Since January 2nd, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested at least 121 Central American asylum seekers and their children. These families, including young children, were pulled from their beds in pre-dawn raids, by ICE agents without warrants or consent.
Though ICE claims these families have already had their day in court, many of them have not been informed of their legal rights because they do not have lawyers, and so were denied protection even when facing persecution. Now, rather than giving them the opportunity to pursue appeals or other relief, ICE is rushing to forcibly return these families to countries where they face violence, torture or even death. The violence these asylum seekers are fleeing is a direct result of the long history of U.S-led imperialism, intervention and oppression in Central America. The current violence and instability in Latin America is the direct result of the U.S. backed drug wars, unfair trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA that have destabilized local economies and deprived people of their livelihoods, and the U.S. role in being the overwhelmingly primary producer of guns and other weapons of war.
The NLG strongly condemns these mass deportations without due process, as violations of U.S. asylum law and international human rights standards, including, but not limited to the Convention Against Torture, the International Convention on Civil & Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. The NLG urges the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security to immediately end this forced deportation that unfairly targets Latin American people of color.
NLG attorneys are available to provide know your rights presentations, and can connect affected families with legal support.