HONDURAN PARENTS DEPORTED WITHOUT THEIR CHILDREN DEMAND IMMEDIATE FAMILY REUNIFICATION
6 YEAR-OLD BOY AND 16 YEAR-OLD GIRL DETAINED FOR THREE MONTHS MUST BE RETURNED TO THEIR PARENTS
Boston, MA – Today, two Honduran families deported from the United States without their children demanded the immediate release of their kids from federal detention facilities in Texas and New York. The children, ages six and 16, have been held away from their families for three months. The families have had limited contact with their detained children, and there is no date certain for the children’s release or reunification. The harm to these children is compounding daily, and the families are terrified and unsure about their children’s future.
The families have retained DLA Piper and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice to secure the release of their children.
The demand letter, addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other officials, comes on the heels of the Lawyers’ Committee’s travel to Honduras where they met with parents deported from the United States without their children.
The letter details the harrowing experience of these humble families fleeing extreme poverty and inhumane conditions in Honduras. It describes families who arrived at the U.S. border in desperation, voluntarily surrendering themselves to immigration officials, and experiencing harsh and unlawful treatment at the hands of the federal government. The children were immediately separated from their parents. The parents were coerced into self-deporting to secure their children’s release – something that never materialized.
The six year-old boy is scheduled to appear in immigration court alone – without adult supervision or legal counsel – on September 27, 2018.
The 16 year-old girl was told she would not be reunited with her parents until at least October 2018.
“When we met with these affected families in Honduras, we were able to see the tremendous human cost of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border. Breaking apart immigrant families and prolonging their separation is unlawful and unjust. This injustice reverberates all the way to small, poverty-stricken rural villages in Honduras where families are desperate to be reunited with their children,” said Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice.
The letter gives the government 72 hours to respond and to begin the family reunification process.
The families are represented by a team of lawyers including Robert Sherman and Yasmin Ghassab of the DLA Piper Boston office and Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal and Oren Nimni of the Lawyers’ Committee.
Learn more about these two Honduran families on WBUR: http://www.wbur.org/news/2018/08/16/desperate-to-be-reunited-with-their-children-parents-place-their-hope-in-a-strangerLetter to AG of US