As of Monday, the United States has begun sending deportation notices to 78,000 migrants who allegedly crossed the U.S.-Mexico border this year without authorization. Many of the recipients are families with children.
The dispatch effort is called “Operation Horizon” and will put tens of thousands of people who received “ad hoc” processing on the border into deportation proceedings. All who are served will need to show up before an immigration judge, who will then determine whether they will be allowed to stay in the country.
Catching Up on “Notices to Appear” from March 2021
According to border officials, these 78,000 deportation notices are delayed from March 2021. A migrant will usually receive a notice to appear in court after a border crossing, rather than being rapidly deported or held in a detention center. The judge can then issue a deportation order if they fail to appear for court.
However, in March 2021, border officials say that they didn’t have the resources to provide every migrant with a notice to appear. They instead issued “notices to report” to an ICE office wherever their destination was.
Now, they’re demanding that the 78,000 deportation notice recipients report to an ICE office to take photos, give fingerprints, and potentially receive an ankle bracelet to “ensure their compliance”; action will be taken against those who do not respond in time. Immigrant advocates are already concerned that the packets will be sent to addresses where the recipient does not live, almost guaranteeing that they will be unable to advocate for themselves.
The National Immigrant Justice Center has demanded that ICE publicly issue guidance to require prosecutors to prove that migrants actually received their packets, so migrants who never received them won’t be wrongfully prosecuted.
Seek Help from a New Jersey Immigration Law Firm
The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett Esq., P.C. is here to help. If you have questions about your deportation case—whether it targets you or a loved one—speak with us in a confidential consultation. We can discuss your legal options, how we can intervene in the removal process, and what can be done to keep your family together.