© Attorney Farhad Sethna, 2016
On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in response to massive grassroots activism, a revolt from within his own party, passionate statements from no less than four former first ladies, both Democrat and Republican, and pleas from former bureaucrats and cabinet members, Trump issued an executive order ending the barbaric practice of ripping children away from their families at the southern border and ports of entry from Mexico.
In issuing the order, however Trump warned that the policy of prosecuting everybody who attempted to enter the USA illegally would continue. That means, for now, it would appear that families would still be separated if they do not come across an authorized land border.
AND – here’s the most pressing problem that the administration – in rushing to enact their evil policy – never considered: how are they going to reunite these separated children with their parents? Keep in mind, the overwhelming majority of these adults and children speak no English and have no identification. How are small kids, terrified, ripped way from their parents, going to seek out their parents? The situation is TERRIFYING. Imagine the headlines and reaction if just one child was lost in the US foster care system – these kids are now in the foster care system administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services – shouldn’t they enjoy the same protections as any American child?
What makes it even more difficult is the Attorney General’s decision in Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 316 (A.G. 2018) to overrule a precedent case granting asylum protection to victims of domestic violence, Matter of A-R-C-G-, 26 I&N Dec. 388 (BIA 2014). [more on the A-B- decision in another blog article, soon to come!]
Briefly, under the Attorney General’s decision, while individuals may apply for asylum at ports of entry, they now have a higher chance of being denied entry because USCBP or the USCIS asylum officer reviewing their claim can deny their application for asylum on the grounds of domestic violence on the basis that such a claim does not deserve protection under the immigration law. In the absence of a meritorious claim therefore, the individual applying for asylum protection does not have the necessary legal basis to be granted asylum status.
Let us see what develops in the next few days with regard to enforcement along the southern border, both for families with children, as well as for individuals seeking protection because of domestic violence or widespread violence against women in general in the central American nations of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua . . .
So stay tuned!
A note and request: If individuals encounter a situation where children of families seeking asylum are ripped away from their parent or parents, please inform the American Civil Liberties Union, inform the American Immigration Foundation, and failing that, inform me so that I can pass on your information to the appropriate committee to take legal action.
© Farhad Sethna, Attorney, 2018
Farhad Sethna has practiced law for over 25 years. He was awarded his JD in 1990 and his MBA in 1991, both from the University of Akron. Since 1996, he has also been an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the University of Akron, School of Law, in Akron, Ohio, where he wrote and used his own immigration textbook. Attorney Sethna is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education and professional development seminars on various immigration-related topics. His practice is limited to immigration and small business. He has won awards for excellence in teaching and for pro-bono service. With offices in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and New Philadelphia, Ohio, Attorney Sethna represents clients in all types of immigration cases before federal agencies and the immigration courts nationwide. A private pilot, it is Farhad’s goal to fly to each of Ohio’s 88 county airports. Our number is: (330)-384-8000. Please send your general immigration questions to AttorneySethna@immigration-america.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.