Trump's immigration executive order (EO) outlined new priorities for enforcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
FELONS NOT FAMILIES
Under President Obama, ICE outlined different levels of priority for apprehending and removing deportable non-U.S. citizens. The highest priority consisted of those who were threats to national security: apprehended at the border, suspected of terrorism, those with gang affilitaions, and felony convictions. Those with multiple or significant misdemeanors and those who recently entered the country without inspection came second, followed by those with a final order of removal.
Under Trump's EO, everyone who is removable (deportable) is now a priority, with no tiered system in place. This also includes individuals without any criminal history whatsoever, no matter their length of residence in the United States or their family ties. It also consists those have been checking in with ICE, or who have been allowed to stay for humanitarian reasons.
The language of the EO is as follows:
Sec. 5. Enforcement Priorities. In executing faithfully the immigration
laws of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary)
shall prioritize for removal those aliens described by the Congress in
sections 212(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 235, and 237(a)(2) and (4) of
the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 1225, and 1227(a)(2)
and (4)), as well as removable aliens who:
(a) Have been convicted of any criminal offense;
(b) Have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not
(c) Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;
(d) Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with
any official matter or application before a governmental agency;
(e) Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;
(f) Are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied
with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or
(g) In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to
public safety or national security.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE "DEPORTABLE"?
These priorities only cover deportable non-U.S. citizens. This means you've violated U.S. immigration law, of which the penalty is deportation. Among others, this covers individuals who entered the U.S. without inspection, and those with certain, but not all, criminal convictions.
WHAT DO I DO?
Speak with a qualified attorney who can discuss with you the specifics of your case. You are especially at risk if you have an outstanding order of removal, are under an order of supervision, or have an upcoming criminal court proceeding. Don't wait until the last minute for legal advice.
You can contact our office at (615) 366-1211 to schedule an appointment. If ICE agents are attempting to serve you with a warrant, or for more information on interacting with ICE agents, click here. For information on the immigration services we provide on Saenz & Maniatis, click here.