There is growing trepidation in immigrant communities across the United States as President Trump appears to be making good on his campaign promises to crack down on undocumented immigrants. Stemming from one of Trump’s executive orders, nearly 700 people were arrested in immigration raids across 12 states.
Indeed, immigration raids were common under the Obama administration, but the current administration appears to be shifting its priorities away from focusing strictly on undocumented immigrants who had criminal records. A recent USA Today report found that of the people arrested in last week’s raids, 74 percent had criminal records. This was down from comparable raids where 90 percent of those arrested had criminal backgrounds.
USA Today reports that Trump’s executive order expands the pool of undocumented immigrants who could be considered “enforcement priorities,” which ostensibly includes those who have been charged (but not convicted) of a crime, those who have abused public benefit plans as well as those who pose a risk to national security or public safety.
The policy expansion ostensibly gives ICE agents the right to detain undocumented immigrants who do not exactly fit the profile of an “enforcement policy,” especially those who have been charged with non-violent crimes or may be in violation of federal immigration laws. Indeed, ICE agents have the authority to take action on a “case-by-case basis,” but this approach could be increasingly complicated given the recent changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
All of these changes exemplify the need for an experienced immigration law attorney.