Things That Matter

Migrants Are Missing Court Dates Because Border Patrol Is Allegedly Writing False Addresses On Their Paperwork

Migrant lawyers are saying United States Customs and Border Patrol agents are willfully listing false addresses for asylum seekers on paperwork to undermine their immigration process. The attorneys were able to uncover the phenomenon because the agents appear to be listing the same address on various migrants’ papers. 
The result is that it’s impossible for asylum seekers to receive letters and information from the government about their ongoing immigration court cases. According to NBC News, 18 examples have been included in an amicus brief that migrant attorneys will file with the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the lawyers claim they’ve seen these false addresses applied to hundreds of migrants. 

Lawyers hope the brief will challenge the Migrant Protocols Protections also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. 

Roughly 60,000 Central Americans are awaiting their immigration cases while living in overcrowded, unhygienic detention centers in Mexico. The completion of their cases could take years. The law requires that asylum seekers receive notification of any charges or immigration hearings, CBP’s use of false addresses encroaches on their rights, the lawyers will argue.

“Consistent with these international law obligations, federal law recognizes that, at a minimum, asylum seekers must be notified of the charges against them and have rights to a fair hearing,” the brief by the Action Center and the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley reads. 

The form where agents are commonly falsifying address is the Notice to Appear (NTA) which is the letter that tells migrants where and when to go to immigration court for their asylum hearings. The cost of missing a court date is everything. If a judge deems them absentia they could be deported. 

Currently, CBP is listing many migrants address as a shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico — a place that the migrants have never even been to. 

Make no mistake, migrants are providing their correct addresses. CBP appears to not be listening. 

One of the immigrants named in the brief, Angelina, a 42-year-old Cuban migrant told CBP that her contact info is her partner’s address. However, when Angelina met with a lawyer it was clear that agents did not correctly list the address instead opting for the incorrect Casa del Migrante — she’s never been there. 

“I have no idea if I missed court dates or if anything was sent to me,” Angelina told NBC News over the phone. “There’s a lot of violence. Every single morning when we wake up, we see and hear on TV about the number of dead overnight. They’re killing women. They’re killing people from the LGBT community.” 

Angelina’s lawyer Nicolas Palazzo of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center says most migrants aren’t aware that their addresses aren’t being correctly filed. While an available hotline can provide them with info about their cases, the hotline is often not up to date. 

“The risk is not only that the U.S. violates its own procedures under due process, but also the risk of sending back asylum seekers to places they could be tortured or killed,” Karen Tumlin, the founder and director of the Justice Action Center, told NBC News.

Some border patrol agents were listing addresses simply as “Facebook.” 

The issue of addresses is getting more complicated. A recent ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said migrants must provide addresses based in the United States (as Angelina did) in order to receive legal correspondence. 

“But even when immigrants give U.S. addresses, such as the one Angelina provided, border agents in El Paso are ignoring them and including the address for the shelter in Ciudad Juarez,” NBC notes. 

Some agents are just listing “Facebook” as an address for migrants, in other instances, they will list “known address.” Angelina is hopeful that she will be granted asylum, and her attorney has been consistently updating her. However, most migrants detained in Mexico don’t have the resources or way of finding a lawyer. Unlike those imprisoned, a lawyer is not guaranteed to the migrants. Most asylum seekers and other migrants are left to fend for themselves — a seemingly impossible task given the obstacles that lie ahead. 

“Hope is the last thing to die,” Angelina said. 

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Biden Administration Says Number Of Kids In Border Custody Drops 84% Over Last Month

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Biden Administration Says Number Of Kids In Border Custody Drops 84% Over Last Month

As recently as last month more than 5,000 children languished in jail-like conditions inside U.S. Border Patrol facilities, often for longer than the 72-hour limit set by federal law. But, according to the Biden administration, that number has dropped by 84% as the agencies charged with migrant detention make significant progress.

Questions remain, however, about where these children are being sent to instead and why there remains a need for jail-like conditions in the first place.

The number of kids in jail-like Border Patrol facilities drops 84% compared to March.

The number of unaccompanied migrant children held in jail-like conditions by US Customs and Border Protection dropped nearly 84% in the span of a month, according to a White House official. As of last Wednesday, there were 954 children in CBP facilities, down from a peak of 5,767 on March 28, the official told CNN.

The average time that kids are in CBP custody is now 28 hours, compared to 133 hours on March 28, the official said, a nearly 80% reduction in time spent in Border Patrol detention.

In an interview with NBC News this week, Biden suggested that the situation with unaccompanied children is now under control, saying, “It’s way down now. We’ve now gotten control,” and touted “significant change in the circumstances for children to and at the border.”

In recent weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for the care of migrant children, has opened up a string of temporary shelters to accommodate minors. That’s allowed for an increasing number of children being transferred out of border facilities to spaces equipped to care for them at a quicker pace.

