(David Sturman is a Los Angeles immigration attorney based in Encino, California. He has more than 35 years experience protecting clients from deportation)
Since President Trump announced his strict new immigration policies in February fear and panic has spread across the immigrant communities of this country. Some of the fears are justified but most are not. Learn the truth about these new rules and how to protect yourself.
Deporting all criminals and those with orders of deportation
The previous immigration policy under President Obama was a concentration on deporting violent criminals such as gang members, felons and those who posed security threats. Most other illegal immigrants were given a pass under what was known as “prosecutorial discretion.” Under this policy many deportation cases for non-criminals were simply closed.
Under the new directives, the government “no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.” Immigration agents can now focus on picking up and removing anyone charged with or convicted of any criminal offense, even minor ones, as well as anyone already ordered deported, regardless of whether they have a criminal record.
‘Catch and release’
Under the Obama administration, people caught crossing the border without permission were often released into the United States while their requests for asylum wound through the immigration system.
The Trump administration has declared an end to the so-called catch and release policy. However, it may be a while before the government can detain all illegal entrants-there is simply not enough room to house everyone. The new government memo directs officials to expand detention facilities, but it will take time to build these centers.
No judge required-Expedited removal.
Two decades ago, Congress passed a law allowing the government to quickly deport recently arrived undocumented immigrants without a hearing. However, the government has used “expedited removal,” very rarely because it may violate constitutional rights of due process. For more than 15 years expedited removal has been applied only to immigrants who have been in the country less than two weeks and were caught within 100 miles of the border-so those in Los Angeles have not been subjected to it.
The Trump administration is now planning to use expedited removal as extensively as the original law allows but it will likely face stiff opposition from constitutional rights attorneys.
Some 750,000 people who were brought into the country as children were issued work permits and temporary protection from deportation under an Obama program known as DACA. Even President Trump said that he will “deal with DACA with heart.” So far Trump has left the program alone.
Police Enforcement of Immigration Law
A program known as 287(g), named for its section of the Immigration and Nationality Act, allows the Department of Homeland Security to train local and state law enforcement officers to work as de facto federal immigration officers, identifying undocumented immigrants in their communities and jails and turning them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Obama administration curtailed the use of the program, which currently involves 32 agencies in 16 states. The Trump administration wants more agencies to take part, and some have already expressed a desire to do so.
The memos call for more ICE officers and Border officers but it will take years to fill all the positions the President envisions.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF NOW-THE FICTION AND THE TRUTH
Los Angeles immigration attorney David M. Sturman will gladly answer all your questions and address your concerns for free. Call 818 714-2226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org