In early January, the Department of Homeland Security began targeting for removal Central American families and unaccompanied children who had turned 18. CLINIC engaged in extensive national and local advocacy, with staff from the Advocacy and TLS offices participating in national webinars about the actions.
The CLINIC advocacy team conducted webinars for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, and provided advocacy support for communities in Arkansas, California, Ohio and Virginia. DHS continues to target immigrant families and unaccompanied children who have turned 18 while in the United States.
In early March, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the agency had taken 336 individuals into custody through its Operation Border Guardian. CLINIC has voiced its concern with these actions and will continue to advocate for the end of such practices.
As the enforcement actions continue, serious questions remain related to whether ICE can conduct activities in certain sensitive locations such as places of worship, schools and hospitals. While there is an existing policy memo, it is long, technical and in English only.
In an effort to help CLINIC affiliates engage with communities better as to what constitutes a sensitive location, CLINIC Advocacy and Communications created a graphic of the memo in both English and Spanish. The graphic has been well received in immigrant communities and by the government. CLINIC Advocacy shared the memo with the Department of Education, DHS and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. CLINIC is working with DHS on updates to the sensitive locations memo.