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Update from AILA CFC: Immigration Lawyers Advocate for Unaccompanied Children, End Unlawful “Detainers”

Posted: August 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

AILA CFC Advocates for Unaccompanied Children at Border

Country conditions in Central American countries such as El Salvador and Honduras have resulted in over 50,000 unaccompanied minor children making treacherous journeys to seek safety in the U.S. since October 2013. Some may be able to stay in the U.S. if they can demonstrate that their lives will be jeopardized if they returned to their country of origin. The Obama administration has started to speed up the process of scheduling immigration hearings on these children. AILA National, AILA Central Florida and legal aid organizations in Central Florida are working together to ensure that children in this region at least have basic legal representation.

The Obama Administration is considering administrative fixes due to Congressional inaction on immigration reform. These include potential remedies for undocumented parents of U.S. citizens here, and revising the way available green card numbers are counted so as to reduce waiting times in employment and family-based categories. An announcement could come as early as this month. AILA has been on the front line of presenting potential administrative fixes to the administration.

 AILA CFC Works to End Unlawful “Detainers”

Detainers are the so-called “immigration holds” that local police engage in on behalf of ICE. When someone suspected by law enforcement to be undocumented is detained by local police such as for a traffic stop, Sheriff’s offices are permitted to hold that individual for 48 hours while ICE determined their immigration status or whether to pursue removal proceedings against them.

Often Sheriff’s offices hold people for much longer than 48 hours. Some of these individuals are U.S. citizens or green card holders.  Immigration violations are a civil matter, not a criminal matter, and these individuals should not be held indefinitely without probable cause that they have committed a crime. Counties incur substantial costs and liability in breaking the law on behalf of ICE.  

Due to efforts by the ACLU, The Miami Law School Immigration Law Clinic, AILA Central Florida, and AILA South Florida, and other organizations, Sheriff’s offices throughout the state are ceasing these detainers unless there is probable cause to detain.

Written by Victoria Karins

Victoria Jaensch Karins graduated from the University of South Florida in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. She attended law school at St. Thomas University in Miami and received her JD in 1994. She is admitted to the Florida Bar and has practiced immigration law since 1995. Her areas of practice focus on 1) business executives, managers, investors, professionals and skilled workers; 2) family-based immigration, and fiancé visas and 3) citizenship and naturalization. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Central Florida Chapter, having served as a Board Member, Seminar Coordinator and as the Vice Chair for the Tampa Region. Her pro bono activities have focused on abused immigrant women and children.



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