Federal Departments Accused of Setting 'Trap' for Undocumented Immigrants Seeking Residency Through Their Spouse - NECN
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Federal Departments Accused of Setting 'Trap' for Undocumented Immigrants Seeking Residency Through Their Spouse

Emails between ICE agents and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees plotting the arrests were included in court records released Monday

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    ACLU Says ICE Is Setting Up Traps for Immigrants

    The ACLU is claiming federal agencies are setting up traps to deport immigrants.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018)

    Two federal departments are accused of setting a "trap" to detain and deport undocumented immigrants who sought a path to citizenship via their spouses immediately after they concluded marriage interviews at government offices.

    Emails between ICE agents and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees plotting the arrests were included in court records released Monday.

    The exchanges showed that the interviews were allegedly scheduled at the convenience of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to make arrests immediately after the couples finished interviews to deem their marriages legitimate.

    One email references an ICE agent’s desire to space out the arrests as opposed to making them all at once in an effort to refrain from triggering "negative media interests."

    Lawsuit Alleges US Illegally Separates Immigrant Families

    [NECN] ACLU of Mass. Files Class Action Lawsuit Alleging US Illegally Separates Immigrant Families

    Lawsuit is on behalf of immigrants subject to removal orders who have been or fear being separated from the U.S.-citizen spouses when they're detained. Among them is Lilian Calderon of Rhode Island who was held when she appeared for a routine interview at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to discuss her marriage.

    (Published Wednesday, April 11, 2018)

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of the separated couples. The complaint was filed in April on behalf of five immigrants and their citizen spouses.

    Government officials filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit as well as temporary relief for the immigrants involved in the case.

    In January, Lilian Calderon was arrested outside of a Rhode Island USCIS office after she concluded an interview to confirm her marriage to her U.S. citizen husband.

    The lawsuit states Calderon was taken to a detention center in Boston, where she was separated from her husband and two children for almost a month.

    Also in January, Lucimar de Souza and her husband attended a marriage interview to seek legal status for de Souza. Although officials deemed their marriage legitimate, she was detained after the interview for three months, according to the ACLU.

    Both women were released from the detention center following legal action by the ACLU of Massachusetts. The immigrants involved in the lawsuit have been given final orders of removal from the country, despite their marriage to U.S. citizens.

    ICE has acknowledged that they detained a total of 17 people in New England at government offices, and ACLU lawyers say some immigrants have already been deported.

    A hearing is scheduled to be held Aug. 20 in U.S. District Court in Boston on the government's motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

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