Who You’re Helping
Yasmin: LSSP helped Yasmin apply for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and a U-Visa to stabilize her immigration status. Yasmin was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. with her mother looking for a better life as a child. Her father abandoned her at birth. When she was 13, Yasmin was forcibly raped by a neighbor. She had a child as a result of that rape. Her mother was not supportive of her during this traumatic time. Yasmin is now living with an elderly neighbor trying to finish school and raise her daughter.
Katherine: LSSP helped Katherine get asylum through the Safe Child Immigrant Child Project (SCIP) after she came to the U.S. to join her family, fleeing abuse in El Salvador. Without an attorney representing her in immigration court, Katherine, like so many unaccompanied immigrant children, would have been sent back to the danger she fled. Thanks to LSSP, she and her family are safe. She wants to continue studying in school. When she arrived, she could barely write her name. She couldn’t read. And now she’s learning English.
Genesis: Genesis came to the U.S. when she was 9 hoping to reunite with her mother. Through LSSP’s pro bono program, legal staff from Duke Energy spent two years working to help her mother get permanent custody and stabilized Genesis’ immigration status.
The immigrant community in North Carolina has been greatly impacted by the new administration’s immigration enforcement guidelines and procedures since implementation of the new administration’s Executive Orders.
Although much attention has been focused on refugees from Syria and building of the border wall, the orders have also directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement harsh immigration enforcement nationwide, with particularly harsh effects on unaccompanied immigrant children escaping violence in Central America.
LSSP’s Immigrant Justice Program assists many of the unaccompanied children who cross Mexico from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, to seek a better life or reunite with loved ones in the U.S.
None of these children would be able to present their case in immigration court without an attorney, and all would be returned to their home countries, many to severe danger of physical harm and some to their death. Current enforcement guidelines have specific provisions that would deprive these children of the opportunity to present their claims in immigration court, and will result in serious harm to many children.
The uncertainty of each day is terrifying.
Legal Services of Southern Piedmont provides legal screening, advice and representation to immigrant children and their families, who are vulnerable in our community. We are committed to protecting immigrants from violence and exploitation and upholding their human rights.
1. An end to long-standing protections for children. DHS will deny many children arriving alone at our border basic protections and penalize their parents for seeking to reunite with their children in the United States. They will do this by narrowing the definition of “unaccompanied alien child” in order to limit those protections and by launching either civil or criminal enforcement against the parents.
2. A massive expansion of detention. DHS is contemplating a massive expansion of detention, including a requirement that DHS officers detain nearly everyone they apprehend at or near the border. This detention space expansion means that more children and families seeking protection in the United States will be detained, at a great financial and human cost.
3. Prosecution priorities and discretion are gone. The new policy rescinds earlier policies on whom to prosecute and deport and whom to de-prioritize because they pose no threat to our communities. The new enforcement priorities are extremely broad, covering nearly all undocumented individuals in the United States. They even include individuals simply charged or suspected of having committed crimes, without a conviction.
4. Creation of a deportation force. The memos order the hiring of 5,000 additional Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and 10,000 additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. They direct a massive expansion of 287(g)—a law that allows DHS to deputize state and local law enforcement officers to perform the functions of immigration agents. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department participates in this voluntary program. And, they reinstate Secure Communities and terminate the Priority Enforcement Program, which expand the ways in which local police collaborate with ICE.
5. Plans to bypass immigration courts and short-circuit due process. Many people in the interior of the country – not just those at the border – could be subject to expedited deportation without going before a judge, the details of which DHS said will be forthcoming in a notice in the Federal Register. This expansion of “expedited removal,” will allow the government to bypass the backlogged immigration courts in order to deport people rapidly and with little-to-no due process.
Ways You Can Help
There’s a lot of work to do at Legal Services of Southern Piedmont. And while we can’t control everything that is happening in Washington D.C., we can reaffirm our mission
to pursue justice for all people in need and YOU can help us.
- Make an investment in our work
– Purchase an item on our Amazon Wishlist
– Select LSSP as your charity of choice while shopping on Amazon Smile
- Host a fundraiser on our behalf
– Contact Brittney Coleman at email@example.com for more details
- Attend our outreach events on immigration and other policy issues affecting our community
– Community Conversation on Immigration in Charlotte with LSSP attorney Heather Ziemba, March 29, 6 p.m. Myers Park Baptist Church
- Attend our upcoming Justice For All Breakfast
- Connect with LSSP to stay informed
– On Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube
- Sign up for Newsletters and Action Alerts
Interior Immigration Enforcement
Immigration Enforcement Along the Borders
Executive Order Restricting Refugee Admissions and Admission of Citizens from Certain Designated Countries ( “Travel Ban” Executive Order)