Almost 100 Mexicans have asked the US government for permission to return to the United States prior to the deadline on Wednesday. The requests have been prompted following a lawsuit that accused Southern California federal immigration officials of failing to advise people correctly with regard to their legal rights.
Fox News says that the Department of Homeland Security was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) back in 2013, over the process used to force people from the United States, which was referred to as a voluntary return. The method saw people give up their legal rights to go before an immigration judge while being refused legal access to the United States for at least ten years; however, the lawsuit alleged that people were pressured by the authorities into agreeing with these terms.
While the US government has refused to admit to any mistake on its part, it has agreed to make changes to the process and offer a revised form that states the alternatives and penalties of voluntary return. It will also create an information hotline for people in detention looking for legal aid and implement new procedures and training.
ABC News has also reported that, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, 20 Mexican immigrants have already been given approval to return to the United States, with around 100 likely to qualify and up to 1,000 being potentially eligible. A widespread campaign was conducted by the ACLU on both sides of the US-Mexico border for those in Southern California who accepted voluntary return, according to the Associated Press.