U.S. to Allow Some Immigrant Deportees to Return Under Settlement

Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2014

Homeland security officials will not use threats and intimidation against immigrants facing possible deportation, and will allow some–perhaps thousands–with ties to Southern California to return under an agreement announced Wednesday.

The government admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, which came in response to an ACLU lawsuit filed last year, but it agreed to take several measures to protect migrants’ rights.

The agreement covers only Southern California, but some of the reforms in the deportation process are likely to be adopted nationwide, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

It was unclear how many people might be allowed to return under the agreement, but advocates estimated that it would be a small fraction of the 250,000 deported voluntarily from Southern California between 2009 and 2013, the period covered in the lawsuit.


“This is a historic settlement that will end a practice that tears families apart,” said Norma Chavez Peterson, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial counties.

In its lawsuit, the group alleged that federal agents in recent years had turned to intimidation, threats and misinformation to persuade immigrants in this country illegally to agree to voluntary deportation. Many deportees were longtime California residents with no serious criminal records who didn’t know that they could challenge their deportations in court, according to the lawsuit.

Among the reforms the settlement requires: Federal agents will be prohibited from using threats or pressure. They must advise people of their right to a hearing and provide them access to an informational hot line and a list of free legal service providers.

The settlement also calls for the United States to launch an outreach effort through Mexican media, aimed at informing deportees that they may be eligible to return if they are part of the settlement class.

Homeland security officials said in a statement that coercion and deception by the two agencies that handle most removal proceedings, ICE and Customs and Border Protection, are “not tolerated.”

“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,” the statement read.

The class of deportees who qualify for repatriation is limited mainly to longtime California residents with relatives who are U.S. citizens and to young migrants whose parents brought them into the country illegally.

The number of repatriations could reach into the hundreds or thousands, said Sean Riordan, senior staff attorney at the ACLU office in San Diego. All of those repatriated are potentially subject to deportation proceedings when they return.


Critics called the settlement the latest in a series of policy shifts from the Obama administration designed to appease migrant rights groups. Some border agents dispute allegations of widespread abuse, saying homeland security officials are undermining their mission by allowing deportees to return to the U.S.

“At every turn, they’re tying our hands,” said Gabe Pacheco, a spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing border patrol agents.


Among those represented in the ACLU lawsuit was a grandmother who was deported after being arrested at a bus stop and allegedly tricked into signing an English form that she couldn’t read. One man said he was falsely told that his visa petition had been lost.

Many others weren’t informed that once they left the U.S. voluntarily, they would be barred from returning for 10 years, the ACLU said.


Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • MekongDelta69

    DHS ‘spokesthing’:
    C’mon down. You’re the next contestant on the “Price Is Right”.

  • Sure, I can really imagine the Feds were fighting as hard as they could in this lawsuit. Can’t be much of a lawsuit when the plaintiffs and the defendant both have the same agenda.

    Someone tell me how we’re going to vote our way out of this.

  • 1stworlder

    More lawfare that was decided before suing.

  • Hobson’s choice, it’s called–no real choice at all. I’m against illegals remaining in the former USA, but I’m also against police state bullying tactics by any law enforcement agency.

    My friend Mountain Republic posted a piece on his blog yesterday about all the cop shootings of family pets. Once the cops get away with crossing the line even a little, there’s enough bad ones you have to worry about YOUR safety.

    The problem in this case is that we have no real proof the cops were bullying and tricking people. They deny it, according to this story. Thus, I am not going to take the word of a Mexican, a race of pathological liars, over that of the cops. It’s like the Border Patrol guy quoted in the story says–politics has run roughshod over law.

  • Can we now get the IRS to stop using intimidation when it comes to tax disputes and collection?

  • “This is a historic settlement that will end a practice that tears
    families apart,” said Norma Chavez Peterson, executive director of the
    ACLU of San Diego and Imperial counties.

    Just deport the whole family, problem solved.

  • Man of the West

    Everyone deserves a second chance. These folks probably never had a real opportunity to get drunk and run over some kids. Or rape some Anglo woman. Or get their first EBT card. No chance at all. Nice to see someone is taking care of them.

  • dd121

    When it comes to illegals who are not here legally or staying too long, there’s no such thing as “immigrant rights”/

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      Strange, isn’t it?

      Illegal aliens illegally deport themselves and are then called back to live illegally again in the U.S.

      But as the Rule of Law breaks down, nothing should surprise me any longer.

      Sometimes it’s tough to be a part of a decaying, collapsing society that is heading straight toward anarchy and chaos.

      • dd121

        Funny, everything seems normal. The building still stands and the lights work. But there are scores of people who are standing around the foundation with high pressure hoses thinking they’re doing a wonderful service by blowing out the foundation. It’s all coming down,.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    An ACLU official has indicated that there were nearly 250,000 people who were ‘deported voluntarily from Southern California between 2009 and 2013’ and estimated that the ‘number of repatriations could reach into the hundreds or thousands.’

    This is a way for the government to grant amnesty, but disguise it as a court settlement.

    Will reparations be paid to them too?

    U.S. government agreement with ACLU allowing some deportees to return covers only Southern California

    This should coincide well with calls to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $13.25/hour…

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti marked Labor Day on Monday by proposing a minimum wage increase for workers in LA, to $13.25 an hour.

    …as businesses continue to flee the state:

    Joseph Vranich an expert on corporate relocations, has counted more than 200 major companies with tens of thousands of employees that have left the Golden State over the last four years. Companies are ‘disinvesting’ in California at a rate five times greater than just two year. This includes leaving altogether, establishing divisions elsewhere or opting not to set up shop in California.

  • libertarian1234

    There are only two things that will stop the community organizer from encouraging third world inundation. The first is an open armed rebellion by a large portion of the white population, and the second is for ISIS cells to cross the Rio Grande and commit numerous acts of terrorism throughout this country, aided by their tribesmen who are already here.

  • willbest

    Apparently the A in ACLU stands for American continents not United States of America

  • kenfrombayside

    The reason for this invasion is simple: most Americans remain silent, don’t vote, and spend a disproportionate amount of time engaged doing nothing, like watching NFL football. Contact your US Rep and 2 Senators; get to the polls to vote against the traitorous demRATS; return fundraising letters saying you will not give until the border is sealed and our unique Anglo heritage saved; prepare your meals and do your own gardening; go to NUMBERSUSA to send faxes to our alleged leaders; and join real immigration reform groups such as FAIR. Our enemies are at war with us, and we have to fight back. If you say or do nothing, you are part of the problem.

  • tancred guiscard

    Police at all levels are allowed to threaten and decieve us citizens, why not foreign invaders? Why are they have any rights at all? Immigration farce at its best…

  • mobilebay

    When the President of Mexico declared on his recent visit that “This is Mexico,” he was correct. We were surrendered to that sewer of a country many years ago. The war it declared on us has escalated yearly. We have not been conquered by tanks and weaponry – only by people who’ve broken in, colonized and set about reproducing to outnumber us. Why hasn’t anyone replied to the Mexican president? Is there no one in our government who will stand up and denounce Mexico’s evil rantings? Illegal immigration, which consists primarily of people from south of our border, is a national disaster and the worst calamity to happen within our county.