Immigration lawyers wait for direction to help reunite families

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There’s a call for lawyers to volunteer to help some of the families separated at the border, but there is also no clear direction on how to unite the families within 30 days.

Even with the federal court order to reunite the families separated, some immigration attorneys say it’s not as easy as it sounds because there is no direction.

“We have no idea what it is that we’re supposed to do, even as attorneys because there are no rules,” said Antonio Williams, a private practice Immigration Lawyer.

The process to unify families remains unclear.

“The only option we have is to go to the ICE window and beg them to recognize the decision that’s made,” said Williams. “There is no guidance from immigration and customs enforcement on how they are going to make that happen or even if they are going to honor the request.”

Williams said attorneys will continue to ask for their clients to be released until the parents are reunited with their children.

“Usually what they tell us is ‘We don’t have any direction. We don’t know how to honor your request. Just make it and we’ll get back to you.’ So it’s a really challenging time,” said Williams.

Meanwhile, organizations that provide legal services, like Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, are asking for lawyers who sign up to help to be on stand by.

“If we’re able to set them up right away, we are. If not, we’re asking them to put their names on a list. We’re asking people to be patient with us. We’re going to need your help. It might not be right away,” said Linda Rivas with Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center.

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center is looking for volunteers and monetary donations.

The Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services is looking for volunteers and monetary donations.

Texas Civil Rights Project is looking for volunteers and Spanish speaking lawyers.

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