Guardians Or Sponsors Of Undocumented Immigrants At Risk For Criminal Charges

Sep 13, 2017

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent arresting a suspect.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Relatives of undocumented immigrants are at risk for being charged criminally if they sponsor or take them into their homes.

As ProPublica reports, over 400 people were arrested this summer as part of what Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, calls a crackdown on guardians who pay human smugglers, also known as "coyotes."

Of those arrested, some admit to paying “coyotes” to reunite them with their young children, while others are either relatives who agreed to take in young relatives after they traveled to the U.S. on their own or people who just happened to be at the house when ICE arrived.

Under the Obama Administration, ICE was instructed not to go after people who came forward to claim relatives, even if they were in the U.S. illegally. And guardians were assured there was no reason for them to fear revealing themselves to authorities. That policy has been reversed under the Trump Administration, which says it’s less of a policy change than a commonsensical return to the enforcement of existing immigration laws.