US Raids Target Central American Immigrants; Advocates Urge to Keep Doors Closed
In light of the emerging immigration raids by the Obama administration targeting Central American immigrants who crossed borders seeking political asylum and some juvenile visa, consulates, activists and other legal advisers urge immigrants to keep their doors closed for immigration agents.
The recent U.S. raids became controversial when numerous reports about the spread of agents without warrants signed by a judge harassed residents and other immigrants to enter their households and arrest them.
Fox News Latino reports that the raids, which kicked off earlier this month, were in response to the administration wanting to finally detain and deport undocumented immigrants who failed to follow final deportation orders.
The process has not gone smoothly as there were already several complaints from immigrants, including others who are not targets, that they were being disturbed by the raids.
"Everyone is worried, even if they're not targeted," Bryan Johnson, a New York-based immigration attorney told the publication. The attorney revealed that his law office received more than 200 calls about the raids from worried immigrants in a single day.
The Department of Homeland Security Secretary through Jeh Johnson said, "This should come as no surprise." He added as quoted by CNN, "They asked whether they should be concerned. Even people with green cards are worried."
Johnson said, "As I have said repeatedly, our borders are not open to illegal migration; if you come here illegally, we will send you back consistent with our laws and values." He further clarified that the targets included adults and their children who were apprehended after May 1, 2014 by illegally crossing the border. Furthermore, they have already exhausted "appropriate legal remedies."
But the story is quite different from other individuals. In the case of Rene Morales, who was with family and friends at home while agents banged their door asking to enter. The agents asked him to search his house to look for someone else when the real target was his family.
Some advocates, including the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry, have urged immigrants to "not open the door to strangers who say they are looking for someone else," the ministry said as quoted by Fox News Latino. "Immigration agents have to show an order signed by a judge to enter your house. If they don't have it, you are not required to open the door. You have rights that have to be respected."
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