U.S. Begins Immigration Detention on Central Americans
The Obama administration this weekend began detaining Central Americans who have evaded deportation orders, launching a crackdown on people illegally in the country amid an increase in migrants trying to cross the southwest border.
Just before Christmas, government officials confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security was planning a clampdown on Central American migrants in January that would include women and children. The operation began in Georgia and Texas, immigration attorneys and advocates said Sunday.
Many Central Americans likely to be targeted for removal missed court dates to fight their deportation because they lacked an attorney, advocates say. Public defenders aren’t provided to those in the country illegally.
Despite an overall sharp drop in illegal entries in recent years, the Obama administration has been bracing for a surge of unaccompanied children and families from Central America in coming months.
The Obama administration has been criticized by both immigrant advocates and immigration hard-liners over its border policy. Advocates dub President Barack Obama “deporter in chief” while Republicans accuse him of failing to secure the border.