BREAKING NEWS: February 21, 2017
The Department of Homeland Security has issued today a sweeping set of orders that places the vast majority of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of apprehension and deportation. These memos:
- Instruct all agents, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify, capture and quickly deport every undocumented immigrant they encounter;
- While the memos make undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of a crime the highest priority for enforcement operations, it also makes clear that ICE agents should arrest and initiate deportation proceedings against any other undocumented immigrant they encounter. To this end the memos state, “Department personnel have full authority to arrest or apprehend an alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of immigration laws.”
- This includes undocumented immigrants who have been charged with crimes but not convicted, those who commit acts that constitute a “chargeable criminal offense,” and those who an immigration officer concludes pose “a risk to public safety or national security.”
- Broaden expedited deportations, previously limited to those within 100 miles of the border for people who had been in the country for no more than two weeks, to those who have not been admitted or paroled and live anywhere in the country for up to 2 years.
- Require undocumented immigrants caught entering the country to be placed in detention until their cases are resolved;
- Increase the ability of local police to help in immigration enforcement by instructing ICE and CBP to begin reviving a program that recruits local police officers and sheriff’s deputies to help with deportation;
- Call for the hiring of 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, and 5,000 new Border Patrol agents;
- Allow federal authorities to prosecute the parents of unaccompanied minors who enter the country illegally if the parents are found to have paid smugglers;
- Allow planning to begin on an expansion of the border wall between the United States and Mexico;
- Seek to end the practice, known as “catch and release” where undocumented immigrants are processed by immigration agents, released into the country and ordered to reappear for court hearings, by ordering the construction of more jails along the southwest border to house detained immigrants until their cases are resolved.
It is important to note that deportation protections granted by President Obama in 2012 to undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, known an DACA, will continue to be honored so long as they abide by the law.
WHAT TO DO IF IMMIGRATION OFFICERS SHOW UP AT YOUR DOOR
(ACCORDING TO THE ACLU)
- Don’t open the door, but be calm. You have rights.
- Ask what they are there for. Ask for an interpreter if you need one.
- If they ask to enter, ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge* and if so, ask to see it through a window or slipped under the door.
- If they do NOT have a warrant signed by a judge,* you may refuse to let them in. Ask them to leave any information at your door.
- If they force their way in, don’t resist, run away or lie about your identity or legal status as doing so could be used against you. Tell everyone in the residence to remain silent. Do not answer any questions regarding your birthplace and your legal status.
- If you are arrested, remain silent and do not sign anything until you speak to a lawyer.
- *An ICE administrative warrant [form I-200, I-205] does not allow them to enter your home without your consent.
- It is important that neither you nor your family members give ICE your passport
It is recommended for undocumented immigrants to have a plan in place if they or a family member is arrested. This includes planning who will take care of children and possibly making Power of Attorney arrangements so a temporary caregiver can make decisions on the children’s behalf if their parents are arrested or deported.
New York is one in of least 39 sanctuary cities in the United States. Being a sanctuary city, however, simply means municipal authorities will not work with or aid federal immigration officials. It does not means that agencies like ICE cannot conduct raids in those cities.
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