The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected to allow thousands of illegal immigrant deportees to return to the U.S., so long as they have ties to Southern California. Taxpayers will additionally fund a media campaign in Mexico, alerting deportees that they may be eligible to come back to the United States.
An agreement outlining the new settlement was announced in late August, according to the Los Angeles Times. The plan, which only applies to Southern California, was reportedly drawn up in response to a lawsuit that was filed last year by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) relating to the rights of illegal immigrants.
The Times reported that an unknown fraction of the some 250,000 previously-deported illegal immigrants will be allowed to come back to the country under the new plan.
Under the settlement, Border Patrol agents will be required to inform illegal immigrants of their right to fight deportation in the U.S. court system. Agents also must “provide them access to an informational hot line and a list of free legal service providers,” the Times reported.
A taxpayer-funded “outreach effort” will also be launched through Mexican media outlets. The ad campaigns will inform deportees that they might be eligible to come back to the United States.
Many believe the agreement will soon be adopted by areas around the nation.
The ACLU said in its lawsuit that illegal immigrants were being intimidated and threatened by federal agents. The group alleged that such treatment unfairly caused illegals to agree to leave the country, without informing them of their rights to challenge deportation in court.
The director of San Diego’s ACLU reportedly said, “This is a historic settlement that will end a practice that tears families apart.”
The DHS said in a statement, “In an effort to address the issues raised in this litigation, both agencies have agreed to supplement their existing procedures to ensure that foreign nationals fully comprehend the potential consequences of returning voluntarily to Mexico.”
Breitbart Texas Contributing Editor and border security expert Sylvia Longmire pointed out that “some of the concessions being made by the U.S. government in this agreement are appalling. The agreement is limited to voluntary removals that occurred only in Southern California for now, but as word of this agreement spreads – and as the concessions spread to removals made in other border sectors – the floodgates will open once more.”
“Some may say that justice is being served to the Border Patrol for using these tactics in the first place,” Longmire continued. “However, the overall negative impact of this agreement on our already floundering immigration system and morale of agents who have been doing things by-the-book will be hard to recover from.”
It is notable that what the ACLU asserted are mere allegations; according to the Times, some Border Patrol agents deny the alleged abuse. Many feel that the new settlement will undermine their National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) spokesperson Gabe Pacheco said to the Times, “At every turn, they’re tying our hands.”