DHS deportation efforts already underway, immigrant groups say

An extensively-planned effort by the Department of Homeland Security to deport a number of the undocumented unaccompanied immigrant minors who crossed the border into the United States from Central America in the summer of 2014 is already underway, according to several different immigrant rights groups.

The targets of the deportation efforts are minors who came into the United States illegally and who were apprehended and released on the promise of them returning to have their case heard in an immigration court. They did appear; however, the immigration judges in question decided that the minors did not meet the criteria to be granted political asylum within the United States and gave orders for them to be removed from the country.

“There are some unaccompanied minors who had been released, who had received final orders of deportation, who had received final orders of deportation, who have been picked up and are in custody,” News Radio 1200 WOAI was told by Mohammed Abdollahi of the Refugee and Immigrant Centre for Education and Legal Services, which is based in San Antonio. “So it is our understanding that it has already begun.” The Department of Homeland Security has not commented on the claims, although organization officials acknowledge that their plans for 2016 include deportations.

There could be thousands of both adults and children facing deportation under the policy following the denial of their claims for asylum. “The administration is putting the fear of taking individuals away from their homes where they have some semblance of normalcy and bring them back to prison here in Texas,” Abdollahi says. “That is just ludicrous.”