In the News

121 people picked up in raids targeting immigrant families

By Jason Buch,, Updated 3:42 pm, Monday, January 4, 2016

Immigration officials apprehended 121 people over the weekend as part of raids in three states targeting families from Central America, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced today. The detentions in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina focused on families who came into the country after May 1, 2014, when DHS began reacting to an influx of families and children seeking asylum, were ordered removed by an immigration judge and “have exhausted appropriate legal remedies,” Johnson said in a statement. “Given the sensitive nature of taking into custody and removing families with children, a number of precautions were taken as part of this weekend’s operations,” Johnson said. “ICE deployed from around the country a number of female agents and medical personnel to take part in the operations, and, in the course of the operations, ICE exercised prosecutorial discretion in a number of cases for health or other personal reasons.” Families caught in the raids have started arriving at South Texas detention centers, said Mohammad Abdollahi, an activist with the San Antonio nonprofit Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. One family each from Houston, Dallas and Kansas City arrived Sunday at the detention center in Dilley, Abdollahi said. RAICES is part of a network of advocacy agencies providing legal services to the detention centers in Karnes County and Dilley. Abdollahi said the organization had also received reports of raids in San Antonio, New Jersey, Virginia and Atlanta. In the case of the San Antonio raid, a client told RAICES that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers had come to her house looking for another family, but no one was detained. ICE regularly conducts what it calls targeted enforcement operations, when officers fan out looking for specific targets that fall under the bureau’s priorities for deportation. The fact that this weekend’s raids are the first such operation to target families and their announcement just before Christmas drew widespread condemnation from immigration activists.

Texas wants immigration case delay that could push Supreme Court decision beyond Obama’s term

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press,, Nov. 23, 2015 | 5:51 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Texas asked the Supreme Court Monday for more time to answer the Obama administration’s immigration appeal, a delay that probably would prevent the plan to shield millions of immigrants from deportation from taking effect during Barack Obama’s presidency. If the justices agree to the state’s request, the administration’s plan would miss the court’s informal deadline for a decision by the end of June. The plan that Obama unveiled a year ago mainly affects people who are living in the country illegally, but who have children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Unless the court was to take the rare step of scheduling an argument in May, the issue would not be heard by the justices until the fall or decided before spring 2017. The administration is opposing the request for a 30-day delay, Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said. “The case presents issues of national importance and the department believes it should be considered expeditiously,” Rodenbush said. It is not unusual for a party to request that a deadline be pushed back, and the other side often does not object. But timing is everything in the immigration case. If the court turns Texas down, agrees to hear the case and decides it by June, and if the justices side with the administration, that would leave roughly seven months in Obama’s presidency to implement his plans. Texas and 25 other states, almost all led by Republicans, sued in federal court to challenge the immigration plan roughly two weeks after it was unveiled. The states have won every round in court so far, including a Nov. 5 ruling from the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Justice Department chose not to ask the high court to block those earlier rulings and allow the plan to take effect pending a final court decision in the case. On the other hand, the administration’s allies said the appeals court effectively tried to run out the clock by taking much longer than usual to issue its opinion. Dissenting Judge Carolyn Dineen King lent some credence to their complaint by taking note of “the extended delay that has occurred in deciding” the case.