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Feds ask judge not to release immigrant children from detention

South Carolina readers may be interested to learn that the U.S. government has asked a federal court to reverse its decision to release all children and their mothers who were detained while entering the U.S. illegally from Mexico. The Justice Department filed the request in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Aug. 6.

In late July, a U.S. district court judge ordered that all children currently held in immigrant family detention centers be released "without unnecessary delay." She also ordered that any mothers of those children be released if they did not pose a security or flight risk. However, government lawyers say that detention time at the centers has been reduced to only a few weeks for most families, and the Department of Homeland Security is planning to turn the centers into short-term processing facilities. They argue that the judge's order "addressed practices and policies that no longer exist."

In her decision, the judge found that the government violated parts of 1997 settlement that bars the detention of immigrant children in secure facilities. The government counters that placing further limits on detention "would heighten the risk of another surge in illegal migration." During the 2014 fiscal year, approximately 38,000 children arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border with their mothers.

Foreigners wishing to obtain green cards, immigrant visas or U.S. citizenship in order to live and work in South Carolina may benefit by working with an attorney. Legal counsel could ensure that all required documentation is properly prepared during the application process and assist with any necessary court hearings.

Source: ABC News, "US Officials Ask Judge Not to End Immigrant Family Detention," Seth Robbins, Associated Press, August 7, 2015

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