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U.S. Begins Releasing Haitian Immigrants in California and Arizona

U.S. Begins Releasing Haitian Immigrants in California and Arizona

Immigration trends show that the number of Haitian immigrants has steadily increased, prompting U.S. Homeland Security officials to declare less than two months ago that they would uniformly detain Haitian immigrants. This policy was due in large part to the strain and stress that the great number of Haitians attempting to enter the country was placing on the U.S. southern border. In the past year, a reportedly 5,000 Haitian immigrants have tried to gain entry to the U.S. on humanitarian grounds, which is a 500% increase over the previous year. Many of these immigrants have gathered at the Mexican border, primarily seeking admission to the states of California and Arizona. The immigrants reportedly expected a warm welcome from the U.S., much as those who fled Haiti following the 2010 earthquake experienced. Unfortunately, that warm reception has faded, as immigration officials announced a crackdown on the detention of Haitian immigrants; officials claimed that if a Haitian shows up at the border without proper immigration paperwork and fails to request to asylum, they would detain the individual. Fairly recently, a government official speaking on the condition of anonymity indicated that immigration officials have begun releasing Haitian immigrants arriving in California and Arizona, marking a complete reversal in the previously announced policy. Nonetheless, since late October, immigration officials have been steadily deporting Haitian immigrants. In fact, as recently as November 23, 2016, Homeland Security announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would significantly expand removal operations in upcoming weeks. According to a DHS press release, while immigration officials temporarily suspended Haitian deportations after Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on October 4 th, removals have resumed. This press release directly contradicts the recent admission of an unknown government official. As a result, the immediate future of Haitian immigrants detained at U.S. borders is unclear. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we are watching government policy regarding Haitian immigrants closely, particularly as the government stance appears to have changed significantly over the last few months. We also are anticipating other potential changes in immigration policy in general as the new administration takes over in 2017. No matter what the government policy on detaining immigrants, Haitian or otherwise, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of noncitizens while detained and working toward release from detention, regardless of the type of deportation charges an individual may be facing. We know how to evaluate your case, explore your options, and provide you with the strongest defense against removal possible. Contact your California deportation defense attorneys today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.

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