Thousands of undocumented immigrants deported from the United States are to be given a second chance to argue their case with regard to why they should be allowed to remain in the country. Undocumented immigrants in Southern California who put their signatures to ‘voluntary return’ forms have been told to come back to the country by US District Court judge John A Kronstadt after a settlement over “deceptive tactics” used by immigration officers to convince immigrants to sign such documents without going to court was reached.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims that thousands of undocumented immigrants could be affected by this decision, with the ACLU’s staff attorney of San Diego and Imperial Counties, Gabriela Rivera, saying that the rights given by the constitution support the judge’s decision.
“Now we can begin the process of reuniting some of the families who could have remained together in the United States but were driven apart by government practices that rely upon misinformation, deception and coercion,” Rivera insists. The decision was made after the filing of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union back in June 2013 on behalf of a number of undocumented immigrants who it claims had been tricked into agreeing to voluntary deportation.
“This deportation machine unfortunately is something that has touched the lives of many people in our community,” says Fernando Romero, the executive director of Pomona Economic Opportunity Center. “It’s something that has broken up families and shattered the hope and dreams of many good, hard-working people.”