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City Bar Voices “Grave Concern” Over DHS Home Raids and Arrests of Mothers and Children Seeking Protection in U.S.

City Bar Voices “Grave Concern” Over DHS Home Raids and Arrests of Mothers and Children Seeking Protection in U.S.

New York, February 1, 2016 – New York City Bar Association President Debra L. Raskin has released a statement expressing “grave concern” over recent home raids by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), targeting for arrest mothers and children who have come to the United States from Central America since last summer. These raids have already led to the arrest of over 120 mothers and children, including children as young as four.

“Many families arrested in these raids fled gang violence or domestic violence in their countries of origin and have meritorious claims to asylum, Convention Against Torture protection, or other forms of protection,” reads the statement. “The vast majority of these families were ordered removed in fast-tracked proceedings that lacked critical elements of due process, such as access to counsel and sufficient
time to collect evidence or retain an attorney.”

The City Bar urges the Obama Administration to take the following steps:

(1) Immediately discontinue home raids targeting mothers and children;

(2) Provide families in detention with access to effective counsel;

(3) Stay the removal of the mothers and children who were arrested until they have had a full and fair opportunity to explore and present any claims for relief;

(4) Agree to reopen removal proceedings for individuals who were not represented during their prior proceedings, did not have sufficient time to collect evidence, or faced other due process violations;

(5) Release families pending the resolution of their claims;

(6) De-prioritize the removal of minor children and their parents, in light of humanitarian concerns and dangerous conditions in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, and provide appropriate grants of deferred action where no other form of legal protection is available; and

(7) Designate Guatemala and re-designate El Salvador and Honduras for Temporary Protected Status.

Read the full statement here:

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.