Newark, NJ- After another surge of immigrants at the Southern Border, U.S. immigration agencies will now get help processing and screening immigrants from Central American migrants who have not yet entered the U.S. The Obama Administration announced the new program on Tuesday, January 12, 2015, noting that the details are still being worked out.
In the announcement, the Obama administration said the United Nations will help set up temporary processing centers in several the Central American countries to house immigrants while their applications for refugee status are being processed. The aim of these processing centers is to give temporary safe haven to immigrants from countries where drug and gang violence is rampant, and vet migrants from Central America before they make the treacherous journey to the U.S. Immigration authorities hope to stem mass migration like the U.S. experienced in 2014.
The U.N. often helps countries experiencing a refugee crisis screen immigrants to determine if they qualify for refugee status. Thousands of immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will be vetted at these facilities and the U.N. will help determine if they qualify for asylum in the U.S. or, if these immigrants can be placed in another country in the region.
The New York Times reports that several Latin American countries are considering taking immigrants fleeing violence in their home country. It is unclear if the processing centers will be set up like refugee camps.
The announcement of this new program follows on the heels of highly-criticized immigration raids, which saw hundreds of Central Americans placed in removal proceedings in the first half of January. The Obama Administration said their agreement with the U.N. has been in the planning stages for several months and emphasized that the program is not a reaction to criticism from lawmakers angered by the wave of immigration raids in the first two weeks of this year.
The U.N. will use the same metrics as immigration authorities is the U.S. conducting background checks placing special emphasis on criminal background checks. According to the New York Times, processing agents will focus on identifying gang members who may be posing as refugees.
With the U.N. also processing U.S. asylum and immigration applications, there will be individuals who want to capitalize on the situation. Notarios, unqualified paralegals and other dishonest individuals pass themselves off as experts in immigration law, making promises that will never be fulfilled. In many cases these individuals have little to no legal education and have only a cursory knowledge of the available visas, opportunities for asylum and the immigration system as a whole. Beware of a notario, paralegal or other person who makes unrealistic promises. One of the many benefits of having the help of a lawyer is that they are well-versed in immigration law and can keep you from making a mistake that could jeopardize your immigration status.
If you are an immigrant seeking asylum or one of your loved ones are seeking asylum, I advise you to speak with an immigration attorney. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services requires you meet a stringent set of criteria to be granted refugee status or given asylum. The number of refugees accepted into the U.S. are capped at 85,000 each year, so it is critical you submit accurate applications and perform well in your asylum interview. If you’re wondering what to wear to improve your chances of granting access into America, you could always read an online blog like this one here to see if they can offer you any useful advice.
Immigration is a key part of my practice and many of my cases involve assisting immigrants in Newark, New Jersey and nearby areas with a wide range of immigration applications and issues. I won’t make you unrealistic promises, but I will work hard on your case and do all that I can to help you reach your goals.