Preparation is underway for a large-scale deportation sweep of hundreds of families who have come to the U.S. escaping the violence in Central America. The U.S. Immigration Department in tandem with Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will conduct this nationwide raid, which is slated to start as soon as early January. This means that this roundup campaign could deploy in just a matter of a few weeks.
According to South Carolina News on December 26, the rise in the numbers of families and unaccompanied minors flocking to the U.S. through the Mexican border has prompted the Obama Administration to plan for this immigration raid. The goal is to send the hundreds of families and children, who have arrived in the U.S. in the last year and are here illegally, back to their homeland.
MSN News reports this deportation sweep entails detaining the families right where they are located with the next step being immediate deportation. Supporters of this deportation sweep say it is long overdue and critics feel the wrong people are being targeted. The people that make up these families are in the U.S. to escape the violence in their homeland, conveys Gregory Chen, director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Chen said, “This administration has never acknowledged the truth: that these families are refugees seeking asylum who should be given humanitarian protection rather than being detained or rounded up. When other countries are welcoming far more refugees, the U.S. should be ashamed for using jails and even contemplating large-scale deportation tactics.”
The plans for this deportation sweep are being reported by “officials familiar with this undertaking.” The officials offering up information on this sweep did so under the condition of anonymity “because planning is ongoing and the operation has not been given final approval by DHS” [Department of Homeland Security], reports MSN. “The ICE operation would target only adults and children who have already been ordered removed from the United States by an immigration judge.
Some supporters of this immigration sweep think it is just “too little, too late” and don’t see this plan making much of a dent, if any at all, in the immigration problem. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Mark Krikorian, who is the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “What share is this going to be?. . . It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the number they’ve admitted into the country. If you have photogenic raids on a few dozen illegal families and that’s the end of it, it’s just for show. It’s just a [public relations] thing, enforcement theater.”
Come January, the U.S. is in an election year, making it hard to decipher whether or not there is a hidden agenda in this deportation sweep of families and children. Immigration is a hot-button issue especially when it comes to crimes committed by immigrants who have already been ordered by the courts to leave the country.
It doesn’t appear that much, if any, emphasis has been put on the illegal immigrants who are repeat offenders of crime, as these are not the people targeted by this deportation sweep. Wouldn’t rounding up the dangerous immigrants make the best use of the government’s time, energy and finances in an attempt to make the country a safer place?