Editorial: Family Raids Must Stop

It is unfair that mothers and children are as much a priority to ICE as drug traffickers

Guía de Regalos

Editorial: Family Raids Must Stop
Una madre hondureña sostiene a su hija de 3 años, después de entregarse con su familia a los agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza el 8 de diciembre de 2015 cerca de Rio Grande City, Texas.
Foto: John Moore / Getty Images

Immigration raids began right away in 2016. Reports indicate that at least 11 Central American families were forced out of their homes in Georgia and Texas by immigration agents on Saturday because their refugee petition was denied. This is the beginning of an injustice that puts the lives of people who come here fleeing violence in danger by making them return to their countries.

 The main motivation for the operative at this moment is to discourage a new wave of migrants coming in from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala who risk their lives crossing through Mexico to reach the U.S. Dissuasion methods like this do not work, especially in this particular case, as this migration is not primarily economic but resembles more that of refugees escaping in order to survive. It is not realistic to think that the prospect of deportation will stop the exodus of a mother and/or son who have received death threats from gangs.

 Logic indicates that the persecution and expulsion of women and children should not be among the priorities of the Department of Homeland Security, especially at this time.

 And yet, it is thanks to a November 2014 memo in which the authorities’ deportation priorities and discretional nature are established. This was supposed to mean that ICE would focus on dangerous criminals, but the second part of the memo equates sexual abuse and exploitation with arriving in the country after January 2014. This puts a drug trafficker and dealer in the same category as, say, the mother who arrived with her son in the summer of 2014 to save the kid’s life.

 After the much-welcomed executive actions, the Obama Administration returns to its infamous role of “deporter,” ‒ only more aggressively ‒ against the most defenseless through night raids designed to take families away. Outrageous!

 To top it off, we are forced to listen to Donald Trump’s cackling, taking credit for this action citing his odious criticism of immigration. It is possible to imagine that the priority of a government led by this millionaire would be to deport mothers and children, but it is unacceptable to see it happening now. These raids must be suspended immediately!