Recently, Latin Times and Latino Fox News reported that 10,142 deportation orders for Central American youth, who had entered the country without an adult, have been issued by the 55 United States immigration courts. This initiated Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, purportedly focused on certain groups of people, which has not occurred since the George W. Bush administration concentrated on illegal immigrants working at factories and plants.
In particular, information obtained by the Justice Department showed that 8,912 deportation orders were issued in absentia, or without the illegal immigrant present. All of the orders were against youth who entered the United States from 2014 on, most of whom were minors at the time. Some concerned citizens argue that ICE is waiting for these youth to become adults before arresting and deporting them.
In the event that an individual is going to be deported, but would face harm if they returned to their home country, seeking asylum can offer protection. If an individual, whether in the United States legally or illegally, can show a “well-founded fear of persecution” based on their race, religion, nationality, or political opinion or participation, they may be granted asylum from the United States government. The reasonable person standard is applied, from the petitioner’s circumstantial viewpoint.
Additionally, there are two pathways to petition for asylum: affirmative and defensive. To affirmatively seek asylum, the individual must not be the subject of deportation proceedings. This avenue is less adversarial and is filed through the Department of Homeland Security. Immigration officers at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services hear these cases.
On the other hand, an individual seeking asylum as a defensive petitioner must file through the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is part of the Department of Justice. An immigration judge hears these cases instead of immigration officers.
If you are seeking help on immigration matters or would like to file for asylum, call the experienced attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP at (212) 267-2555.