DILLEY, TX – After being held in detention for more than a month by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), eight of the families rounded up by ICE at the beginning of January have finally been released from detention while their cases proceed. The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project had filed appeals and won temporary stays of removal from the Board of Immigration Appeals for 12 families – 33 mothers and children who fled extreme domestic violence or were targeted for recruitment, kidnapping, assault, or extortion by transnational criminal organizations.
CARA Project Managing Attorney Katie Shepherd noted, “These terrified mothers and children were rousted from their homes on New Year’s weekend and, even after they had obtained stays of deportation, remained detained in Dilley, Texas. Many of them endured the additional trauma of transfer to yet another detention center in Berks County, Pennsylvania – the same facility that is now on the verge of losing its state license. ICE executed one such transfer with full knowledge that a pro bono attorney from out of town was on the way to Dilley to meet with the detained mother. These families, and all asylum-seekers, deserve their liberty while they pursue their claims under U.S. law.”
Ms. Shepherd continued, “This fight is not just about these eight families, nor is it just about the victims of last month’s raids who have yet to be released. The administration needs to do the right thing by all of these families, ensure that their due process rights are protected, and end family detention once and for all. Instead of continuing to use the most aggressive enforcement tactics against the most vulnerable individuals – children and families who are fleeing a refugee crisis in our own hemisphere – we also call upon the administration to extend broad humanitarian protection (such as Temporary Protected Status) to these individuals.”
Press inquiries, please contact:
AILA: Belle Woods, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-507-7675
Council: Wendy Feliz, email@example.com, 202-507-7524
CLINIC: Patricia Zapor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-565-4830
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The CARA Pro Bono Project is a partnership of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, that provides legal representation and undertakes advocacy on behalf of women and children held in federal family detention centers.