Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
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Changes to immigration law regarding family detention

California residents may be interested to learn that on May 13, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it will be changing one of its policies regarding detention of immigrant families who are crossing the border illegally. It will no longer consider deterrence when making its decision about detention.

Other changes were announced as well. The federal agency will also review families who have been in detention for longer than 90 days. In addition, federal authorities announced intentions of improving conditions and access to attorneys at detention facilities in Texas and Pennsylvania.

Several lawsuits against the federal government regarding its detention of families are pending, and the new policies were criticized by the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association as being largely meaningless gestures given the scope of the problem. Nearly 200 civil rights and immigrant rights groups signed a letter sent to President Obama asking him to put an end to family detention altogether. Many attorneys and immigrant rights groups argue that detaining immigrant families in this way is inhumane.

Individuals who wish to attain legal status in the United States may wish to consult an attorney. Whether they or their family members have been placed in detention or are simply seeking to remain in the United States, there may be a number of different ways in which they might qualify, including through family members who are already living in the country. Immigration law and the process of applying to remain in the United States can be complex, and laws are constantly in flux. An attorney may be able to work with clients throughout the process as well as informing them of applicable changes.

Source: AJC.com, "U.S. immigration authorities overhauling family detention," Jeremy Redmon, May 14, 2015

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