Immigrant children held in detention

Do You Know Why Our Immigration System Needs To Be Transformed?

Immigrant children held in detention
Immigrant children held in detention

When you get help from the exceptional staff at Donnelly and Associates, we do everything we can to make sure you and your family gain legal rights to live and work in the United States. With over thirty years of experience as immigration law specialists, we have a thorough understanding of the reasons why individuals sometimes fail to get their green cards.

So many individuals come to the United States to escape persecution, systemic poverty, chronic malnutrition, gang violence and the fear that their children are destined for violence and pain. Oftentimes, these immigrants are uneducated, but they know there is a better way, a path that leads to hope and success for their children and grandchildren. Therefore, they make incredible sacrifices and gamble on a dangerous journey to the United States, where they believe their children actually have a chance to thrive. They flee here, sometimes running from direct, immediate threats of abuse, murder or rape.

But when they arrive, we do not let them rest. We do not welcome them or assure them that they are finally safe. Instead, we send them – and their children – straight to detention (immigrant jail). Or, we allow them to stay with a relative, but we demand that they show up in a court where they don’t speak the language to prove that they have the right to be here. As this story below from Fox News attests, this system is a failure:

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrant women and children streamed across the U.S. border last year seeking asylum and protected status, claiming a “credible fear” of going home to the violence in Central America. President Obama addressed the crisis through increased border enforcement, more detention beds, more immigration judges and pressure on political leaders in their home countries.

But a year later, new data obtained exclusively by Fox News shows… the majority aren’t even showing up for court. Statistics released by the Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review show 84 percent of those adults with children who were allowed to remain free pending trial did not show up, and fewer than 4 percent deported themselves voluntarily.  

This information underscores the dilemma facing immigration officials. While the ACLU and more than 100 lawmakers on Capitol Hill want to close federal detention centers, which they consider inhumane and unacceptable on legal and moral grounds, releasing the women and children to relatives and charities virtually guarantees they will fall off the federal government’s radar.

Why aren’t immigrants showing up for their trials? Because they are still scared. These people, who were willing to take such major risks to protect their families, are not willing to risk a hearing where they could be granted legal status. Some say this no-show rate means that these immigrants don’t have valid reasons for credible fear of living in their home countries. Our vast experience as immigration attorneys tells us the opposite. They are so scared of returning home that they cannot take the risk of going to court.

Our system is in need of practical transformation. Our system forces these individuals who come to this country with intentions we would all agree with (protecting their children) to prove their fear, in a foreign language, oftentimes with little or no resources, and limited understanding of our justice system. Instead of continuing to persecute them, what if we invested in them? What if, instead of spending so much money on detention or deportation costs, we invested in job placement or entrepreneurship classes? What if we simply said, “We believe you. We understand that you felt threatened. How can we work together so that you can create a better future while also contributing to our country?”

At Donnelly and Associates, we understand why individuals may feel afraid to go to court and face an immigration judge. We get it. However, when you hire us, our job is to guide you and speak for you, giving you the best possible chance of living in this country without having to spend your whole life living in the shadows, fearing deportation or separation from your family. You either choose to follow the law, with our help, and gain the freedoms and rights of a legal American resident, or you choose to hide and forgo many of the very opportunities that attracted you to this country in the first place.

When you choose Donnelly and Associates, we stand with you in front of the immigration judge. We make sure all of your paperwork is filled out properly. We give you the confidence and courage you need to fight for your own freedom and for the unity of your family in a court of law. Please, do not compromise your future by failing to take the advice of our highly experienced immigration law firm. To gain everything you want by living in the United States, you must follow the proper procedures, using an immigration attorney who can make the process streamlined and successful.

We are working to create a system that better understands the needs of immigrants who are seeking asylum. In the meantime, we are here to help by advising you and representing you in court. We are here for you, any time you are ready. Our expert team has an excellent record of victories, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to serve you. Please contact us today with your questions or to make an appointment for a free consultation.

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