Omaha, NE (KMTV) -- - Statistics released by the Department of Justice show new cases in U.S. Immigration Court for the first half of 2017 almost equaled the entire total in 2016. A metro attorney says the examples of deportations are egregious.
In 2014, an immigrant father named Juan from Guatemala and his son came to the United States across the border in Mexico. They were legally allowed entry into the U.S. under asylum even though the father had been deported before.
Immigration attorney Tom Campbell says Juan was picked up on an unrelated misdemeanor charge, which has since been dismissed, but was deported back to his home country. Now, the 15-year-old son is a ward of DHHS and the court is figuring out where he should live in Dodge County Juvenile Court.
The Department of Justice says in the fiscal year of 2016, 239,000 new “Notice to Appear" cases were filed in U.S. Immigration Court. From January - June 2017 that number was almost matched with 219,000 new NTA cases.
Campbell says ICE agents are becoming more aggressive and sending parentless kids through the foster system is spending taxpayer money for no reason.
"Our tax money is essentially being wasted,” Campbell explained. "Whether it’s the public defender, the county attorney, DHHS, the court; four different agencies I just named have to provide services unnecessarily in this situation that the government essentially created or let the father come in legally and then simply deported him even though nothing really changed in his situation."
The 15-year-old stated in court for the last 4 months he stayed with a friend of his father’s, and is now staying with his uncle. The court and DHHS will have to make sure that placement is fit for him in the future.
Omaha had 2,294 new NTA’s in fiscal year 2016. Omaha numbers for the first half of this fiscal year were not available yet.