Immigration Raids Detain 121 Central Americans Fleeing Violence

by
Kate Brown
The Department of Homeland Security is planning on large-scale raids that will displace hundreds of Central American families that have arrived in the last two years.

Update: 

According to early reports, the Obama administration has acknowledged that over 121 people, including children, have been detained as part of the large-scale raids that were planned early last year.

So far, the raids have focused in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas. 


Just in time for the new year, reports have emerged that the Department of Homeland Security is planning on controversial large-scale raids that will displace hundreds of families that have arrived in the last two years—specifically families with children that have fled devastating droughts and gang violence in Central America. The operation could begin as early as next month.

This, however, is not a new problem. It stirs up a long-standing political debate about how responsible the United States is for accommodating families and children fleeing dangerous and deadly circumstances in their home country.

us department of homeland security

The coming ICE operation “would only target adults and children” that have already been ordered to be removed by an immigration judge, the Washington Post reports. “The adults and children would be detained wherever they can be found and immediately deported.”

Initial reports indicate that over 100,000 families with both adults and children have made their way across the border in just the last year. This, however, is nothing compared to the amount of unaccompanied minors that have tried to find a safe haven in the United States. 

Julianne Hing of the Nation reports that, “Between the start of October and the end of November of this year, 10,588 children traveling without a parent or guardian were apprehended by Customs and Border Patrol at the southwest border, more than double the 5,129 who were apprehended during the same two months of 2014.”

Only a handful of these cases have been granted asylum, many more have had their applications rejected.

These reports have sparked plenty of outrage among Latino and immigrant rights–advocacy groups. Many have called the alleged plan, “horrific and unacceptable,” while others say it is “unconscionable.”

Even presidential candidates like ? Martin O’Malley have spoken out against the plan, commenting on how the plan does not reflect what the United States should embody. Bernie Sanders has been quoted as saying he was “very disturbed” about the reports, adding that the United States should protect families, “not cast them out.”

One presidential candidate, however, has decided to take credit for these raids. Like the class act that we all know Donald Trump to be, he took to Twitter to boast; “Wow, because of the pressure put by me, ICE TO LAUNCH LARGE SCALE DEPORTATION RAIDS. It’s about time!”

A few hours later he added, “Does everyone see that the Democrats and President Obama are now, because of me, starting to deport people who are here illegally. Politics!”

That, however, simply isn’t the case.

The bigger picture is that this is a last ditch effort on Secretary Johnoson’s part to deter families in Central America from trying to make their way to the United States border. While he has tried a few other tactics—a PR campaign in Central America to tell families that they will be deported if they cross the border without asylum, as well as putting pressure on Mexico to better their own immigration policy—he certainly is not trying to listen to Latino and immigration rights-advocacy groups, nor is he taking into account that the US Border Patrol is a far friendlier demon to face than the sure-fire devastation of gang violence back home.  

Regardless of any good intentions Johnson might have, intent means nothing when it comes to the lives of innocent children. 

Banner Image Credit: WikiCommons

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