DHS Use of Coercion
Immigrant Rights Organizations File Complaint With DHS Over Coercive and Illegal Tactics
August 23, 2018
Of the more than 2,500 children who were separated from their parents due to the Trump Administration's "zero tolerance" policy on border crossers, close to 550 children have yet to be reunified and an estimated 463 of their parents are no longer in the United States. In the wake of this disastrous policy, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General and Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. The lawsuit details coercive tactics used by government officials, including case examples and original testimony from separated parents that document a pervasive and illegal practice by DHS officials of strong-arming mothers and fathers into signing documents they may not have understood, ostensibly waiving their legal rights, including their right to be reunified with their children. These tactics, according to AILA and the Council, impeded these parents' ability to meaningfully participate in the asylum process.