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AILA Doc. No. 16010601 | Dated January 6, 2016
Washington D.C. - Last night, the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project succeeded in halting the deportation of four Central American families apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over the weekend, who had been scheduled for deportation this morning. Based on interviews with the families, who are currently detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, the CARA Project appealed their asylum cases to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and requested emergency stays of deportation. The BIA has granted the stays. p>
"Our interviews revealed that these families have bona fide asylum claims, but were deprived of a meaningful opportunity to present them at their hearings in immigration court," said Katie Shepherd, Managing Attorney for the CARA Project. She continued, "It's beyond shameful that these families, who risked everything to seek protection in the United States, were being forcibly returned to the violence and turmoil they fled in Central America." p>
Thus far, the CARA project volunteers and staff have met with eight families held in Dilley. The circumstances of each family vary, but the following trends have become clear: p>
Ms. Shepherd explained, "This approach is unconscionable. These families had finally found a little bit of safety and security after fleeing countries where they were subject to threats, extortion, assault and worse. To undertake the journey to safety was not a decision any mother would make lightly. But now they've had that security torn away from them, their children rousted from their homes and incarcerated with the threat of deportation looming. Meanwhile, the federal government has denied their rights at every turn. This is the latest the long line of abhorrent government actions that make it clear that our government fails to understand that these individuals are asylum seekers fleeing violence and seeking protection in the United States." p>
The CARA Project will share more information about the families targeted in the raids as it becomes available. p>
Press inquiries, please contact:
Council: Wendy Feliz, email@example.com, 202-507-7524
AILA: George Tzamaras, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-507-7649
RAICES: Mohammad Abdollahi, email@example.com, 210-544-7811
CLINIC: Patricia Zapor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-565-4830 p>
*The CARA Pro Bono Project is a partnership of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), the American Immigration Council (Council), Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), that provides legal representation and undertakes advocacy on behalf of women and children held in federal family detention centers. p>
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 16010601.
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