Immigration advocates and attorneys have revealed that the Obama administration has started to detain immigrants from Central America who have been avoiding deportation orders. Government officials admitted just before Christmas that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was planning a crackdown for January. This was due to the increase in the number of immigrants arriving at the south-west border of the United States toward the end of last year.
“Attempting to unlawfully enter the United States as a family unit does not protect individuals from being subject to the immigration laws of this country,” an official from the DHS declared. “[Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)] will continue to pursue the removal of persons who fall within DHS immigration enforcement priorities, including families who are recent unlawful border crossers and who are subject to final orders of removal.”
The official went on to add that the repatriation of such people back to their countries of origin was part of a wider effort to deal with the increasing number of immigrants arriving at the southern border of the United States. Reports from immigration attorneys indicate that the operation started at the weekend with stories of sweeps in states such as Texas and Georgia.
ICE representatives in these states have declined to comment, pointing out that the agency does not discuss ongoing operations as a matter of policy. In recent months the amount of undocumented families attempting to enter the United States has increased as the result of drought in the region and gang violence in Honduras and El Salvador.