Saturday, June 21, 2014

Obama Administration Responds to Unaccompanied Minors with More Enforcement, Expedited Removals

The Obama administration's policy toward the much publicized flow of unaccompanied minors is evolving, with the early response being a plan to improve access to legal representation.  The next stage appears to be increased enforcement.

Bloomberg News reports that the Obama administration unveiled measures to handle the "surge" of  unaccompanied children by adding border enforcement personnel and funding removal. The U.S. government also plans to spend $9.6 million to help Central American governments repatriate citizens who have’ve crossed into the United States. The money is intended to enable El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to expand existing repatriation centers and services.

Cecilia Munoz, White House director of domestic policy, blamed the increase in unaccompanied children attempting to cross the U.S./Mexico border in part on “misinformation” about immigration law and administration actions regarding minors that “is being deliberately promulgated by criminal networks” involved in smuggling persons into the country.

The changes also reportedly include opening new detention centers that can accommodate families, expanded use of ankle bracelets to monitor immigrants awaiting hearings and sending more immigration judges to south Texas to expedite the court hearing and removal process.

”We are surging our enforcement resources in a way … to make sure that we are dealing properly with this particular surge” of unaccompanied minors, said Cecilia Muñoz. 

Click here for further analysis.


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