The Border Patrol said that in some cases, it stopped issuing subpoenas because it usually takes hours to prepare paperwork.
Mission, Texas-Overwhelmed and unprepared, the US authorities released immigrant families at the Mexican border without being appointed to appear in the immigration court, sometimes without any documents. This measure saves time and confuses immigrants.
These quick releases eased pressure on border patrols and crowded detention centers, but shifted the workload to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency that ensures compliance with U.S. immigration laws. When family members receive certain types of documents, they are quoted for free, although only the parents are photographed and fingerprinted.
The Border Patrol started this unusual practice last week in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where the number of immigrant families and unaccompanied minors has increased the most. Last week, the agency provided instructions to appear in court for ICE personnel within 60 days of the adult subpoena.
But some people did not receive any documents, such as the dozens of people in the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the border city of Mission in Texas, and about 100 immigrants released by the US authorities every night sleep on the mats distributed every night. Through the classroom of a closed elementary school.
Carlos Enrique Linga, 27, did not receive any documents. He and his 5-year-old daughter waited there for more than a week, hoping to meet a friend in Tennessee. His wife lives in Guatemala with two-year-old twins and another three-month-old baby.
Linga was reluctant to leave the shelter until he got the documents and asked the Catholic charity of the Rio Grande Valley for help.
Linga said: “We hope they can help with our documents so that we can move on, work and send money to my family.” Linga said she lost her home in the November storm. error. Since there are so many people, they will forget. “
The Customs and Border Protection Agency, which is in charge of border patrols, said it stopped issuing subpoenas in some cases because preparing documents usually takes several hours. The immigrant passed the background check and tested for the coronavirus.
The agency did not answer questions about how many immigrants were released in this situation.
Sister Norma Pimentel, the executive director of the Catholic Charity Organization, knows that since last week, 10 to 15 families have been released without these documents, which happened before the influx of immigrants. one question.
He said: “This is a problem, this is a situation, and we must solve this problem to ensure that we take follow-up actions.”
A US official with direct knowledge of the plan said that these immigrants will be notified that they will appear in court during a 60-day inspection conducted by ICE. It is not yet clear how widespread this practice is, but it is common in Rio Grande, the busiest illegal border crossing area.
Chris Cabrera, a spokesperson for the National Border Patrol Commission, which represents its agents, said it may take an hour to 90 minutes to prepare for the court notice. The spokesperson welcomed this change.
“In my opinion, to be honest, I think it’s good because it means less paperwork for our children,” said Cabrera, who works in the Rio Grande Valley.
The number of people crossing the border has skyrocketed, especially minors and families traveling alone, which have filled up federal facilities. In accordance with laws related to the pandemic, the United States has deprived families of children under the age of 6 and expelled other older children, depriving them of the opportunity to apply for asylum.
In the absence of a court date or documentary proof, immigration lawyers react differently to the release, especially if they are required to appear in court at ICE. They suggest that immigrants apply for asylum through another channel, which only applies to people already in the country. They pointed out that with this option, they interviewed officials of the Citizenship and Immigration Service in a less conflicting environment, and if they were denied asylum, they could appeal to the immigration judge.
She said, “This is a completely different tone,” said Charlene D’Cruz, director of the ProjectoCorazón Legal Aid Program of the Good Governance Lawyers Association.
Initially, when they started releasing families without subpoenas two weeks ago, the US authorities did not even ask to appear in court. But that policy has changed. De Cruz claimed that ICE may issue a notice asking him to appear in court, expel him from the country, or do nothing.
He said: “There are many different options, and I don’t know what will happen.”
The immigration courts with a total of 1.3 million cases are insufficiently prepared for a large increase in asylum applications.