Undocumented immigrant children in Massachusetts

We have heard concerns about the large number of undocumented children arriving daily in the United States.  A news story about planeloads of these children landing at Hanscom Air Force Base has made this of local interest and concern.

The statements are quotations below were derived from an article posted on June 17, 2014 in WickedLocalBedford, entitled Detainee Flights: Separating fact from fiction at Hanscom.

According to both Hanscom AFB and the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), while planes carrying undocumented immigrants did land within Bedford’s borders earlier this spring, other assertions in the article were not factual.  According to the officials, while five planes of detainees, under the jurisdiction of ICE, did land at Hanscom during the spring, none of the undocumented immigrants transported on them were ever housed at the base, nor have any been released.  The planes did not land on the Air Force base, but rather the Massachusetts Port Authority-run civilian airport.

No detainees were ever housed at Hancom AFB or released — they were transferred to waiting buses, where the individuals were then taken to area prison facilities used as regional detention facilities.  The detainees in the New England area are currently in ICE custody pending the outcome of their immigration proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review.  ICE officials say that the transfer of detainees from one ICE area of responsibility to another is part of the normal removal process and the transfers are completed via commercial, ICE-owned, and chartered aircraft and that the transfers occur on a daily basis across the country and for a variety of reasons.

“Non-U.S. citizens who are apprehended and determined to need custodial supervision are placed in detention facilities. Those who are released from secure custody constitute ERO’s “nondetained” docket. Every case, whether “detained” or “non-detained,” remains part of ERO’s caseload and is actively managed until it is formally closed. ERO processes and monitors detained and non-detained cases as they move through immigration court proceedings to conclusion. At that point, ERO executes the judge’s order.”

Baarbara Miranda, Chief of Staff to Senator Brownsberger


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