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Central Americans being targeted in removal raids

People all across the world view the U.S. as a place of safety, where citizens have rights and are protected from the types of persecution others face in their home countries. Because of this, many people flee to this country in the hopes of escaping danger and protecting their families.

Unfortunately, this is not exactly what happens for everyone. Recently, for example, it was announced that federal agents will conduct a series of immigration raids over the course of 30 days. During this time, agents will evidently be targeting women and children from Central America who are in the U.S. without proper authorization.

As outlets including CNN have discussed, this announcement is troubling for several reasons.

To begin with, the raids are not targeting high-profile immigrants who have committed crimes; they are focused on women and children who either failed to show up for a court appearance or have stayed in the U.S. despite removal orders.

Further, the people are largely victims of serious violence in their home countries, which are widely considered to be among the most dangerous countries in the world, and face an incredible amount of danger if they return. Despite this, federal agents will reportedly engage in aggressive tactics in their removal efforts.

It should also be noted that many of these people might not have shown up for court dates because they are trying to navigate the legal and immigration systems on their own and without representation. In fact, one statistic states that in 2014, 86 percent of people from Central America seeking expedited asylum did not have representation during the legal process and received removal orders.

The raids have proven to be very divisive action taken by the government. Whether they are carried out and what impact (if any) they will have remains to be seen.

In the meantime, we urge readers with questions about removal and deportation actions to consult an attorney sooner, rather than later. You have the right to seek legal guidance and have representation in court. Without this kind of support, you can face the intimidating, aggressive and relentless efforts of the federal government without the tools and capabilities to defend and protect yourself.

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