The arrest by immigration agents of the mother and brother of a prominent DREAM Act activist during a raid at her Arizona home late last week unleashed a vigorous response on social media bringing new attention to one of the most controversial aspects of the Obama administration’s policies on deportation.
Acting on a deportation order from 1998, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested Maria Arreola, the mother of nationally known 24-year-old activist Erika Andiola, at the family’s Mesa home. She was handcuffed in front of her daughter and teenage son. When her 35-year-old son began to ask him questions, they detained him as well. After being seized, they could have been sent back to Mexico in a matter of hours, but Obama administration officials moved quickly to undo the arrests.
The arrests sparked an outcry among activists who say the case spotlights a disconnect between President Barack Obama’s policies and the immigration officers responsible for enforcing them. The reaction offered the Obama administration a taste of what it might expect when it gets into the thick of the debate over an immigration overhaul, which Congress is expected to tackle this year.
Contradictory policies have already made themselves evident since the start of the year. The administration changed its rules to make it easier for some undocumented immigrants to access visas if they have close relatives who are US citizens. A few days later, it was revealed that the nation spends more money on enforcing immigration than on all other federal criminal law enforcement combined. The administration insists that ICE only pursues high priority criminal cases, but immigrants with low priority cases—like driving without a license infraction—constantly face deportation. Meanwhile, undocumented young people have formed groups like Dream Activist which often fights on a case-by-case basis to help bring attention to low priority cases.
Another change directs ICE officials to place priority on arresting, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants who are deemed dangerous because of their criminal backgrounds rather than going after those with clean records and long ties to the U.S.
At Alcock & Associates, our immigration attorneys will review your case for free. We are always completely honest and realistic with our clients. We will carefully explain what legal remedies are available to you and your family. Call 602-989-5000 today!!!
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