Hundreds of migrant children still separated from their family may be allowed to reunite in the United States — and some may have the opportunity to stay.
Under the former administration, more than 5,500 migrant children were separated from their parents when they entered the country, and more than 1,400 parents were ultimately deported without their children. In early 2021, the parents of more than 600 children still not located.
In February, the new U.S. Administration signed an executive order creating a task force to reunite the remaining separated families. So far, the task force has made headway in reuniting those families; approximately 105 families have been recently reunited.
A new proposed policy would seek to focus on reuniting the families either in the U.S. or in their country of origin. The DHS stated If they seek to reunite in the United States, lawful pathways can be explored to act as restoratively as possible to the families affected, and the option of reuniting and staying in the United States would be provided “to the extent permissible under law”.
In addition to these efforts, the new Administration recently announced new guidelines that are expected to sharply limit arrests and deportations carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The new guidance directs ICE agents and officers to focus on non-citizens who recently crossed the border illegally, or who are deemed to be threats to national security or public safety. The guidance defines a public safety threat as someone who has been convicted of an aggravated felony or of actively participating in a criminal activity.
Field officers have been instructed to seek pre-approval from supervisors before making arrests of non-citizens convicted of other crimes, such as minor drug offenses, immigration offenses, and driving under the influence. ICE officials said the guidance is intended to help the agency allocate its limited resources to cases the public cares about most.
Both of these points of immigration reform are part of a broader effort by the new U.S. administration to roll back the previous hardline immigration policies, and it recently unveiled an immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
With an ever-changing immigration landscape in the United States, it is more important now than ever to have adequate representation to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. Do you or someone you know need help with an immigration case? Call Us Today for a free consultation.
Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash