Immigration Officials Offer Asylum Seekers Difficult Choice

Immigration Officials Offer Asylum Seekers Difficult Choice June 24, 2018

Every time I think the cruelty of Donald Trump has peaked, something uglier rears its head.

A new report, regarding the family separations on the southern border reveals the lengths the administration is going to, in order to coerce voluntary deportation from some of the immigrants being detained.

According to the Texas Tribune, detainees are being offered a deal: Sign a voluntary deportation agreement and they will be reunited with their children at the airport.

The order leaves no room for the consideration of those who are seeking asylum.

One Honduran man spoke with the news outlet and said that the majority of those being held at the IAH Polk County Secure Adult Detention Center, a privately-operated U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility for men located 75 miles outside Houston, have been offered the same deal.

The 24-year-old detaineewho spoke on the condition of anonymity and requested the Tribune use the pseudonym Carlos because he feared retaliation, told the Tribune that he abandoned his asylum case and agreed to sign voluntary deportation paperwork Friday out of “desperation” to see his 6-year-old daughter, who was separated from him after the pair illegally crossed the border in late May. The man said two federal officials suggested he’d be reunited with his daughter at the airport if he agreed to sign the order, which could lead to him being repatriated to his violence-torn home country in less than two weeks.

“I was told I would not be deported without my daughter,” said Carlos, adding that he’s now hoping to revoke the voluntary deportation order he signed and get legal help to fight his case. “I signed it out of desperation… but the truth is I can’t go back to Honduras; I need help.”

“Carlos” paid a smuggler $7,000 to get he and his daughter out of a land that is torn by the violence inflicted by organized crime and gangs.

He and his daughter turned themselves in to the Border Patrol when they crossed into the United States at McAllen, Texas. We can assume because he felt that’s who he needed to see to request asylum. It was there that they separated the pair.

That was three weeks ago, and he has spoken to his child only once – on June 21.

He now feels he would like to revoke the agreement he signed and appeal the deportation order. He failed at convincing U.S. authorities that the conditions of his home country are so desperate, that to send him back would be detrimental to the well-being of he and his daughter.

Others are reporting hearing similar stories of “deals” that would deport asylum seekers without a hearing, using their children as bargaining chips.

Carl Rusnok, an ICE spokesman, said Saturday evening that the agency “cannot research vague allegations,” but would do so if given specific details about the migrants who made the claims.

“It is unprofessional and unfair for a media outlet to publish such allegations without providing names, dates and locations so that these allegations can be properly researched,” Rusnok said. The Tribune declined to give Rusnok the detainees’ identifying information.

A Homeland Security and Health and Human Services fact sheet released Saturday said parents ordered removed from the U.S. can “request that his or her minor child accompany them,” but that “many parents have elected to be removed without their children.”

Since the start of the “zero tolerance” policy in April, the government is reporting 2,500 children have been separated from their parents. There have been 522 unaccompanied minors reunified with family members, and because of government red tape, many parents have already been deported without their children.

Carlos said his daughter was taken away from him on the day he went to the McAllen courthouse to plead guilty to illegal entry. He said officials at the detention facility he knew as “la hielera,” or the “ice box,” told him she would be taken to an aunt in California — “pure lies,” he said.

“She’s a prisoner,” he told the Tribune through a plexiglass partition in the facility’s visitation room. “She can’t talk, she cries because she’s locked up.”

“The kids aren’t to blame for what’s going on,” he added. “We only came because we can’t live in our country. We are looking for somewhere to live where our children can have a better future. In our country we can’t do it.”

Heartbreaking. There are no easy answers to this. We can’t just throw the gates open, but how do we reconcile ourselves, as a supposedly civilized society, with separating families and ignoring any extenuating circumstances?

President Trump signed an executive order meant to allow for the detainment of families together, but it does nothing to reunite those families already separated.

As if to double down on the disgusting, President Trump, in all his awfulness, tweeted out the next Democrat campaign ad, by referring to the immigrants as “these people,” and as an invasion. He went on to suggest a suspension of due process, to the absolute shock and disgust of everybody not already indoctrinated into the Trumpidian group think.

It appears, Donald Trump only favors due process for domestic abusers on his staff.

You tell us.

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  • JASmius

    Sounds like a hostage situation, doesn’t it? Trump sure is keeping up these terrible optics. Makes one wonder if the DNC is paying him under the table.