The National Immigrant Justice Center and Americans for Immigrant Justice, along with six other immigrant advocacy organizations, have filed complaints about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with its parent agency, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The complaints arose after a series of raids this past summer that resulted in the detention of almost 400 undocumented minors. According to the complaints, ICE officers coerced these unaccompanied children to provide information about their parents and other relatives who stepped forward to sponsor them. ICE officers then used this information to locate parents and relatives and lure them to ICE offices to arrest and detain them. Advocates claim that this behavior undermines laws meant to safeguard the rights of unaccompanied minors, and weaponizes children to further break up families. The laws implicated include the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and due process protections of the U.S. Constitution, as well as duties of the U.S. under international and domestic refugee laws. Essentially, these advocates claim that ICE’s actions uses children as bait to catch their undocumented parents and relatives and punishes children for seeking refuge with the their family members. They claim that the practices also interfere with placement and family reunification efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. The fear is that ICE policies eventually will deter family members from reunifying and sponsoring children who enter the U.S. as unaccompanied minors, leaving the children in the hands of the foster care system, smugglers, traffickers, and worse. Children would remain in detention centers for longer periods of time, which would only add the trauma that they already likely have experienced. When you or a loved one are detained and face deportation for any reason, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is here to help. We care about you, your family, and your ability to remain in the U.S. As a result, our California deportation defense lawyers stand ready to build the strongest possible deportation defense case on your behalf. Contact your Oakland immigration lawyer today and learn how we can advocate for you and your family in your deportation proceedings.