A crush of unaccompanied children at border crossings across the southern border of the United States has prompted President Obama to order federal emergency authorities to respond to the developing humanitarian crisis. Children of undocumented aliens mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have been found at border crossings. Officials claim that over 47,017 children traveling without parents had been caught crossing the southwest border since October 1, 2013.
The President tasked Craig Fugate, the head of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Authority), to open additional shelters. A special shelter will be established at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio to house 1200 children. Over 1000 kids already are living at the base in Texas. A new shelter at a naval base in Oxnard, California will house up to 600 children. Border agents can hold unaccompanied children for no more than 72 hours before they must be turned over to a refugee agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers the shelters.
Since the children are placed in these shelters the HHS must seek to find the parents of these children but these searches tend to be quite difficult. The children remain in long-term federal care until their deportation case is completed in the immigration courts.
Announcement of the accelerated efforts to house these children prompted mixed reactions. Republican Congressman and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called the increase “an administration-made disaster resulting from the administration’s lax enforcement of immigration laws. But Catholic bishops echoed the sentiments of many immigrant advocates who applauded the president’s move. “This is a humanitarian crisis born out of the growing violence in Central America, according to Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle, chairman of the migration committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “These children are refugees who deserve the protection of our nation. They should not be viewed as lawbreakers.
The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of immigration to the United States. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice. In the course of Mr. Shulman’s involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.