raids is that the majority of those individuals who were rounded up and detained are women and children whose desperate claims for asylum in the U.S. were denied. This most-recent round of ICE raids has struck fear among immigrants across the U.S. and specifically among Central American immigrants who entered the country illegally or whose claims for protection and asylum were denied or are pending.

As these terrified families await deportation, troubling questions and concerns have been raised about their legal rights to due process and the fact that they are not being allowed access to an attorney. Instead, family members and those directly impacted relay reports of harsh treatment at the hands of ICE officials, threats and being coerced into signing documents which clear the way for deportation.

In response, immigrant legal advocates across the country are advising immigrants to become educated about U.S. immigration laws and their corresponding rights. For example, an individual should not open his or her door until and unless an ICE agent is able to produce an order that is signed by a judge. Additionally, he or she should remain silent and request the opportunity to contact an attorney.

Individuals who are currently living in or near New York City who have questions or concerns about ICE raids and the asylum, detention or deportation process are advised to contact an immigration attorney.

Source: The Guardian, "'Fear overrides everything': immigrants desperate for reassurance after ICE raids," Daniel Hernandez, Tom Dart, Jessica Glenza, Jan. 6, 2016

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