The drop in children in custody is a welcome sign given the conditions they faced.

In some cases, children were alternating schedules to make space for one another in confined facilities and taking turns showering, often going days without one, while others hadn’t seen the sunlight in days.

While the administration works to address root causes of migration, it’s also had to contend with growing numbers of children in government custody. As of April 27, there were more than 22,276 children in HHS care, according to government data.

Biden on NBC again warned Central American parents against sending children to the US.”Do not send your kids, period. They’re most — they’re in jeopardy going– making that thousand-mile trek,” Biden said. “And so what we’re doing now is we’re going back to those countries in question where most of it’s coming from and saying, ‘Look, you can apply from your country. You don’t have to make this trek.”

The shift in strategy comes as a new poll shows Americans overwhelmingly support new immigration policy.

A vast majority of Americans approve of the idea of engaging countries abroad to address the causes of migration before it happens, according to a new nationwide poll released Thursday.

Pollster Civiqs found that 85 percent of survey respondents agreed that the United States needs to engage with other countries to address migration patterns.

On a partisan basis, 86 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans, as well as 81 percent of independents, agree with that approach, according to Civiqs, which conducted the poll for Immigration Hub, a progressive immigration advocacy group.

The poll found that 57 percent of Americans accept illegal immigration when the immigrants are fleeing violence in their home countries.

That support is lower for undocumented immigrants who come for other reasons; 46 percent agree with immigrants arriving illegally to escape poverty or hunger, while 36 percent do if the migrants are seeking to reunite with family members, and 31 percent do if the migrants are looking for jobs in the United States.

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Three Years After Traumatic Deportation, Alejandra Juarez Will Be Reunited With Her Family

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Three Years After Traumatic Deportation, Alejandra Juarez Will Be Reunited With Her Family

Scenes of her traumatic deportation made headlines around the world as she was forced to say goodbye to her husband (a U.S. veteran) and children back in 2018. Now, Alejandra Juarez is headed back to the United States just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day with her family.

Alejandra Juarez is back with her family three years after her very public and traumatic deportation to Mexico.

The wife of a U.S. Marine veteran, Alejandra Juarez’s deportation to Mexico made international headlines as she was forced to say goodbye to her husband and daughters at Orlando International Airport back in 2018. Many Americans found her story to be so powerful since she was married to a retired U.S. Marine, Cuauthemoc ‘Temo’ Juarez and each of her children are U.S. citizens. Not to mention Juarez had been living in the United States since she was 18 years old.

Since her deportation in 2018, Juarez has been living in Mexico but will be allowed to return to Florida – where her family is located – within the next couple of days. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted Juarez humanitarian parole

Juarez is the wife of a U.S. Marine veteran whose traumatic deportation scene at Orlando International Airport in 2018 made headlines worldwide. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted her a temporary reprieve known as humanitarian parole. Humanitarian parole allows entry to the country “due to an emergency” for someone who is otherwise not allowed to be in the country.

“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for,” Juarez told the Orlando Sentinel in an exclusive interview. “Once inside, I’m going to keep fighting and hopefully there’s a way I can find a permanent solution, but this is great!”

The emergency order allows Juarez to remain in the country until she finds a solution.

Florida Rep. Darren Soto (D) has been an advocate on behalf of the Juarez family and even joined Alejandra during her tearful goodbye to her family at the Orlando Airport.

According to report by the Orlando Sun-Sentinel, Soto said that his staff had sent a letter to his contacts at the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and ICE officials, hoping they would reopen her case.

Around the same time, President Biden entered office and overturned the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy which had led to Alejandra’s deportation order. It’s also worth mentioning that Alejandra’s husband had voted for Donald Trump during the 2016 election without ever thinking that his wife could be targeted for deportation.

Congressman Soto has been a fighter for Alejandra while she’s been more than 700 miles away in Mexico and is proud to see justice for the Juarez family.

“When President Biden was elected, we knew there was a new hope of bringing her back,” he told the Orlando Sentinel. “But it was Alejandra overall, who showed the tenacity and determination to stop at nothing to get back to her family.”

Juarez’s story further captured our hearts and minds as part of a Netflix series.

Despite being hundreds of miles apart, the Juarez family has not remained silent. In fact, Alejandra’s story was told as part of the Netflix documentary series Living Undocumented. Juarez, along with seven other immigrants, clips of interviews with Juarez and Estela, 10, who talks about President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on deporting those in the country without permission.

“He was going to deport criminals, but my mom is not a criminal,” Estela says. “She’s a military wife.”

And daughter Estela even took her mother’s case to the presidential campaign, when she read a powerful letter to then-President Donald Trump detailing her mother’s case and the agony her family has suffered. Thankfully, now, the family will soon be reunited just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day together.

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