Amidst the immigration-related tensions among Americans come a ray of sunshine for immigrants’ advocates. Up to 2,700 children in Central America with parents living under protected status in the United States will be reunited according to a court ruling.
The ruling was the result of a lawsuit filed by 12 parent and children applicants to the Central American Minors program and CASA, an immigrant advocacy group. The program, which was closed in 2017, gave children from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras the right to join their parents in the United States.
The lawsuit, which was filed against the government, basically challenged the cancellation of the Central American Minors program by President Donald Trump.
Last March 2019, a judge in the United States District Court in San Francisco, California ruled in favor of the children and parent applicants. According to the ruling, the applications must be processed according to the requirements of the law.
The government was directed to finish processing the applications of children who were already in the final stages of the process.
According to one of the parents, she had spent thousands of dollars on plane tickets for her daughter and grandson’s transfer to the United States when the government cancelled the program. She added that her “heart jumps and cries for joy” because there are many who have to escape danger.
Indeed, many of the parents were forced to flee their home countries to escape violence, conflicts and natural disasters.
The lawyer at the International Refugee Assistance Project, Linda Evarts, asserted: “We are so pleased that after many years apart our clients will finally have the opportunity to reunite with each other in safety.”
While the issue of immigration has been a polarizing topic for Americans, especially in recent years, the contributions immigrants made and continues to make to the American economy cannot be denied.
Currently, almost 14% of the U.S. population were born overseas. The rate of foreign-born population widely varies between the states, too.
In certain parts of the Midwest and Southeast, for example, the rate is at 5%. In several states like Florida, California, New York, and New Jersey, it’s more than 20%.
The Trump administration has taken a less favorable stand on the immigration issue. He has, for example, cut off aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador last month. His intention was to encourage their governments to effectively address – or totally stop – their citizens’ migration into the U.S.
President Trump has also strongly advocated the construction of a wall in the Mexican-American border as a deterrent against illegal migrants. His adamant stand on the issue resulted in a federal government shutdown, which reinforced the polarizing property of the migration issue.
The issue also came to a head on November 2018 when thousands of migrants from Central American arrived at the Mexico-U.S. border. The migrant caravan, as it was known, resulted in a wide range of problems for both countries, from providing the men, women and children with the basic essentials to preventing their crossing over into American soil.
The more than 7,000 Central American migrants travelled more than 2,500 miles from their home countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. They assert that their main reason for fleeing was to escape poverty, violence and poverty while many say they want to settle in the United States.
This despite multiple warnings from American officials about the possibility of arrest, prosecution and deportation for illegal migrants entering the country.
At the time, the migrants stayed in temporary shelters provided by the government and private organizations in Tijuana and Mexicali, which are border cities.
President Trump didn’t look favorably on the migrant caravan and, in fact, called it “an invasion” even before its first members reached the U.S.-Mexico border. He has also tweeted several times about the migrant caravans and, at some point, even accusing that there are “some very bad people” who are in it. He also warned that the U.S. military was “waiting” for the migrants.
By March 2019, the migrant caravans – there were also smaller groups that followed – that captured national attention and angered President Trump have apparently fizzled out. But it has definitely contributed to the continuing evolution of the political and social narrative surrounding immigration.
The large migrant caravans have also splintered into several smaller groups. According to a Department of Homeland Security official, there are over 10,000 undocumented migrants travelling toward the U.S.-Mexico border. Unlike the previous year, however, they aren’t apparently travelling in caravans.
But due to their dispersed numbers, the undocumented migrants are more “difficult to track”.
For the 12 children and parents from Central America who has won what may be considered a landmark decision, they can breathe a sigh of relief. Soon, they will be reunited and pursue the American Dream, if they so wish.