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Immigration concerns as families fail to report

As a state affected by the massive immigration of young families into the country earlier in the year, Florida is dealing with its share of the individuals who have been released into communities. Although those released have been instructed to report to immigration agents, representatives of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have noted that only 30 percent have followed through. Reports were made confidentially as ICE met with advocates who are working on policy development, but an audio recording of the meeting in question was obtained.

Reports do not clarify the number of immigrants released with such instructions. However, it is estimated that more than 40,000 may have failed to comply with the requirement to report to immigration officials. Deportation has been directed for more than 800 of these individuals, but only 14 of these people have complied with orders to report since May. ICE has clarified that many individuals may be in the process of reporting and that many deportation cases are still in progress.

There has been no public comment from the administration on the numbers of Central Americans caught at the border who have been released. Neither has there been official information about the numbers released with directions to report back to agents within a 15-day period. Meanwhile, plans are in progress for opening additional detention facilities, a concern of advocates who believe that this may punish some who might be eligible for asylum. Advocates have also expressed concern over clear communication of reporting requirements.

An individual who has been released and who has not reported may be concerned that failure to comply will affect the opportunity to win asylum. In such a case, it may be important to work with an immigration attorney to help overcome this issue.

Source: ABC News, "US: Immigrant Families Fail to Report to Agents", Alicia A. Caldwell, September 25, 2014

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