Families are split up, which is a shocking claim! A brave immigration lawyer comes forward and says that Texas is tearing families apart at the border, which is very sad. The controversial problem has made people angry and made them want to know the truth. Find out the shocking truth about these claims by reading on.
Texas Faces Accusations of Ripping Families Apart at the Border
According to Kristin Etter, an immigration attorney with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, at least 26 migrant families have been separated at the southern border in Texas since July 10 as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star border program.
“This is just a very harsh and cruel detour from the asylum process,” Etter told CNN on Wednesday.
Etter claims that the majority of her twenty-four clients were Venezuelans who planned to report to US immigration authorities at a park in Eagle Pass. But they were instead waived by Texas Department of Public Safety state troopers in airboats or on land to sites where they were collected up and ultimately separated.
The following tweet explains how Texas is separating families at the border in a “harsh and cruel” policy change:
Texas is separating families at the border in apparent ‘harsh and cruel’ shift in policy, immigration attorney says https://t.co/17ReYsvybV
— USACitizen/Stand With 🇺🇦 (@VCalingcourt) August 2, 2023
“Some of our clients have reported DPS officers cutting the (concertina) wire so that they can get through to then only be arrested after they go through the wire,” Etter said.
Etter claims that Texas is separating males from their families, in contrast to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy in 2018, which separated children from their mothers and fathers.
“They have no idea where their children and partners were taken, and so there’s a lot of just despondency, a lot of concern,” Etter said. Etter reports that in most cases, state troopers have only detained fathers for criminal trespass and turned over mothers and children to US Border Patrol officials.
“These are all sham arrests,” Etter said. “The criminal trespass statute was never designed to arrest people for immigration violations.” Abbott’s actions along the Texas-Mexico border have caused disruptions to US Border Patrol operations and put migrants at risk, raising concerns among officials in the Biden administration.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has defended his administration’s decision to place barriers in the Rio Grande to discourage illegal immigration from Mexico, but the United States Department of Justice sued the state last week.
As shown in a video broadcast to the city’s Facebook page on Tuesday, the Eagle Pass City Council voted unanimously to revoke an affidavit that authorized DPS troopers to pursue criminal trespass statutes in Shelby Park, a city-owned park along the Rio Grande.
Several attendees voiced their displeasure with DPS’s decision to transform the park into a “war zone” by placing concertina wire and shipping containers along the Rio Grande during the meeting’s comment session, with one person declaring, “We want our park back.”
Etter also notes that some Texas DPS troopers’ border attire is causing confusion because it is similar in colour to the uniforms worn by the US Border Patrol. In his words, “Most of our clients believe that they are presenting themselves to immigration officers,” Etter explains that this is the case.
Etter claims that some of her clients were informed before their detention, “Don’t worry, you’re going to be reunited in immigration custody.” But Etter claims the truth is considerably worse. Her male clients are typically detained in repurposed state prisons that are cut off from contact with their families who are being held in immigration detention centres.
According to Etter, this represents a change in border policy for the Texas DPS. Even while the government has admitted that family separations are occurring, it has not responded to CNN’s inquiries on the apparent adjustment in policy.
“There have been instances in which DPS has arrested male migrants on state charges who were with their family when the alleged crime occurred. Children and their mothers were never separated, but instead turned over to the US Border Patrol together,” Texas DPS Communications Chief Travis Considine said in a statement.
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CNN has contacted DPS to inquire as to the number of families split up due to the state’s border effort. The Houston Chronicle was the first to break this story. Etter adds that the families who have been separated can still seek refuge under federal law notwithstanding the criminal trespass arrests.
“It’s essentially a very harsh and cruel detour in the asylum process, but one that is not an obstacle because our clients have been able to request asylum, and many of our clients have been released back into the country and are able to then reunite with their families at some point,” Etter said.
Asylum-seeker lawyers in the immigration system are also seeking to learn how many families have been torn apart.
Amrutha Jindal, chief defence at the Lubbock Private Defenders Office, told CNN, “We’re trying to figure out what we can do to support these families in their reunification efforts.” More than 10,000 asylum seekers have been represented by the NGO since July 2021, when they won a state grant to do so in response to Operation Lone Star.
Since June, Jindal claims that over 500 migrants had been detained in Shelby Park. “A portion of them we know to be (from) family units” that have been separated, Jindal said, “and it is likely that there are even more family units that have been separated that we don’t yet know about.”
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