President Obama Wants to Continue Imprisoning Immigrant Families

Photo: Gerald L. Nino, CBP, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

The Obama administration doubled down on one of its worst immigration legacies: the return and expansion of family detention. Responding to a court order holding that its family detention camps violated the 1997 Flores settlement agreement, the Obama administration Friday again defended family detention as necessary to send a message to Central American families that they are not welcome here—even though it concedes that most of them are fleeing persecution.

The Obama administration now argues that it needs to detain families in order to speedily deport those who are initially found ineligible for relief. But as the ACLU has documented, such fast-track deportation procedures are fraught with error, routinely resulting in the expulsion of people to places where they face persecution and torture. And nothing in our immigration laws requires the government to subject families to fast-track deportation, much less to detain them during the process.

The Obama administration’s filing represents but its latest failure to respect due process and human rights. Since last summer, when families and children fleeing violence in Central America came to the Southwest border, the Administration has refused to treat the situation for what it is—a humanitarian crisis.  Instead, it has chosen to paint mothers and their children as threats to border security. Family detention is the cruelest expression of this approach—a deliberate choice to lock up families in order to deter others from seeking refuge in the United States.

But as courts have found (here and here), and experts confirmed (here and here), there is no evidence that President Obama’s family detention camps have deterred migrant families from fleeing violence in Central America. More importantly, it’s unclear how the administration can legally and properly deter people from seeking protection in the first place: As the judge in RILR v. Johnson—a case brought by the ACLU—observed, these families aren’t “wrongdoers, but rather individuals who may have legitimate claims to asylum.” Indeed, the government itself admits that nearly 87 percent of detained families have been found to have legitimate asylum claims that they should be allowed to pursue in immigration court.

It is long past time for President Obama to recognize these families for who they are: moms and kids fleeing persecution who have a right to apply for refugee status in the United States. Some families will win their claims; others will lose and be deported. But either way, they shouldn’t be detained and denied a full hearing before an immigration judge. If the Obama administration truly respects due process and human rights, it must end family detention now.

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Anonymous

Good. At least he is doing something right about illegal, and yes I said illegal, immigration.

olllie

?? these people don't want to die or get hurt so they run and everyone says amarica is free and great
If I heard that I would go

Anonymous

And who is paying to feed them? The people that are born here, work, pay their taxes and try to feed their families. Still some have to ask for aid. Then they are told they make to much money. But still they want us to feed,cloth and shelter, someone we will never meet.
When illegals are caught, drive them right back them the border.

But Said

Anonymous13

I find it interesting that citizens of a country which only exists in this form due ti massive illegal immigration by the Dutch and the English, as well as the French, are now so devoid of any historical context. Never mind that it has largely been US intervention in the countries from which these families now flee is even more astonishing, The US trained death squads did not evaporate into thin air once the US government was finished with them, they became drug dealers and human traffickers, torturers and murderers. I'm not a parent, but my I feel the desperation that these people must feel to go on La Beasta, to send their children- this speaks to just how dangerous US intervention has made things for them, not that they "don't know" how dangerous the trip is. However, you are the Americans (if you are) that make me ashamed. This country has been literally built by immigrants, and each wave faces the racism and fear of people like you. How easy is it to leave your homeland? If you can, put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine how bad it would have to be to cay=use you to di the same?
US policies created this and we owe these people something.

Anonymous

I believe we should be more mindful of them, I mean can you imagine being in their place? I am only an eighth grader but I still can see how wrong this is. Do not tell me life is just unfair, believe me I know and I understand this quite well. Do not tell me I am young and foolish for I understand far more and care far more than most people, including adults. This is no joking matter.

Anonymous

ACLU why don't you fight for immigrants with suspended sentences?

Anonymous

Because we really do not care. We have to look busy so we write these articles. Sorry.
Signed,
ACLU

*(THIS IS MY IDEA OF AN ANSWER, LOADED WITH SARCASICM. I AM NOT WITH THE ACLU. I AGREE THE ACLU SHOULD BE INVOLVED WITH THE LEGAL PROCESS TO ENSURE POOR FOLK ARE NOT MISTREATED RATHER THAN JUST REPORT ON SUCH)

Anonymous

Well he knows they take jobs away Americans who is sitting on the bench because these immigrates flee here take what we deserve to do> that's work and get decent pay. These business people will hire immigrates as employees and pay them lesser verses us Americans. At least they have shelter 3 meals in a control environment. If we were to go into their country will we be treated humanly like this. I'm sure NOT.

Anonymous

Immigrants have more rights then most Americans have today . I'm the seven generations born in America my ancestors didn't sneak here> they were hire and ship here by those business typhoon. THAT'S A BIG DIFFERENCE. This is my homeland but I feel like I'm rob of my rights as a human when they get in their click and speak their native tongue labeling me without interpreting. But she have the interpreter (manger) interpret in their native tongue. My civil rights are in violation pertaining to Languages. When they laugh and walk away This is what these new immigrants are doing . This happen just last week.

Anonymous

Some one said amarica........Dicks

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