A judge today temporarily blocked the federal government from deporting four families who fled violence to seek asylum in the United States. The government was cleared to move forward with the deportations after the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week refused to hear a case on the matter. With today’s order, the four children and their mothers will not be deported while they continue fighting to get asylum in the U.S.
While pressing the Department of Homeland Security to stop detaining families when they come to the U.S. seeking asylum, Amnesty International recently launched a campaign to release the four families, who have been held for more than 500 days at Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania.
“It’s immoral and unlawful to lock up mothers and their young children and then deport them without ever giving their asylum claims a full hearing, but that’s what the U.S. government is trying to do to these four families and countless others,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “These families have come to this country fleeing unimaginable violence, and under longstanding international agreements the U.S. has to respect their human rights while hearing their cases. This ruling is obviously a huge relief for these four families in the short term, but the Department of Homeland Security must immediately change its policies and stop detaining families seeking asylum.”