It can be a scary situation when you or a loved one is detained by immigration in New Orleans. You just don't know what might happen after being detained. You might wind up getting deported or you could be released. It's a situation that needs to be handled by someone with experience in immigration law. Here's what you should expect if you are ever detained by immigration.
An Illinois senator has accused the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of separating immigrant families unlawfully. A coalition of Democrats has requested an investigation into whether families in immigration custody are being unlawfully separated from their children. At this time, it's unclear if the senator's claims are true, but there have been some reported incidents of this happening.
Nearly all undocumented immigrants in the United States are ethical and otherwise law-abiding individuals. They just happen to be here in the United States without proper documentation. For this reason, they are branded "illegal" immigrants, and they could be arrested.
Early in the current presidential administration, the White House issued executive orders to expand the types of immigrants prioritized for deportation. The Trump White House has also scaled back on the use of "administrative closure," which was a way of putting immigration cases on pause in order to focus on those immigrants prioritized for deportation -- such as immigrants who had been accused of violent crimes.
An unfortunate immigration case in Cincinnati highlights the reasons why immigrants need to take their legal status seriously in the United States. A 27-year-old man who has been helping to financially support and provide care to his 6-year-old paraplegic stepson was recently deported. Now, the boy will not be able to receive the care his stepfather once generously gave.
In a perfect world, the United States would be more open to allowing the family members of immigrants to legally come to the country so that they can be together again. While there are some programs that help family members of immigrants legally enter and live in the United States, they do not apply to everyone. Also, some people don't know about these programs and they end up living in the United States without authorization.
Nicknamed "dreamers," those allowed to stay in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program must know exactly what legal rights and obligations they have. This was a program that started under President Barack Obama, and some residents are still protected under its guidelines.
It feels like immigration detention should be a short-term solution while authorities decide how to proceed. In reality, it's often anything but short, leaving people behind bars for years with no idea how their stories will play out.
Would you assume that those who are detained and then deported from the United States would at least be given their belongings back when they were forced to leave? After all, prisoners are given their belongings when released from jail.
It's a difficult time to be an immigrant in the United States. That was evidenced fully earlier this month when agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly kept 92 Somali immigrants on a plane — chained — for nearly two days in conditions akin to a "slave ship." The incident occurred when ICE attempted to deport the detainees back to Somalia.