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US Pushes Mexico to Deport Children Fleeing Central America. By Roger Algase

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The US is not only rushing to deport Central American children seeking refuge from gang violence and poverty in their countries as quickly as possible, but it is also pushing Mexico to deport more women and children back to Central America to make sure that they never arrive at the US border at all. This interference in Mexico's immigration policies comes despite the fact that, at least the last time I checked, Mexico was an independent, sovereign nation, responsible for enforcing its own laws.

See: Mexico deports record numbers of women and children in US-driven effort (February 4)

The Guardian writes:

"Record numbers of women and children fleeing violence and poverty in Central America were deported by Mexican Authorities last year, as part of US-driven operations to stem the flow of migrants reaching the American border.

More than 24,000 women were deported from Mexico in 2014 - double the number sent home in 2013. The upsurge in child detentions was even sharper - climbing 230 % to just over 23,000, Mexican interior ministry figures reveal."

The same article also says that the US Department of State is spending $86 million to help Mexico patrol its southern border.

Certainly, one can understand that it may be worth $86 million of US taxpayers' money to the Obama administration to protect itself from more women and children who are only trying to escape from intolerable conditions at home by seeking refuge in this Land of the Free and Nation of immigrants.

But couldn't that same money be better spent trying to fight against the people who really want to do harm to America? If the State Department can't think of any people who pose a greater danger to America than innocent Central American women and children, some of our officials might want to take a glance at the headlines describing the latest barbaric ISIS executions and ask themselves if $86 million might not be helpful in dealing with that far more serious threat to our borders and our security instead.

And what kind of legal precedent does this set? It is one thing to ask the assistance of foreign countries in enforcing our own immigration laws, such as by providing police or other security related information about individuals who might wish to enter the US or groups which they might belong to.

But forcing another sovereign nation to change the way it enforces its own immigration laws in order to suit America's immigration priorities and policies could result in extending our own immigration laws beyond our borders to encompass the entire globe.

How many other countries will the US pressure or bribe to deport people now living in or seeking to enter those nations on the grounds that they might later try to come to the US from those countries? Will we try to force other nations to change their own immigration laws to conform to our laws, so that every country in the world will bar entry to or expel people who would inadmissible to or deportable from the United States for one reason or another?

What about Canada, for example, which has a 3,000 mile, highly porous border with the US? Will the United States try to dictate to our northern neighbor which immigration laws to enact or enforce, and which immigrants it should allow into its own territory or which ones it should deport, on the grounds that anyone admitted to or legally residing in Canada might later try to enter the US, despite being unwanted or undesirable according to our immigration laws?

Will the US not only become the policeman of the world, but its immigration inspector and deportation officer as well?

Or, from another angle, should America try to force other countries to impose irrational and self-defeating restrictions on the number of highly skilled foreign professional workers they can admit each year, as we have done with the annual cap on H-1B visas and our skilled worker immigrant visa backlogs?

In that way, the US could make sure that the rest of the world doesn't benefit from America's self-inflicted "brain drain".
_______________________________
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business, employment-based and family-based immigration law for more than 30 years.

Roger's practice is concentrated in H-1B and O-1 work visas, J-1 training visas, and green cards through extraordinary ability (EB-1) labor certification (PERM) and opposite sex or same sex marriage, among other immigration and citizenship cases. His email is algaselex@gmail.com

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Updated 02-05-2015 at 02:10 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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