As an immigration lawyer in Houston, I have been asked several questions regarding the latest news on ICE Raids for Deportation Orders. I want to be sure that you have information about what you can do if you are concerned about friends, loved ones, or yourself.
The raids were supposed to take place Sunday, June 23rd, but were later delayed for two weeks. In tweets on June 22nd and 23rd, President Trump stated that the raids are targeted toward people who are subject to deportation orders but are not in custody – they live among in the general public.
What do I do if I have a deportation order? If you have a deportation order but you haven’t left the United States, you might feel like you're in danger everywhere you go. Really, you are – there is a threat that you could be taken into ICE custody and physically removed. If you've said to yourself, I Was Ordered Deported, but I'm Still in the US and wondered what you should do, you're right to be concerned.
I was ordered Deported but I’m still in the U.S.
Many people read the story of Lizandro Claros Salavia, 19, and his brother Diego, 22. The brothers had come to the United States in 2009 without authorization, and had been ordered deported. They had applied for Stays of Removal – basically requesting discretionary permission to remain in the United States that is often given for 1-2 years at a time.
The Houston Press recently ran the story of a Houston Chef who was detained for weeks after an international trip. The individual was a Permanent Resident, but was detained due to a misdemeanor assault charge. The government argued that he was not eligible for bond because he was returning from international travel - a technical legal issue many permanent residents are unaware of. Criminal charges (even those that are pled down to misdemeanor-level offenses or dismissed - can create problems for any non-U.S.-citizen who travels out of the country. It is important for anyone who wants to travel internationally to consult with an experienced, specialized immigration attorney before traveling internationally or even within 100 miles of an international border.
On January 26, 2016, Kathryn N. Karam attended a seminar on Texas's new open carry laws. At the seminar, Attorney Karam noted that many people are not aware that certain firearms offenses may render a person deportable from the United States, even if the person charged with a firearms offense is a Permanent Resident and even if the crime is not an aggravated felony, a crime of violence, or a crime involving moral turpitude.
On December 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the request from Texas and other states for a 30-day extension to file legal briefs in support of the lawsuit to block the DAPA program. Instead of the 30-day extension, the Court allowed an extension of only eight days. This is viewed as a procedural victory for the Obama administration as it would allow the court to hear the case during its current term and give the administration enough time to launch the program while Obama is still in office. If the Supreme Court hears the case during its current term, the decision would likely be published in June 2016.
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that beginning February 18, 2015, it will accept applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under the new extension of the program announced in November 2014.
Professor Barbara Hines, Immigration Law Clinical Professor at the University of Texas School of Law and Co-Counsel in 2006 litigation against the T. Don Hutto family detention center, explains why the current Department of Homeland Security policy of detaining families is a repeat of our past mistakes and a lack of compassion for families fleeing violence, crime, gangs and poverty.