AILA: Administration Trying to Drag Mothers and Children Back to Detention

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CONTACTS:
George Tzamaras
202-507-7649
gtzamaras@aila.org
Belle Woods
202-507-7675
bwoods@aila.org

Washington, DC - The following is a statement from Leslie A. Holman, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

"I am utterly outraged by the latest tactics the Obama Administration has used to inflict needless misery on mothers and children seeking asylum in the United States. I thought I'd heard it all: detention of thousands, separating families, speeding unaccompanied children through the courts, all done by a President who claims to be the "Champion in Chief" of immigration reform.

"But now he has sunk to a new low. After pro bono attorneys fought for weeks and months to finally get mothers and children allowed the chance to be released on bond, after relatives scrimped and scrounged to be able to cover the outrageously high bond requirements, now the Administration is trying to drag those mothers and children back to detention by appealing the bond decisions.

"We've only been able to get a handful of reasonable bond decisions from judges. Instead of modifying its approach, DHS has upped the ante. Its counsel is appealing bonds granted weeks ago, saying that their own immigration judges failed to correctly apply case law and that the cases need to be reviewed by a three-judge panel.

"The Administration's argument that these families should be detained has been the same in every case. They should be ashamed to call these vulnerable families national security risks. How can the government say it has concluded that every infant, toddler, and mother poses a risk to our nation? I don't understand why there has been this concerted campaign to imprison legitimate asylum seeking families, families who have fled violence and sought safety within our borders, as our law allows.

"He has chosen to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on jailing mothers and children and now he wants to renege on the approved bonds and lock them back up. He should be ashamed. Well, AILA and its volunteer lawyers stand behind these mothers and children and will stand beside them as they fight for their lives and the lives of their children. What appalls me the most is that this President refuses to do the same."

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 14092351.