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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced a new initiative to detain and prosecute parents who paid to smuggle their kids across the border. The initiative has been condemned by numerous advocacy groups for immigrant children including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Immigration agents have begun interrogating children who cross the border unaccompanied to find out who their sponsors are and how to find them. These kids are essentially being used as bait to locate and detain their U.S.-based sponsors. More often than not, that sponsor is a parent or other relative. In addition, ICE is visiting the homes of these unaccompanied minors after they are released to start deportation proceedings against these parents, or arresting these parents when they bring their children in to report to ICE on scheduled visits.

In at least a dozen cases from New Jersey to Texas, immigration agents have visited the homes of parents whose children crossed the border illegally. According to The Monitor, the agents asked to be let in, and when the parents consented or left the home, they were detained.

ICE says the purpose of the new initiative is to disrupt the human-trafficking networks that smuggle kids across the border. They hope this will lessen some of the burden on our backlogged immigration system.

Of course, there are numerous moral and logistical flaws with ICE’s state purpose. Nearly 90 percent of children who cross the border unaccompanied are eventually put in the custody of a U.S.-based relative.

So, what’s going to happen to those kids when their parents are detained by ICE? Most are expected to stay in government custody—at taxpayers’ expense. Some could end up in foster homes.

From being detained by immigration agents to being interrogated to being stripped away from their families, these children are sure to endure immense emotional trauma. Immigration Impact described our immigration system as “dramatically outdated” and opined that it undervalues family unity.

If you or a loved one is facing an immigration crisis, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. Charles Kuck has filed and won hundreds of asylum cases over the last 28 years. He will investigate every element of your case to identify your best option for becoming a lawful permanent resident. Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney in Atlanta.

President Trump and ICE Director Tom Homan Support the New Initiative

The Obama administration’s deportation policies focused mostly on recent arrivals and immigrants with criminal convictions. But the Trump administration announced in February that it will also target parents who sponsor their children’s illegal entry into the United States, and that deportation protections for unaccompanied minors would be repealed.

The initiative has been criticized for causing fear in the immigrant community and separating families. ICE Director Tom Homan responded by saying that people who enter the country illegally shouldn’t feel comfortable, and about the separation of families, parents put themselves in that situation when they cross the border illegally.

If you are worried about being deported from the United States or if you have questions related to immigration, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. Charles Kuck is a green card lawyer in Atlanta who can help you identify any available options to remain in the United States. Schedule a consultation today by calling 404-816-8611.

Charles Kuck

Managing Partner