Tuesday, 12 January 2016 13:07

New Detention Program

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So many immigrants have shown up at the southern U.S. border, believing they will be given the opportunity to stay, the Obama administration has begun detaining Central Americans who have not left the country after receiving a deportation order from an immigration judge. The number of families escaping poverty and gang violence, particularly from El Salvador and Honduras has spiked over the past year. Most of these families travel through Mexico and turn themselves in to a U.S. Border agent. In some instances, Cubans, Venezuelans and others have been able to travel to South or Central America and then make their way to the border.


Once in the United States, if a claim of asylum is made, the family is given paperwork called a Notice to Appear, which explains they are to go to Immigration Court. Many of them never show up in court and are ordered removed from the United States in absentia. Others file their asylum applications and have a court hearing. If denied, an order of removal is the result. In other words, the family has an order of deportation.

You may think that an order of removal means the immigrant will have to leave the United States, but that is not the way it works. If the immigrant did not appear in court, a Motion to Reopen the case may be filed, or if there was an appearance, some other form of relief may be requested such as Prosecutorial Discretion which is an application to remain in the U.S. even though a deportation order has been entered. The removal order may be appealed, and this process can take 7 months or longer. If the appeal is denied, a Motion to Reopen or to Reconsider may be filed taking additional time.

Once the legal process is completed, the Department of Homeland Security simply does not have the resources to round everyone up and send them back. Instead, as of a few years ago, DHS has a policy of focusing on immigrants who have a criminal record.

To try to stem the tide from Mexico, the Bush administration used highly publicized raids on high profile businesses, and now the Obama administration has a new detention policy, which is to actually deport those from Central America who have deportation orders. It remains to be seen how extensive this effort will be or how long it will last. More than 12,000 people were apprehended at the border in October and November, compared with approximately 4,500 in the same months a year ago. since the administration is also trying to increase the number of immigrants who can remain in the United States through Executive Orders, this may be a short lived program once the numbers are reduced.

Of course, the overriding questions are about what reform laws, if any, should be passed, and what will happen to the millions of people in the U.S. without legal status. The emphasis on family reunification should be changed to a combination of family reunification and a point system which encourages immigration of those with education, capital and skills which will help the U.S. economy, and at the same time retain diversity of nationalities. The way to do this is not through comprehensive reform with the current political environment. Instead, you would hope and think that member of Congress could find a way to agree on some steps to take to begin the process of resolving the immigration issues we have.

Read 964 times Last modified on Monday, 28 August 2017 14:57
Tom Goldman

‘For over 40 years, Thomas W. Goldman has practiced law in Mississippi, Virginia and Florida, and taught law as a professor in Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Virginia and Florida. Goldman began his career with his family’s law firm in Meridian, Mississippi, and then served Of Counsel with Payne, Gates, Farthing & Radd, an “A” rated firm in Norfolk, Virginia before founding The Goldman Law Firm and co-founding Goldman and Loughlin Law Firm in Florida. Both firms are “immigration only” law firms, and Goldman has represented clients in immigration court, marriage/fiancé filings, waivers, business and other type of visa cases in numerous states and in foreign countries.

He is a graduate of the Ole Miss Law School, and New York University School of Law where he earned the Masters of Law degree. He was on the law faculty of the University of Tulsa, a Teaching Fellow at Southern Methodist University, and served as Associate Dean of Mississippi College School of Law. He taught as an adjunct professor at Barry University law school, Regent University, Florida Institute of Technology and Rollins College.

Goldman and his wife Jody are avid boaters. They are members of the Bradenton Yacht Club and frequently participate in events with their Rosborough pocket trawler named “Braveheart”.’

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peterloughlinheadPeter Loughlin

Peter J. Loughlin, Esq., J.D., LL.M., has many years of experience as a practitioner and educator.  

About Peter Loughlin

GoldmanThomasWEBTom Goldman

Thomas W. Goldman, Esq., J.D., LL.M., has over 40 years of experience as a practitioner and educator.

About Tom Goldman