Recently, members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) met with members from the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Enforcement and Removal Operations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This meeting was provide AILA attorneys with updates on the current state of affairs when it comes to enforcement procedures involving immigration law violations.
Immigration was a hot-button issue during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Then-Candidate, now-President Donald Trump made some significant promises to the American public regarding how he would address the immigration issue. Such promises included building a border-wall along the Mexican border, and the cessation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. President Trump, earlier this month, made good on the second promise, indicating that he would be ending the DACA program, with a six-month delay to allow Congress to try to create a fix.
Nearly 800,000 individuals currently reside in the United States with DACA protection. To clear up one common misconception; DACA is not a legal status in this country. The individual with DACA can get a work permit and a driver's license. However, the individual cannot qualify for any public benefits or federal student loans. All DACA entails is a promise from the United States government that they will overlook that the person is here without legal status, and will not deport them back to the countries they came from as children.
Only some of the meeting between AILA attorneys and DHS-ICE officials was on the DACA issue, because it took place prior to President Trump's announcement. Here are the highlights from the meeting:
- Under President Trump's Executive Order of January 2017, Criminal Aliens are the focus of removal proceedings. However, anyone present in the US in violation of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) is subject to detention and possible removal.
- ICE, and the Homeland Security Investogators (HSI), have been going to USCIS offices and Immigration Courts to detail individuals who fall under the priority categories. While it is geared towards individuals with criminal records, it also includes anyone present in violation of the INA.
- While ICE are officers who are tasked with upholding the Constitution and they undergo 4th amendment trainings, there may be issues that arise when it comes to arrest and detention of individuals. If you feel there may have been a constitutional violation, notify your attorney, and DHS-ICE would also request to have it brought to their attention.
If you find yourself or a love one detained by DHS-ICE officials and Immigration Court proceedings will be started against them, please contact us at Chan & Associates immediately. There is no time to waste when it comes to Immigration defense cases.