In Mississippi and across the nation, immigration has been a frequent topic of discussion for much of the past six years. Given the political upheavals and policy debates, it is no surprise that many immigrants are fearful as to what the future holds. That is especially true for the undocumented. Different philosophies emanate from political perspectives and the law and its enforcement may change based on the party in power. For example, those who are invested in immigration crackdowns will empower U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to pursue undocumented immigrants and others who might have violated the law. Another viewpoint could lead to a change in how undocumented immigration is handled. That is shown in a recent decision that might give some solace to undocumented immigrants. Those who are concerned about this or other immigration issues should be aware of their rights and have professional assistance.
Being undocumented on its own will not lead to detention and deportation
People who are simply undocumented will not be detained nor deported. That, however, does not mean that undocumented people are safe from facing problems with ICE. If there are other allegations against them, then their status could be an issue. The Department of Homeland Security has new rules for ICE to follow. It will focus on people who are threatening the safety of the nation and the security of the border rather than random people who might be undocumented. If, for example, a person is deemed to be engaging in terrorist activities, then they are not protected under the new policy and could be arrested.
These cases will be assessed on their own merits. If a person has been a part of the community and was contributing positively by serving as a frontline health worker, a farmworker or a faith leader, then they will not be subject to arrest and deportation solely due to being undocumented. If these individuals are reported by “unscrupulous employers,” then they too will be shielded provided they have not committed significant legal violations. These rules will not go into effect until the end of November, so it remains important for immigrants to understand that the can be arrested before then. It is believed that there are around 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.
To deal with immigration issues, having assistance is key
Although this change to immigration policy may be welcome to those who are undocumented, that does not mean they are completely safe from being detained and deported. It remains important to take the necessary pathway to try and stay in the U.S. legally. Even with the rules changing, that does not prevent another crackdown if circumstances and philosophies change. There are ways to avoid removal including being granted status as a permanent resident, requesting asylum, seeking a visa and more. From the outset, it is essential to have help. Those who are experienced in these circumstances can be a fundamental cog in the process of staying in the U.S. and keeping from being deported.