For people in Florida dealing with the immigration system, immigration detention can be a particularly troubling concern. This is especially true as reports come in that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is detaining 52,398 immigrants, a record-breaking number that exceeds the number of detention places that Congress already agreed to fund for the year. The administration of President Donald Trump has widely publicized immigration crackdowns, and that rhetoric is reflected in the reality of detention for the largest number of people in the history of ICE.
Facing the threat of removal, or deportation, can be terrifying. Whether ICE detained you or a family member, you may fear your lack of options to stay in Florida and face uncertainty about what to expect of the process to come.
Florida residents may be aware that the Trump administration is engaged in a contentious legal battle with civil rights groups over its 'Remain in Mexico" policy. The policy requires asylum seekers from Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua to wait in Mexico until their claims can be heard. Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union say the policy violates international treaties and U.S. law, but the courts have so far backed the president.
In the past, Cubans were generally allowed to live and work in Florida without much trouble. However, that policy is starting to change, and it has resulted in Cuban nationals being deported or not allowed to enter the United States at all. One man was taken into custody upon returning to Miami after his honeymoon. He was a permanent resident and had been in the United States since he was a child.
Florida residents may be aware that the Trump administration is involved in a protracted legal battle with civil rights groups over the plight of Central American immigrants at the Mexican border who are seeking asylum in the United States. President Trump has referred to the situation as a national emergency and ordered asylum seekers who cross the border returned to Mexico to wait for a hearing. That policy was brought to a halt on April 8 by a federal judge in California, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed the ruling on May 7 with a decision that surprised many pundits.
Since Trump took office, ICE has been more aggressive in its pursuit of illegal immigrants without criminal backgrounds. More families have been split apart. More immigrants face lengthy detentions. And more people have taken extreme measures in the face of deportation.
In a new memorandum sent to the U.S. attorney general and acting homeland security secretary, the Trump Administration ordered an overhaul to the asylum system that would include a fee for migrants seeking protection in Florida and other states. The administration claims that the current system is being abused by a surge of migrants who are overwhelming federal resources. Authorities have been given 90 days to find a solution that processes all applications within 180 days of filing.